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*SERBIA*

Serbia (Serbian: Србија / Srbija), officially the Republic of Serbia is a landlocked country in Central and Southeastern Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. Serbia is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia and Albania to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the west. The capital is Belgrade.

For centuries, shaped at cultural boundaries between East and West, a powerful medieval Serbian Kingdom - later renamed an Empire - occupied much of the Balkans. The modern state of Serbia emerged in 1817 following the Serbian revolution. Later, it expanded its territory further south to include Kosovo and the regions of Raška and Vardar Macedonia. The Syrmia region united with Serbia on November 24, 1918 and they were joined by Vojvodina (formerly an autonomous Habsburg crownland named Serbian Voivodship and Tamiš Banat) the following day after it proclaimed its secession from Austria-Hungary. The current borders of the country were established following the end of World War II, when Serbia became a federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Serbia became an independent state again in 2006, after Montenegro left the union which was formed after the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1990s.

Serbia is located in Europe, on the Balkan peninsula and in the Pannonian Plain. It is placed at the crossroads between Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. The Danube river (2850 km) flows through the northern third of the country; it is 588 km long and forms the border with Croatia and part of Romania, alongside the Wallachian Plain in the east. The Sava river forms the southern border of the Vojvodina province, flows into the Danube in central Belgrade, and bypasses the hills of the Fruška Gora in the west. Sixty kilometers to the northeast of Belgrade, the Tisa river flows into the Danube and ends its 1350 km long journey from Ukraine, and the partially navigable Timiş River (60 km/350 km) flows into the Danube near Pančevo. The Begej river (254 km) flows into Tisa near Titel. All five rivers are navigable, connecting the country with Northern and Western Europe (through the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal – North Sea route), to Eastern Europe (via the Tisa–, Timiş–, Begej – and Danube – Black sea routes) and to Southern Europe (via the Sava river).

The eastern border of the country is determined by the Carpathian Mountain range, which runs through the whole of Central Europe. The Carpathians meet the Balkan Mountains, following the course of Velika Morava, a 500 km long (partially navigable) river. Midžor peak is the highest point in eastern Serbia at 2156 m. In the southeast, the Balkan Mountains meet the Rhodope Mountains, connecting the country with Greece.


Serbia's borders The Šar Mountain of Kosovo form the border with Albania, with one of the highest peaks in the region, Djeravica (2656 m). Dinaric Alps of Serbia follow the flow of the Drina river (at 350 km navigable for smaller vessels only) overlooking the Dinaric peaks on the other side of the shore in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Over one quarter of Serbia's overall landmass (27%) is covered by forest.

The Serbian climate varies between a continental climate in the north, with cold winters, and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall patterns, and a more Adriatic climate in the south with hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy inland snowfall.

Serbia is divided into 24 districts plus the City of Belgrade. The districts and the City of Belgrade are further divided into municipalities. Serbia has 1 autonomous province: Vojvodina with (7 districts, 46 municipalities). Kosovo has declared independence but is still presently under the administration of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo; international negotiations began in 2006 to determine its final status Kosovo declared its independence on 17 February 2008, which Belgrade opposes.

The part of Serbia that is neither in Kosovo nor in Vojvodina is called Central Serbia. Central Serbia is not an administrative division, unlike the two autonomous provinces, and it has no regional government of its own. In English this region is often called "Serbia proper" to denote "the part of the Republic of Serbia not including the provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo", as the Library of Congress puts it. This usage was also employed in Serbo-Croatian during the Yugoslav era (in the form of "uža Srbija", literally: "narrow Serbia"). Its use in English is purely geographical, without any particular political meaning being implied.








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