The Days of Belgrade


On December 26, 2002, the Assembly of the City of Belgrade decided to start marking the period between the two major events in the history of our City - from April 16 to 19 – as the "Days of Belgrade". The Slavic name Belgrade was mentioned for the first time on April 16, 878, in a written document – a letter of Pope John VIII to the Bulgarian Khan Boris I while, on April 19, 1867, finally - after the last Ottoman commander Ali Friza Pasha had symbolically presented Prince Mihailo with the town keys on Kalemegdan – almost three-and-a-half centuries long occupation ceased and Belgrade became a Serbian town once again.

In its long and tumultuous history, Belgrade had often changed both its names and its rulers. As of the third century, when the Celtic tribe Scordisci had set up a stronghold Singidunum at the confluence of the Sava river into the Danube, the city at the "crossroads of the worlds" had been conquered by the Byzantines, the Gepidae, the Sarmatians, the Eastern Goths, the Slavs, the Avars, the Francs, the Bulgarians, the Hungarians, the Ottomans, the Austrians, the Germans... Each of the conquerors also used to give it their respective names: Singedon, Nandor, Fehervar, Nandor Alba, Alba Graeca, Grieschisch Weisenburg, Alba Bulgarica, Taurunum, all the way to the would-be name of Prince Eugenburg intended for it by the Germans in 1941. However, its Slavic name – Belgrade has lasted longest. The British Encyclopedia of Cities mentions that it is the city about which the greatest number of battles had been waged, but also the city with the greatest number of symbolic names: The Hill of Battle and Glory, the Hill for Meditation, the House of Wars, the Egypt of Rumelia, the House of Freedom, the Gateway of the East – the Gate of the West...

Belgrade was under rule of the Ottomans for the longest period of time: from 1521 to April 19, 1867. "The Firman on Surrender of the City – it is recorded in the History of Belgrade – was formally publicly proclaimed on Kalemegdan in the presence of the Serbian high dignitaries, representatives of the big powers, the Serbian and the Ottoman armies and the entire Belgrade population. It was the most solemn day for Belgrade. The town was decorated with flowers and flags and, in front of the present-day Theater, on Terazije, in Savamala, and at other places the triumphal arcs were erected. After the Firman was read, the Prince rode through the Serbian and the Ottoman armies and went downtown, where the commander of the Belgrade fortress Ali Friza Pasha, in a symbolic way, presented him with the keys of the Serbian towns (apart from Belgrade, he was also presented with the keys of Užice, Šabac, Smederevo, Kladovo and Soko Grad). On the Belgrade fortress, next to the Ottoman flag, the Serbian one was also put out, and the Ottoman guard was replaced by the Serbian guard. The last detachment of the Ottoman garrison left the fortress and Belgrade, on April 24, 1867 and, the following day, the last Ottoman commander - Ali Friza Pasha left Belgrade as well. Nine years later, in 1876, the last symbol of the former occupation – the Ottoman flag was removed from the Belgrade fortress."


The Assembly of the City of Belgrade has adopted the decision on the Award of the City of Belgrade and the Award of the City of Belgrade for Creativity of the Young Ones. The awards are presented each year in April, on the occasion of the festivities of the Days of Belgrade.

The awards during the Days of Belgrade are presented to the authors in the areas of literature and translations, theater, film, and radio and television creations, visual and applied arts, music, social sciences and humanities, natural and technical sciences, architecture and town planning, journalism, educational and upbringing endeavors, sports, as well as of medicine and inventions.

The Award for Creativity of the Young Ones is presented to the pupils and students who particularly excel in their artistic and scientific work.