The Danube and the Sava


Although it spreads around two major rivers, Belgrade still did not fully integrate the river banks. The riverbanks in the Belgrade urban area are 200 km long. That same area also includes 16 river islands. Among them the best known are: Ada Ciganlija, Veliko ratno ostrvo, Gročanska ada.

In view of its length (2850 km) and the ramified river basin (120 tributaries) the Danube is one of the largest rivers in the world and the second largest in Europe, after the river Volga. The course of the Danube through Serbia is 588 km and it is fully is navigable, making it a natural connection with Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. In the Belgrade area, the course of the Danube is 60 km: from Stari Banovci to Grocka.

The river Sava is 945 km long and in the Belgrade area its course is 30 km long, from Obrenovac upstream to its mouth where it empties into the Danube. All the 207 kilometers of the course of the Sava through Serbia are navigable with the prospective of it being classified as an internationally navigable line of communication. This would Thus it might easily become a favorable connection for Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Srpska and Serbia. The Sava flows into the Danube at an altitude of 68 m above see level.


The island marks the mouth of the Sava as it empties into the Danube. Throughout the history, the island was an important strategic point either for the conquest or the defence of Belgrade. For example, during the first siege of Belgrade in 1521 the Turks launched most of their attacks on Belgrade Fortress from the island. In liberating Belgrade in 1806 the rebel army headed by Karađorđe also used the island for military purposes. A similar strategy was followed by the imperial army of Austria-Hungary during the offensive on Belgrade in 1915.

Today, the Veliko ratno ostrvo is colonized by nature lovers, and on its northern tip lies the famous Zemun beach called Lido. The island and the waters around are home of numerous rare species including endangered birds, but also a morphologically and geologically extremely interesting area.