A map of Serbia Serbia came into existence in its own right in 2006 when Montenegro split away from it. For much of the 20th century (1929–91) it was united with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia and Macedonia to form a bigger country called Yugoslavia. The southern region of Kosovo, which has a majority ethnic Albanian population, declared itself an independent country in 2008, although its independence is not recognized by Serbia. In the north of Serbia, the province of Vojvodina is made up of the flat, fertile Pannonian Plain, over which the rivers Sava and Danube and their tributaries flow. In this lowland part of Serbia, the climate is continental: summers are hot and dry and winters extremely cold. Further south, in the forested mountains, the climate is much cooler all year round. It often snows heavily in winter.
Most of the country’s people are ethnic Serbs, a South Slavic people whose ancestors settled in the region in the 6th century. A small population of Hungarians lives in Vojvodina, north of Belgrade. Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, is home to around a sixth of the entire population. Many people live in high-rise apartment blocks in Belgrade’s suburbs, built very quickly at the beginning of the 1950s as the city expanded rapidly.
During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, 18 Roman emperors were born in modern-day Serbia—a fifth of all the Roman emperors ever to rule.
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