FROM SINGIDUNUM TO BELGRADE
The great position at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers has attracted different populations since early times. Based on archaeological remains, it is believed that the first settlement was founded in the Neolithic era. Celtic and Illyrian tribes have inhabited the area of today’s city since the 3rd century BC. They have also given the first name of the city - Singidunum (the word singi is still not completely clarified - it is possible that it is a name for the tribe of Singi or it is the Indo-European root of the word "singo" -white; the second part of the name is after the Celtic name "dunum" - city). At the beginning of the 1st century, the hill which rose at the confluence of these two large rivers became the first Roman military camp.
Singidon, as the Byzantines called this city, became an important place visited by many people. During the invasion of the Balkans, the Huns destroyed the fortress above these rivers. The city got its present name in the 7th century, at the time of the Slavic invasions. The whiteness of the limestone ridge, with the remains of the fortress, clearly stood out from the river and determined the Slavic name of the city: Beli grad - Belgrade. This name first appears in documents in 878. Since then, the fortification has been ruled by various rulers: Byzantine, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Serbian.
In 1404, Belgrade became the capital of the Serbian medieval state for the first time during the reign of Stefan Lazarević. The despot restored the fortress, which was in a neglected state, and built new towers, gates, as well as the castle in the Upper Town. Belgrade experienced economic and cultural prosperity in that period. After the death of despot Stefan, Belgrade was taken over by Hungarians until 1521, when it was conquered by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.
BELGRADE IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES
With the end of the Roman Empire, Singidunum lost its significance. The city was even abandoned for a certain period of time after the Huns destroyed it in 441/442. This period of constant battles between Byzantium and various barbarian tribes soon began.
Hungarian King Sigismund signed an agreement with Prince Stefan Lazarević in order to secure the borders of Hungary from future Ottoman attacks. With this agreement, the despot was able to declare rule over Belgrade in exchange for his vassal obligations towards the Kingdom of Hungary.