At the northern border, the Danube River runs along the Iron Gate Gorge.
Central Serbia is hilly and forested and is the most densely populated region of the country.
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and is the largest city in the country, with a population of 1.5 million.
It takes its name, which translates as "white fortress," from the large stone walls that enclose the old part of the city.
German, English, and French are commonly learned in school as second languages. The national symbol of Serbia is a double-headed white eagle, a creature considered the king of animals.
In that same year, the Congress of Berlin declared Serbia independent, but it also partitioned the country so that Bosnia-Herzogovina, a region with a large Serb population, became part of Austria.
The flag of the former Yugoslavia was the same but with a red star outlined in yellow in the center.
The first known inhabitants were the Illyrians, followed by the Celts in the fourth century, and the Romans a century after that.
It is virtually identical to Croatian, except that Serbian is written in the Cyrillic, or Russian, alphabet, and Croatian uses Roman letters.
Five percent of the people speak Albanian, most of these concentrated in the southern province of Kosovo.