Kosovo Serbs are the largest ethnic minority group in Kosovo, numbering around 150,000 people. Kosovo was the political and cultural core of the medieval Serbian state; because of Serbian medieval history and monuments, Kosovo has long been called the "Serbian Jerusalem". The Medieval Monuments in Kosovo, founded by the Nemanjić dynasty, is a combined World Heritage Site consisting of four Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries; the region of Kosovo was an important part of the 14th-century Serbian Empire, with Prizren serving as capital, until its subsequent occupation by the Ottomans following the Battle of Kosovo, considered one of the most notable events of Serbian history. After centuries of foreign Ottoman rule, Kosovo was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia in 1912, following the First Balkan War, it was part of Serbia, until the 1999 Kosovo War resulted in the de facto separation of Kosovo from the rest of Serbia, followed by its secession from Serbia in 2008, not wholly and recognised by the international community.
Most of Kosovo's pre-1999 Serb population relocated to central Serbia and Montenegro following ethnic cleansing campaigns while many of the remaining Serbs outside North Kosovo live in small isolated communities, called enclaves. The formal names for the Serb community in Kosovo is "Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija" or "Serbs of Kosmet", in use by the community itself and the Serbian government, they are referred to as Serbs of Kosovo or Serbs in Kosovo. The term "Kosovo Serbs" is predominantly used in English, they are known by the demonym Kosovci, though this is properly used for inhabitants of the region of Kosovo, along with Metohijci. Sclaveni settled the western Balkans in the 6th and 7th century; the Serbs are mentioned in De Administrando Imperio as having settled the Balkans during the reign of Emperor Heraclius, research does not support that the Serbian tribe was part of this migration rather than migrating with the rest of Early Slavs. Through linguistical studies, it is concluded that the Early South Slavs were made up of a western and eastern branch, of parallel streams divided in the Timok–Osogovo–Šar line.
Parts of northwestern Kosovo were part of the Serbian Principality. In the late 9th century the region was seized by the First Bulgarian Empire, while the region switched hands between the Byzantines and Bulgarians until the Byzantine restoration of 1018–19. In 1040–41 a massive Slavic rebellion broke out, which included Kosovo. Another rebellion broke out in 1072, in which Serbian prince Constantine Bodin was crowned Emperor of Bulgaria at Prizren, despite some initial success, Bodin was captured in southern Kosovo and the rebellion was suppressed.. He broke several peace treaties concluded with the Byzantine Emperor at Zvečan and Lipljan, until submitting in 1106. In 1166, a Serbian prince, Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the Nemanjić dynasty, asserted independence after an uprising against the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus. Nemanja defeated his brother, Tihomir, at Pantino near Pauni, drowned him in the Sitnica river. Nemanja was defeated and had to return some of his conquests, vouched to the Emperor that he would not raise his hand against him.
In 1183, Stefan Nemanja embarked on a new offensive allied with the Kingdom of Hungary after the death of Manuel I Komnenos in 1180, which marked the end of Byzantine domination over the region of Kosovo. Nemanja's son, ruled a realm reaching the river of Lab in the south. Stefan conquered all of Kosovo by 1208, by which time he had conquered Prizren and Lipljan, moved the border of his realm to the Šar mountain. In 1217, Stefan was crowned King of Serbs, due to which he is known in historiography as Stefan "the First-Crowned". In 1219, the Serbian Church was given autocephaly, with Hvosno and Lipljan being the Orthodox Christian eparchies with territory in modern-day Kosovo. By the end of the 13th century, the centre of the Serbian Church was moved to Peć from Žiča. King Stefan Dušan founded the great Monastery of the Holy Archangel near Prizren in 1342–52; the Serbian Kingdom was elevated into an Empire in 1345–46. Stefan Dušan received John VI Kantakuzenos in 1342 at Pauni to discuss an alliance against the Byzantine Emperor.
In 1346, the Serbian Archbishopric at Peć was upgraded into a Patriarchate, but it was not recognized before 1375. After the death of Dušan in 1355, the fall of the Serbian Empire began, with feudal disintegration during the reign of his successor, Stefan Uroš V. Parts of Kosovo became domain of Vukašin Mrnjavčević, but Vojislav Vojinović expanded his demesne further onto Kosovo; the armies of Vukašin from Pristina and his allies defeated Vojislav's forces in 1369, putting a halt to his advances. After the Battle of Maritsa on 26 September 1371 in which the Mrnjavčević brothers lost their lives, Đurađ I Balšić of Zeta took Prizren and Peć in 1372. A part of Kosovo became the demesne of the Lazar of Serbia; the Ottoman Empire invaded the realm of Prince Lazar on 28 June 1389, at the Battle of Kosovo near Pristina, at Gazimestan. The Serbian army was led by Prince Lazar who led 12,000–30,000 men against the Ottoman army of 27,000–40,000 men. Lazar was killed in battle, while Sultan Murad lost his life, believed to have been assassinated by Se
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic known as Old Church Slavic or Old Slavic, was the first Slavic literary language. It is referred to as Paleo-Slavic or Palaeo-Slavic, not to be confused with the Proto-Slavic, it is abbreviated to OCS. The 9th-century Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius are credited with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek ecclesiastical texts as part of the Christianization of the Slavs, it is thought to have been based on the dialect of the 9th century Byzantine Slavs living in the Province of Thessalonica. It played an important role in the history of the Slavic languages and served as a basis and model for Church Slavonic traditions, some Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches use this Church Slavonic as a liturgical language to this day; as the oldest attested Slavic language, OCS provides important evidence for the features of Proto-Slavic, the reconstructed common ancestor of all Slavic languages.
The language was standardized for the mission of the two apostles to Great Moravia. For that purpose and his brother Methodius started to translate religious literature to Old Church Slavonic based on the Slavic dialects spoken in the hinterland of their hometown, Thessaloniki, in today's Greece; as part of the preparation for the mission, in 862/863, the Glagolitic alphabet was created and the most important prayers and liturgical books, including the Aprakos Evangeliar, the Psalter, Acts of the Apostles, were translated. The language and the alphabet were taught at the Great Moravian Academy and were used for government and religious documents and books between 863 and 885; the texts written during this phase contain characteristics of the Slavic vernaculars in Great Moravia. In 885, the use of Old Church Slavonic in Great Moravia was prohibited by Pope Stephen V in favour of Latin. Students of the two apostles, who were expelled from Great Moravia in 886, brought the Glagolitic alphabet to the First Bulgarian Empire.
There it was taught at two literary schools: the Preslav Literary School and the Ohrid Literary School. The Glagolitic alphabet was used at both schools, though the Cyrillic script was developed early on at the Preslav Literary School where it superseded Glagolitic; the texts written during this era exhibit certain linguistic features of the vernaculars of the First Bulgarian Empire. Old Church Slavonic spread to other South-Eastern and Eastern European Slavic territories, most notably Croatia, Bohemia, Lesser Poland, principalities of the Kievan Rus' while retaining characteristically South Slavic linguistic features. Texts written in each of those territories began to take on characteristics of the local Slavic vernaculars and, by the mid-11th century, Old Church Slavonic had diversified into a number of regional varieties; these local varieties are collectively known as the Church Slavonic language. Apart from the Slavic countries, Old Church Slavonic has been used as a liturgical language by the Romanian Orthodox Church, as well as a literary and official language of the princedoms of Wallachia and Moldavia, before being replaced by Romanian during the 16th to 17th centuries.
Church Slavonic maintained a prestigious status in Russia, for many centuries – among Slavs in the East it had a status analogous to that of Latin in Western Europe, but had the advantage of being less divergent from the vernacular tongues of average parishioners. Some Orthodox churches, such as the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric, as well as several Eastern Catholic Churches, still use Church Slavonic in their services and chants today. Old Church Slavonic was written with the Glagolitic alphabet, but Glagolitic was replaced by Cyrillic, developed in the First Bulgarian Empire by a decree of Boris I of Bulgaria in the 9th century; the local Bosnian Cyrillic alphabet, known as Bosančica, was preserved in Bosnia and parts of Croatia, while a variant of the angular Glagolitic alphabet was preserved in Croatia. See Early Cyrillic alphabet for a detailed description of the script and information about the sounds it expressed.
For Old Church Slavonic, the following segments are reconstructible. A few sounds are given in Slavic transliterated form rather than in IPA, as the exact realisation is uncertain and differs depending on the area that a text originated from; the letter щ is not shown in the table. In Bulgaria, it represented the sequence /ʃt/, it is transliterated as št for that reason. Farther west and north, it was /c/ or /tɕ/ like in modern Macedonian and Serbian/Croatian. /dz/ appears in early texts, becoming /z/ on. The distinction between l, n and r, on one hand, palatal l', n' and r', on the other, is not always indicated in writing; when it is, it is shown by a palatization diacritic over the letter: л҄ н҄ р҄. Accent is not indicated in writing and must be inferred from languages and from reconstructions of Proto-Slavic; the pronunciation of yat differed by area. In Bulgaria it was a relatively
The Serbs have many traditions. The Slava is an exclusive custom of the Serbs, each family has one patron saint that they venerate on their feast day; the Serbian Orthodox Church uses the traditional Julian Calendar, as per which Christmas Day falls on January 7 of the Gregorian Calendar, thus the Serbs celebrate Christmas on January 7, shared with the Orthodox churches of Jerusalem, Georgia and the Greek Old Calendarists. Traditionally, honored guests in a Serbian home are greeted with bread and salt and/or a spoonful of Slatko. Furthermore, it is common for guests to bring something sweet to the host when going on a visit if they're only stopping by for a short time. Slava called krsna slava and krsno ime is the Serbian Orthodox tradition of the veneration and observance of the family's patron saint. All Serbs celebrate Slava, every family has their own patron saint that they celebrate on the feast day, it is of pre-Christian origin. The most common feast days are St. Nicholas, St. George, St. John the Baptist, Saint Demetrius and St. Michael.
Given dates are by official Gregorian calendar. Serbian Orthodox Church uses Julian calendar, late 13 days. For example, St. Nicholas date is December 6, but by Julian calendar this date is 13 days when by Gregorian calendar is December 19. Vidovdan is sacred to ethnic Serbs and the cult was active among the South Slavs, who had transformed the pagan Slavic god Svetovid into the Sicilian martyr who exorcized the evil out of Diocletian's son. Through the centuries, Serbian historical events such as the defeat at the Battle of Kosovo became sources for spiritual strength and patriotism, it was not a coincidence that Gavrilo Princip assassinates the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Vidovdan, triggering the First World War. Vidovdan has long been considered a date of special importance to ethnic Serbs and the Balkans, the following events each took place on Vidovdan, but are expressed here in the Gregorian Calendar: on June 28, 1389, the Ottoman Empire fought against Serbia in the Battle of Kosovo, Serbian Prince Lazar was slain in battle.
Ottoman Sultan Murad I was killed by Serbian knight Miloš Obilić. on June 28, 1914, the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, triggers the First World War. On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I. on June 28, 1921, the Serbian King Alexander I proclaimed the new Constitution of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes, known thereafter as the Vidovdan Constitution. On June 28, 1948, the Cominform published, on the initiative of its Soviet delegates Zhdanov and Suslov, in a "Resolution on the State of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia" their condemnation of the Yugoslavian communist leaders - this happening is seen as the date that marks the final split between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. On June 28, 1989, on the 600th anniversary of the battle of Kosovo, Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević delivered the Gazimestan speech at the site of the historic battle. On June 28, 2001, Slobodan Milošević was deported to ICTY to stand trial. On June 28, 2006, Montenegro was announced as the 192nd member state of the United Nations.
On June 28, 2008 was the inaugural meeting of the Community Assembly of Metohija. The Serbs celebrate Christmas -diminutive form of the word bog, meaning'god', it refers to Jesus seeing as he is the son of god) for three consecutive days, beginning with Christmas Day; the Serbian Orthodox Church uses the traditional Julian Calendar, as per which Christmas Day falls on January 7 of the Gregorian Calendar. This day is called by Serbs the first day of Christmas, the following two are accordingly called the second, the third day of Christmas. During this festive time, one is to greet another person with "Christ is Born," which should be responded to with "Truly He is Born."This holiday surpasses all the other celebrated by Serbs, with respect to the diversity of applied folk customs and rituals. These may vary from region to region, some of them having modern versions adapted to the contemporary way of living; the ideal environment to carry them out is the traditional multi-generation country household.
In the morning of Christmas Eve a Serbian Badnjak Oak is felled, a log cut from it is in the evening ceremoniously put on the domestic fire. A bundle of straw is spread over the floor; the dinner on this day is festive and diverse in foods, although it is prepared in accordance with the rules of fasting. Groups of young people go from house to house of their village or neighborhood, congratulating the holiday and making performances. On Christmas Day, the celebration is announced at dawn by shooting. A big importance is given to the first visit. People expect that it will summon well-being for their household in the ensuing year. Christmas dinner is the most celebratory meal. A special, festive loaf of bread is baked for this occasion; the main course is roast pork which they cook whole by rotating it impaled on a wooden spit close to an open fire. It is not a part of Serbian traditions to exchange gifts during Christmas. Gift giving is connected with the holiday, being traditionally done on the three consecutive Sundays that precede it.
Children and men, respectively
Architecture of Serbia
The architecture of Serbia has a long and diverse history. Some of the major European style from Roman to Post Modern are demonstrated, including renowned examples of Raška, Serbo-Byzantine with its revival, Baroque and Modern architecture, with prime examples in Brutalism, Art Moderne. Centuries of turbulent history of Serbia caused a great regional diversity and favored vernacular architecture; this made for a heterogeneous and diverse architectural style, with architecture differing from town to town. While this diversity may still be witnessed in small towns, the devastation of architectural heritage in the larger cities during World War II, subsequent socialist influence on architecture resulted in specific mix of architectural styles; the northernmost Ancient Macedonian town was Kale-Krševica, which still today have the foundations of the Ancient Greek 5th century BC town. The Scordisci built the stone fortress of Singidunum, the Kalemegdan at Belgrade in the 3rd century BC, It has since been built on by Romans, Turks and show a beautiful example of continuing 2,300-year-old architecture, serving as one of the best landmarks in Belgrade.
The Romans left many traces of their six centuries of rule in the Serbian lands, including several fortifications and complexes such as the 3rd century AD Imperial palace of Galerius at Gamzigrad, built at his birthplace after the victory against the Persians, the Mediana site in Niš from the 4th century, the ruins of the Moesia Superior capital Viminacium and Byzantine city Justiniana Prima built by Justinian I. Petrova church, 800 AD, Stari Ras Sopoćani monastery, 1265, Stari Ras Mileševa monastery, 1236, Prijepolje Visoki Dečani, 1327, Dečani Patriarchate of Peć, 13th century, Peć Our Lady of Ljeviš, 12th century, Prizren Gračanica Monastery, 1321, Gračanica, Kosovo Đurđevi stupovi, 1166, Novi Pazar Studenica monastery, 1190, Kraljevo Saint Archangels Monastery, 1343, Prizren Services are conducted in church buildings and involve both the clergy and faithful; the original style of Serbian Orthodox Church was the church built out of wood. These churches were found in poorer villages where it was too expensive to build a church out of stone.
Church architecture developed under the patronage of the Serbian state. However, the most distinctive piece of medieval Serbian architecture was the Studenica monastery founded by Stefan Nemanja, the founder of medieval Serbia in c1190; this monastery featured significant works of art including its Byzantine style fresco paintings. Its church features extensive sculptures based on Psalms and the Dormition of the Theotokos. UNESCO added this monastery to its list of World Cultural Heritage sites in 1986, it was the model for other monasteries at Sopoćani and the Visoki Dečani. The influence of Byzantine art became more influential after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 in the Fourth Crusade when many Greek artists fled to Serbia, their influence can be seen at the Church of the Ascension at Mileševa as well as in the wall paintings at the Church of the Holy Apostles at Peć and at the Sopoćani Monastery. Icons formed a significant part of church art; the influence of Byzantine architecture reached its peak after 1300 including the rebuilding of the Our Lady of Ljeviš and Church of St. George at Staro Nagoričane as well as the Gračanica monastery.
Church decorative paintings developed further in the period. The Visoki Dečani monastery in Metohija was built between 1330 and 1350. Unlike other Serbian monasteries of the period, it was built with Romanesque features by master-builders under the monk Vitus of Kotor, its frescoes feature 1000 portraits portraying all of the major themes of the New Testament. The cathedral carved royal sarcophagus. In 2004, UNESCO listed the Dečani Monastery on the World Heritage List. There was a further spate of church building as the Serbian state contracted to the Morava basin in the late 14th century. Prince Stefan Lazarević was a poet and patron of the arts who founded the church at Resava at Morava with the wall paintings having a theme of parables of Christ with the people portrayed wearing feudal Serbian costumes; this is the typical style of churches built. This style of church architecture was developed in the late 13th century combining Byzantine and Raskan influences to form a new church style. By the end of 13th and in the first half of 14th century the Serbian state enlarged over Macedonia and Thessaly up to the Aegean Sea.
On these new territories Serbian art was more influenced by the Byzantine art tradition. Gračanica, rebuilt by King Milutin in 1321, is the most beautiful monument of Serbian architecture from the 14th century; the church of this monastery is an example of a construction that achieved the highest degree of architecture not only in the Byzantine form but in the creation of an original and freestyle exceeding its models. The wall creation in steps is one of the basic characteristics of this temple; the Kings's Church in Studenica, characterized as an ideal church, was built in the first decades of the 14th century. By the end of the third decade of the 14th century the Pec Patriarchate had been shaped; the exterior of the Patriarchate is a vision of shapes characteristic of contemporary Serbian architecture. On the major part of the outer walls paint decoration was used instead of stone relief and brick and stone decoration. A typical Serbo-Byzantine church has a rectangular foundation, with a major dome in the center with smaller domes around the center one.
The inside of the church is covered with frescos that illustrate various biblical stories and portrays Serbian saints. During the 17th century many
The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, they form significant minorities in North Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia; the Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion; the Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro. The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in traditions. In the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires. Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, Kosovo Myth.
When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language, shared by other South Slavs. The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity, is regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day; the origin of the ethnonym is unclear. Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity with the rest of the Balkan peoples, those within former Yugoslavia. Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres. Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement through Byzantine foederati colonies; the Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century. What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed.
This area was intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The numerous Slavs assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population; the history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando Imperio, which describes the Serbs as a people living in Roman Dalmatia, subordinate to the Byzantine Empire. Numerous small Serbian states were created, chiefly under Vlastimorović and Vojislavjević dynasties, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. With the decline of the Serbian state of Duklja in the late 11th century, "Raška" separated from it and replaced it as the most powerful Serbian state. Prince Stefan Nemanja conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo and Zachlumia; the Nemanjić dynasty ruled over Serbia until the 14th century. Nemanja's older son, Stefan Nemanjić, became Serbia's first recognized king, while his younger son, founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, became known as Saint Sava after his death.
Over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders, from numerous minor principalities, reaching to a unified Serbian Empire. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire; the medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Stefan Dušan, who ruled the state from 1331 until his death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included Macedonia, northern Greece and all of modern Albania; when Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor. With Turkish invaders beginning their conquest of the Balkans in the 1350s, a major conflict ensued between them and the Serbs, the first major battle was the Battle of Maritsa, in which the Serbs were defeated. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the battle, with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, the Serbian Empire broke up into several small Serbian domains; these states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.
Hrebeljanović was subsequently accepted as the titular leader of the Serbs because he was married to a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the Serbs faced the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo on the plain of Kosovo Polje, near the town of Pristina. Both Lazar and Sultan Murad; the battle most ended in a stalemate, afterwards Serbia enjoyed a short period of prosperity under despot Stefan Lazarević and resisted failing to the Turks until 1459. The Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire, organized uprisings. After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman Empire in 1686 during the Great Turkish War, Serbs from Pannonian Plain joined the troops of the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as Serbian Militia. Serbs, as volunteers, massively joined
Coat of arms of Serbia
The coat of arms of Serbia is a re-introduction of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Serbia adopted by the Republic of Serbia in 2004 and slightly redesigned in 2010. The coat of arms consists of two main heraldic symbols which represent the national identity of the Serbian people across the centuries, the Serbian eagle and the Serbian cross; the Emblem of the Socialist Republic of Serbia was adopted the same time as the flag, on January 17, 1947, as the State Coat of arms of the People's Republic of Serbia. It was designed by Đorđe Andrejević-Kun. Andrejević-Kun used the traditional shield of arms of Serbia with four firesteels; the cross which has always been included in the shield of arms was removed for ideological reasons of socialist atheism. It was placed above a rising sun with a cog wheel symbolizing the workers and surrounded with a golden wreath of wheat and oak leaves, oak being a sacred Serbian tree. A red ribbon with dates 1804 and 1941 which refer to the dates of the first Serbian uprising against the Ottomans and the national uprising against the Axis powers in the Second World War.
The socialist coat of arms remained in official use long after the dissolution of socialist Yugoslavia and after the red star was removed in 1992 from the flag. On August 17, 2004, the National Assembly recommended use of the old symbols of the Kingdom of Serbia; the recommendation was made law on May 11, 2009 replacing the socialist heraldic Coat of arms. The principal field stands for the Serbian state, it consists of a white double-headed eagle on a red shield. The inescutcheon stands for the Serbian nation. A blazon in heraldic terms is: a bicephalic eagle Argent armed Or, two fleurs-de-lys Or. Overall an escutcheon Gules, a cross Argent between four firesteels Argent. All crowned with a royal crown; the design on the inescutcheon has been used by Serbian states and the Serbian church since the Middle Ages. The four shapes around the central cross are a stylized form of letters. Although Serbia is now a republic, the coat of arms features the royal crown of the former monarchy; the lesser arms is used more appearing on passports, identity cards, driver's licenses, the state flag.
The use of the double-headed eagle dates back to the late Byzantine era. The figure appears on inscriptions, medieval frescoes and embroidery on the clothes of Byzantine and Serbian royalty. Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja was among the first in Serbia; the Serbian Orthodox Church adopted it. The surviving golden ring of Queen Teodora has the symbol engraved; the Nemanjić dynasty coat of arms was the double-headed eagle. During the reign of Emperor Stefan Dušan, the double-headed eagle was used on everyday objects and state-related documents, such as tax stamps and proclamations. In 1339, map maker, Angelino Dulcert, marked the Serbian Empire with a flag with a red double-headed eagle. Other Serbian dynasties adopted the symbol as a symbolic continuation, such as the Mrnjavčević and Lazarević. Prince Lazar, when renovating the Hilandar monastery of Mount Athos, engraved the double-headed eagle at the northern wall; the Codex Monacensis Slavicus 4 has richly attested artwork of the Serbian eagle. The double-headed eagle was adopted by Stefan Lazarević after he received the despot title, the second highest Byzantine title, by John VII Palaiologos in August 1402 at the court in Constantinople.
Τhe Serbian Cross, surrounded by four firesteels also derives from a Byzantine emblem. It resembles the imperial emblem used in Byzantine flags during the late age; as a Byzantine symbol though, it might date back to several centuries earlier. Serbian historian Stanoje Stanojević argues that it was adopted as a Serbian symbol as well in 1345, with Dušan the Mighty's raising to a Serbian Empire. In contrast, Stojan Novaković posits that the recorded use of the Serbian cross, as a national symbol, began in 1397, during the rule of Stefan Lazarević, it was derived from a known candle chandelier from the Visoki Dečani.. The fact that this emblem was found in archeological localities in Serbia, near Lepenski Vir, Starčevo and Vinča, indicates that it is possible that the Romans adopted this emblem from Serbs, not vice versa; the Serbian cross is found in the Korenić-Neorić Armorial, which shows the coat of arms of Serbia as a white cross over a red and gold background depicting the Mrnjavčević noble house with the same design, with inverted colours and the Serbian eagle in the center of the cross.
According to Mavro Orbini, it was used by Vukašin Mrnjavčević and Lazar Hrebeljanović. Miloš Obrenović adopted the Serbian cross as the military flag when forming the first units of the regular army in 1825; the Serbian cross appeared on all Serbian coats of arms, except the Serbian coat of arms dated 1947, which had the cross removed, leaving only the four stylized firesteels. In modern times, a Serbian folk etymology interpreted the firesteels aro
Sport in Serbia
Sport in Serbia plays an important role, the country has a strong sporting history. The most popular sports in Serbia are football, tennis, water polo and handball. Professional sports in Serbia are organized by sporting leagues. One of particularities of Serbian professional sports is existence of many multi-sport clubs and most successful of which are Red Star and Beograd in Belgrade, Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Radnički in Kragujevac, Spartak in Subotica. Football is the most popular sport in Serbia, the Football Association of Serbia with 146,845 registered players, is the largest sporting association in the country. Dragan Džajić was recognized as "the best Serbian player of all times" by the Football Association of Serbia, more the likes of Nemanja Vidić, Dejan Stanković and Branislav Ivanović play for the elite clubs of Europe, developing the nation's reputation as one of the world's biggest exporters of footballers; the Serbia national football team lacks relative success although it qualified for three of the last four FIFA World Cups.
Serbia national youth football teams have won 2013 U-19 European Championship and 2015 U-20 World Cup. The two main football clubs in Serbia are Red Partizan, both from Belgrade; the rivalry between the two clubs is known as the "Eternal Derby", is cited as one of the most exciting sports rivalries in the world. Serbia is one of the traditional powerhouses of world basketball, as Serbia men's national basketball team have won two World Championships, three European Championships, one FIBA Diamond Ball and two Olympic silver medals as well; the women's national basketball team won the European Championship in 2015 and Olympic bronze medal in 2016. A total of 31 Serbian players have played in the NBA in last three decades, including Predrag "Peja" Stojaković and Vlade Divac; the renowned "Serbian coaching school" produced many of the most successful European basketball coaches of all times, such as Željko Obradović, who won a record 9 Euroleague titles as a coach. KK Partizan basketball club was the 1992 European champion.
Recent success of Serbian tennis players has led to an immense growth in the popularity of tennis in Serbia. Novak Đoković, fifteen-time Grand Slam champion, finished in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018 as No. 1 in the world.. Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Janković were both ranked No. 1 in the WTA Rankings. There were two No. 1 ranked-tennis double players as well: Nenad Zimonjić and Slobodan Živojinović. The Serbia men's tennis national team won the 2010 Davis Cup while Serbia women's tennis national team reached the final at 2012 Fed Cup. Serbia is one of the leading volleyball countries in the world, its men's national team won the gold medal at 2000 Olympics, the European Championship twice as well as the 2016 FIVB World League. The women's national volleyball team are current world Champions, has won European Championship twice as well as Olympic silver medal in 2016; the Serbia men's national water polo team is the second most successful national team after Hungary in the history of sport, having won Olympic gold medal in 2016, three World Championships.
The last 3 FINA World Cups in 2006, 2010, 2014. A record 11 FINA World Leagues and seven European Championships in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, respectively. VK Partizan has won a joint-record seven European champion titles. Other noted Serbian athletes include: swimmers Milorad Nađa Higl. Football: Serbian Superliga Serbian SuperLiga Prva Futsal LigaBasketball: Basketball League of Serbia First Women's Basketball League of SerbiaVolleyball: Volleyball League of SerbiaHandball: Handball League of Serbia Serbian First League of Handball for WomenWater Polo: Serbian Water Polo League AIce hockey: Serbian Hockey LeagueRugby football: Rugby Championship of Serbia Serbian Rugby League Championship Football: Serbia national football team Serbia national under-21 football team Serbia national under-19 football team Serbia women's national football team Serbia national futsal teamBasketball: Serbia men's national basketball team Serbia women's national basketball team Serbia men's national 3x3 teamVolleyball: Serbia men's national volleyball team Serbia women's national volleyball teamHandball: Serbia men's national handball team Serbia women's national handball teamWater polo: Serbia men's national water polo team Serbia women's national water polo teamTennis: Serbia Davis Cup team Serbia Fed Cup team Serbia Hopman Cup teamRugby league: Serbia national rugby league teamRugby union Serbia national rugby union team Serbia national rugby sevens tea