You’ll arrive this morning in Belgrade
, the capital of Serbia and one of Eastern Europe’s oldest cities, having first been established in 279 B.C.E. by the Celts. Over the centuries, it would be ruled by Rome, the Byzantine Empire, and passed back and forth between the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires multiple times. After Yugoslavia was founded, it was the country’s capital until that nation was dissolved in 2006.
All those various peoples left behind impressive architectural riches. Among the stops on your Belgrade tour are the Kalemegdan Fortress, which encompasses some 160 acres of the historic heart of the city. With its walls built and rebuilt over the years, most recently in the 18th century, the fortress has been a witness to numerous battles over the centuries. The Church of St. Sava—the world’s largest Orthodox church, with a 230-foot-high dome—may draw its inspiration from the churches of Constantinople, but it dates from the 1930s. The House of Flowers, the final resting place of Josep Broz Tito, the Communist leader of Yugoslavia until 1980, was closed for a decade after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Today it is once again open to the public—a memorial to the Yugoslav president and the country he founded.
Depending on your interests, Emerald Waterways also offers a number of optional excursions. You can explore the city by bike, learn more about the culture at a Serbian folkloric performance featuring local dances and music, or tour the National Opera Theater—a grand building from 1869 inspired by Milan’s La Scala.