Zemun

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Coat of Zemun

Zemun (Земун, Hungarian: Zimony, German: Semlin) is a major suburb of Belgrade situated on the left bank of the Sava river. It is accosted to the Danube river and the district has 191,938 (2002) with 146,172 in urban Zemun-Belgrade, the remainder in surrounding villages such as Surčin and Dobanovci.

History

The area of Zemun has been inhabited ever since the Copper Age. The first Celtic settlements in Taurunum happened in the 3rd century BC. Taurunum became part of the Roman province of Pannonia around year 15. After the Great Migrations the area was under the authority of various tribes and states. The Frankish chroniclers of the Crusades mentioned it as Mallevila, a toponym from the 9th century.

The first written records mention this city in the 12th century. The name Zemun is believed to be derived from Slavic word "zemlin" meaning "earth". By the end of the 12th century it passed from Byzantine rule to the Kingdom of Hungary, and remained under it until the start of the Ottoman wars in Europe. After the nearby Serbian state fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1459, Zemun became an important military outpost. It finally fell to the Turks on July 12, 1521. In 1541, Zemun was integrated into the Srem sanjak of the Buda pashaluk.

Zemun and the southeastern Srem was taken by the Austrian Habsburgs in 1717 and became a feudal property of the Schnborn family. Zemun was the site of a peasant revolt in 1736, as well as continued border wars with the Ottomans. The Treaty of Belgrade of 1739 finally fixed the border, the Military Frontier was organized in the region in 1746, and the town of Zemun was granted the rights of a military commune in 1749.

Zemun prospered as an important road intersection and a border city. In 1816 it was greatly expanded by mass resettlement of Germans and Serbs in the new town suburbs of Francstal and Gornja Varoš, respectively. In the 19th century, Zemun reached 7,089 residents and 1,310 houses. Zemun also became important in Serbian history as the refuge for Karađorđe in 1813 as well as many other people from the nearby Belgrade and the rest of Serbia which was still under Ottoman rule.

With the abolishment of the Military Frontier in 1873, Zemun and the rest of Srem became part of the Croatia-Slavonia crown land in 1881. The first railway line that connected it to the west was built in 1883, and the first railway bridge over the Danube followed shortly thereafter in 1884.

During the First World War in 1914, Zemun changed hands between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, finally ending up in Serbia on November 5, 1918. The town became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Kingdom of Yugoslavia). The inter-war period was marked by political struggle between the city gentry (organized into the Serbian Radical Party, Serbian Democratic Party and the Croatian Peasant Party) and the more socialist parties supported by the ethnic Germans.

The start of the unification with the city of Belgrade happened in 1934 when the municipality services of Zemun were united with those of Belgrade. Two intra-city bus lines were started that connected Zemun with the parts of Belgrade, and the general shift of attention towards this issue was supported by the growing Serbian population of Zemun.

The Zemun airbases originally built in 1927 were an important geostrategic objective in the Axis invasion of April 1941. During the war the city was controlled both by the Nazi-sponsored military government of Serbia and the nearby Nazi-puppet Croatia. After the end of the Second World War and the Partisan victory in 1945, the once independent city of Zemun officially became part of Belgrade.

External links

hu:Zimony ja:ゼムン sr:Земун

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