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settlement on the site of today's Zemun, on the banks of the
Danube River, was founded in Neolithic age, about 7.000 years
ago. One of the most important fortified settlements of the Celts
- who arrived in the region between the Sava and the Danube
rivers in 4th century B.C. - was Taurunum - now called Zemun.
About 10 A.D., the Roman province of Pannonia was founded, and
the Danube became the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. And
Taurunum a very important city and a seat of a Roman river fleet.
In the period of the Great Migrations - from the end of 4th century A.D. - Zemun was exposed to the attacks and subjugation by various tribes and nations. The Frank's called the city Mallevila, but in the 9th century, the name Zemun - of Slav origin - apperaed for the first time. Eastern-bound crusading knights and their armies passed through the town, and in 1096 rampaging crusaders of Peter the Hermit conquered, robbed and destroyed Zemun.
The whole of the 12th century was marked by Byzantine-Hungarian wars for predominance in the area. Finally, at the end of that century, Zemun was taken and remained within the frontiers of Hungary until the arrival of the Turks two centuries later.After several unsuccessful attempts, the Turks conquered Zemun and Belgrade in 1521, and Turkish rule lasted until 1717 when area was taken by an Austrian army. Zemun and the surrounding villages then became a feudal property of the aristocratic Schoenborn family. But, in 1739, when the Austrian-Turkish frontier was fixed along the Sava and the Danube rivers, Zemun become a free community in the Military Frontier between Hungary and Serbia. Its Town Hall (Magistrat) was built in 1749.
In the beginning of the 19th century Zemun was the most progressive and the beautiful town in the Military Frontier, and its inhabitants played a great part in the First Serbian Uprising of 1804-1813 as well as in the tumultuous events of 1848/1849. When the Military Frontier was abolished in 1871, Zemun became a free royal town with civilian government, within the boundaries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
During the First World War (1914-1918) Serbian inhabitants of Zemun suffered greatly. On 5th day of November, 1918, the Serbian army liberated Zemun, and the town became part of the newly formed Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovens, later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In the period between the two world wars, Zemun developed strongly and became one of the most important industrial center in the country, becoming in 1934 part of Belgrade.
During the Second World War, Zemun was a significant center of the Resistance against the Germans and their Allies.
Partisans and the Russian Red Army liberated Zemun on October 22nd, 1944. One year later, Zemun again became an integral part of Belgrade, as a borough of the capital. In the period after the Second World War, Zemun recorded strong economic, social and cultural development.
Today, Zemun borough, which comprises the town and nine villages of Srem, a part of the Autonomous region of Vojvodina,has more than 200.000 inhabitants. Zemun is a very important economic center, and has many schools, cultural institutions and sport's clubs. The city also has many notable cultural, historical and architectural monuments.
The Danube River has historically been of great importance to the city and continues vital to its life and people to the present time.
Zemun is a major center of the Yugoslavian world of cartoon and caricature, the residence of many outstanding artists in this field. It is also the headquarters of the Zemun International Salon of Caricature, an institution which organizes many important events. The most important among them is international competition - the best in Yugoslavia, and one of the most successful in the world.
During itīs long history, Zemun was destroyed and rebuilt many times. Only in XX century the town was destroyed twice - in the First and in the Second world war. In 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia, Zemun was not spared.
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