Although Serbia has for centuries been the scene of frequent wars, devastation, fires and mass-migrations, on the turbulent roads leading from East to Europe and from Europe to East, a rich cultural and historical legacy has remained there. The rich variety of historical monuments and sites of natural beauty make Serbia a country of great interest for tourism and very much part of its attraction.
Testament to prehistoric life in this region are the numerous archaeological sites. Lepenski Vir, the first example of socioeconomic structure between 6500 and 5500 BC, Starčevo from the Early Neolithic, 5500 to 4500 BC, and Vinča from the Late Neolithic, 4500 to 3200 BC, constitute the evidence that this was for millennia a cultural centre of the prehistoric world.
There are also the important remains of Roman roads and towns – Gamzigrad, Sirmium, and Mediana, with a variety of structures – which today bear witness to six centuries of the presence of the Roman Empire on the territory of Serbia.
One of the most important categories of preserved monument in Serbia are Orthodox monasteries, which came into being during the period from the 12th to the 17th century. They can be found in an area ranging from Fruška Gora in the north, through the Morava and Ibar valleys, all the way to Kosovo and Metohija. The Stari Ras and Sopoćani complex, Studenica monastery and Visoki Dečani, together with the Patriarchate of Peć, Gračanica and the Our Lady of Ljeviš church in Prizren, are listed under the joint name of “Mediaeval Monuments in Kosovo (Serbia)” on the UNESCO World Heritage List.