Faculty of Geography, University of Belgrade.
Belgrade Confluence: Geographical Predispositions and Geopolitical Significance
Geotectonic descent along the Sava fault caused the obliquity of the Pannonian Basin to the southeast, and consequently, the orientation of more river flows towards that zone. At its centre is Belgrade, the place of confluence of the Sava and Danube, and the focal point of a wider area where even more of their important tributaries flow in, the Drina, Kolubara, Morava, Mlava, Tamiš, Tisa, Begej ... Along their river valleys the communications have been routed, linking the Central European Pannonian, Carpatho-Balkan, Vardar-Aegean and the Dinaric-Adriatic entities, and flow into the Belgrade region. The same directions have routed the continuous migration flows, civilization contacts and economic trends. Thus, the area of the Belgrade confluence have become a zone of multidimensional concentration of - population, settlements, roads, economy, trade, education, culture, political power. The Belgrade confluence area is characterized by distinctive geopoliticality because it is located at the contact of large strategic entities and hub of key strategic vectors. Traditionally, the primate had a northwest-southeast direction, which, at the same time, barraged a competitive northeast-southwest direction. The valleys of the Danube, Sava and Velika Morava are the primary „axis“ of these directions and their geopolitical functionis complemented by secondary passages, which also gravitate toward the southeastern of the Pannonian rim and Belgrade (Tisa, Drina, Kolubara ...). It is the geographical basis of forming the Balkan geopolitical hub – the historically continuous crossing of interests of the great powers. Therefore, the area of the Belgrade confluence has always been the subject of struggle for military-political-economic control. Along the Danube-Sava axis, there was a long fluctuation of the imperial transgresion-regression frontier, but there was also formed a central territory with the capital of the restored Serbia. Will the area of the Belgrade confluence remain the centre of the Serbian state and southeast of Europe or will again turn into a postmodern limes-split periphery of refeudalized Europe – this will be a key issue of its geopolitical future.