BELGRADE, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The Days of Belgrade cultural event that marks important dates in the history of the Serbian capital started here on Monday, offering visitors a glimpse into the city's turbulent past.
The opening took place at the Belgrade fortress Kalemegdan where, in the late 19th century, the last Turkish commander Ali Riza Pasha gave the keys of Belgrade to Serbian prince Mihailo Obrenovic, marking its return to Serbian rule.
In honor of the event that took place on April 19, 1867, Belgrade city officials and citizens laid wreaths at the location of the handover, which was part of the opening ceremony of the 16th Days of Belgrade.
The festival was opened by President of the Belgrade city assembly Nikola Nikodijevic who said that numerous events would traditionally mark dates that had shaped the history of Belgrade and Serbia.
After the officials laid wreaths, actors performed the scene of the 1867 keys handover, soldiers performed a gun salute. The ceremony ended with performance of the traditional Serbian dance called "kolo".
Days of Belgrade also includes numerous historical lectures, programs and tours at the Belgrade Fortress and cultural institutions and sites around the city, offering a glimpse into Belgrade's past.
The event traditionally includes an award ceremony given by the Belgrade City Assembly annually to worthy individuals in various fields.