The writer and academic Dejan Medaković wrote of Danube in his text “The River Springing from Paradise”: “During events filled with unrest, migrations and battles, Danube entered European history in various ways. The idea that the bloody pages of history
The idea of Danube as a river that connects was expressed at the Council of Europe in 1956, when its Program Water Chart was created (Wassercharte). The principle: “Water knows of no national borders. It demands international cooperation, joint efforts to preserve its endangered life” was published there. To fulfil this principle, there is no task more important than the one obliging the united Europe to jointly care for the preservation of its key river... there is a belief that Danube springs from heaven. The person who first wrote this wanted to warn the world of the size of gifts that can spring as a sign of heavenly mercy and generosity. It was also a warning to people not to waste the value of that which was given unto them by nature and to approach their river as careful custodians... The destiny of Danube was mostly shaped by the conquerors. In the belief that the time of their monopoly is over, it is time for the united Europe to accept the symbolic value discovered by some of the old peoples, admiring their holy rivers. Danube is one such river for Europe, flowing through its core. The spiritual bridges created by the Danube among the people can be more permanent than those built by man in his intent to connect the shores, to overcome the obstacles that limited the joining of peoples. Danube is to be loved as the fateful river of European unity. Only joint care over its preservation can rid us of the careless selfishness and ruthless robbery of its power... We need to fight for the current generations to contribute to the undiminished glory of Danube, with its past uncovering and offering reasons for new creative efforts, since all of those cultural layers arrayed along the banks of Danube flow into a magnificent European braid, its individual strands representing pieces belonging to a whole and only uncovering a true meaning as such.”
Danube and Sava, the two exciting Belgrade rivers, frame a portrait of this city and give it its character. It they could speak, they would tell an infinite tale of the building and destruction, everyday lives of former and current citizens of Belgrade, of nameless acts of kindness, love and courage.
Danube and Sava provide hospitality for sixteen river islands, the most famous being Ada Ciganlija and the Great War Island. The banks of the rivers are full of footpaths, rafts, restaurants, cafes and clubs, sports centres, playgrounds, cycling paths.