Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population numbers approximately seven million without Kosovo or 8.8 million if the territory is included. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the largest and oldest citiеs in southeastern Europe.
Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the territory of modern-day Serbia faced Slavic migrations to Southeastern Europe in the 6th century, establishing several regional states in the early Middle Ages at times recognised as tributaries to the Byzantine, Frankish and Hungarian kingdoms. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by the Holy See and Constantinople in 1217, reaching its territorial apex in 1346 as the relatively short-lived Serbian Empire.