It’s my last week in Belgrade, and per usual, I’m running around trying to see sights that I put off seeing the first 3 weeks. In one day, I visited two museums and one art gallery. Success!
Right across the street from my apartment is the Historical Museum of Serbia.
I had no idea what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised! They had two exhibits. The first was Saint Sava, Serbian Prince and orthodox monk, one of the most important figures in Serbian history. He was known as The Enlightener, because he possessed vast theological knowledge and spiritual power which he brought to the people of Serbia. He is regarded as the father of Serbian education and literature. And a protector of the Church and its people.
The second exhibit featured Mihajlo Pupin, a Serbian physicist, chemist and scientist. I didn't know anything about Pupin when I walked in, but came to realize how important he was. He came to the United States to study and work and was instrumental in developing long distance telephone technology. He was friends with Nikola Tesla and apparently made quite an impression on Albert Einstein. Oh yeah, and he was a founding member of NASA.
The Pupin exhibit itself was extraordinary! It was interactive, like the first room you walk into, you have to turn the huge page of this oversized book to get the intro video to play:
And in another room regarding Pupin's migration to the US, you stand on the floor of this "boat" and a bunch of lighting and sound effects start to play:
In another room, you swing on a swingset and the video animated back and forth to the rhythm of your swinging. Phenomenal interactive museum design by the Serbs here! And overall, beautiful displays.
I was expecting a much bigger layout, but even though it's small, the demonstration was impressive. They show a 15 minute video on the history of Tesla and his accomplishments. And then they demonstrate a few of his most important inventions like the alternating current (AC) coils, the remote control, and spinning motors.
Tesla has over 300 patents and his technology was way ahead of the times. People couldn't even wrap their brain around how important his work was. Many modern inventions were made possible by Tesla. He invented AC current, which is the standard for electric power. Almost every washing machine uses his motor. He invented remote controls. And, he basically invented radio. (Although he didn't get credit for it because larger companies stole his patents)
The speaker was saying that one of his proudest accomplishments is the fact that an electrical unit was named after him: T. T, for Tesla is a unit of magnetic field. They even feature this on the Serbian currency: 100 dinars:
Oh and I got to be in the same room as this incredible man! Tesla's ashes are in this urn:
Walking around the same night, I randomly walked by this really cool art gallery called U10 Gallery. I walked by it at first, but when I saw the art in the windows, I backtracked and checked it out.
The exhibit featured French artists, not Serbian, but the style seemed to fit so perfectly in the gritty Belgrade aesthetic. I think it's multiple artists named Printnoiz / Magnaro.
You could just walk around aimlessly any night in Belgrade and find a cool museum, gallery, cafe, restaurant, bar, etc. So much to see and do. The best spots are usually tucked away or hidden from the road. In Belgrade, they don't invest in the outside of the buildings. But, don't judge a book by its cover. Open the book and you'll see the beauty.
It's too bad I'm leaving tomorrow, because I could stay in Serbia for a long time! LOVE Belgrade.