Belgrade Cultural Institutions (Part 2)

November 28, 2016

The unique atmosphere, unusual locations, great fun, art and stunningly beautiful settings are synonymous to Belgrade cultural institutions. And not only that we can learn a lot about the famous Serbian tradition from them.

Culture is a part of ourselves, something that we learn from an early age, we acquire from other people, and what we pass on to the generations to come. If there is no culture, Belgrade wouldn’t be what it is - the capital of a beautifully bustling cultural life.

 

Below, we present the remaining ten cultural institutions that embellish life of our capital...

 

 

1. Museum of Nikola Tesla

 

I think there might not be a person in the world who hasn’t heard of Nikola Tesla. This epitome of humanity  well-known for his inventions, deserves everyone’s admiration. In his honor, some of these inventions are collated in one place - Museum of Nikola Tesla. This culture institution has become a place of daily visits of a large number of tourists. Located in Vracar, considered by many the most beautiful Belgrade municipality, cossetted away among the trees. This isn’t a typical museum, where you will see ‘the default settings’, take a few snaps  by a mobile phone and after a few days forget all about it. When someone's work has been ‘alive and kicking’ for  three centuries,  they tend to continue to live forever. This scientist is normally referred to as  ''the master of the world''. You’ll see all exhibits, starting from authentic photos and documents, through yet unpublished writings, to the intriguing inventions of Tesla, including a high-frequency oscillator with a half million volts, real lightning discharges and an intriguing egg of Columbus and the story that goes with  it. The museum is open every day from 10-18h, and the whole tour with the curator takes about an hour. We promise you a whale of a time!

 

Life of genius in one place, photo source: www.rtv.rs

 

 

2. Foundation of Ilija Kolarac

 

Ilija Milosavljevic Kolarac was born in 1800 in the village of Kolari, near the town Smederevo. There seemed to have been no end to the versatility of this man, but his education and his business ventures are the buzzwords even today. As a child, he stood out a mile from the others by his brilliant mind; having graduated from a business school he sets out on an entrepreneurial venture with his wife and opened a large commercial store in downtown Belgrade. Because of the great love for literature and erudition, he became a member of the Matica Srpska, a significant cultural and educational institution. He wanted to leave an indelible mark behind him, hence he built the eponymous  Foundation that is now synonymous to Serbian culture. Conspicuous building, today proudly stands at the Student Square, in between the Faculty of Geography and the Belgrade Philharmonic. Programmes  on offer are impressive, and besides a number of exhibitions, workshops, art and language courses, one can enjoy riveting concerts of classical music as well. The interior of the building is a step back into the past, but bear in mind, we are unable to uncover it all for you here because you must visit this place!

 

 Photo 2, Kolarac Hall, photo source: www.politika.rs

 

 

3. The Yugoslav Film Archive

 

Yugoslav Film Archives is a symbol of the seventh art. Serbian cinematography is extremely valuable part of the tradition, which dates back to the times before the war. It was created because of the dire need that  all recorded movies and the entire archives be kept in one place. Founded in 1952, today it stands in silent testimony of the passage of time, actually  representing the Serbian national heritage. The interior of the building looks like a maze, an anteroom is designed to look like the modern dancing halls, with  polished glitzy walls whereabout the photos which underwent the restoration hang. The foot of this building is the archives in which the cameras are kept, film strips, an eyepiece, stage paraphernalia  and other miscellaneous artefacts. It would be a real shame, if you don’t happen to have heard of Danilo Stojkovic, Bata Zivojinovic, Gaga Nikolic and other personages in the the history and characters of the Serbian film and its theatre.

 

 Beautiful and magical… photo source: www.novosti.rs

 

 

4. The Military Museum

 

If you want to visit Kalemegdan (it is a tourist destination not to be missed), one can’t just pass by the Military Museum. This complex covers almost the entire area of Kalemegdan; military tanks and other works of art with a military motif are a favorite thing to take a photo of. Going back in the history, Kalemegdan was a major destination point from which Serbian nation was protected from the enemy. The military had its main weapons and military might located on this castle, so a few decades later, the entire military complex remained in the same place as a living proof of centuries of struggle to maintain the freedom of a nation. The museum exhibits are intriguing pieces. All foreign major government and military delegations were guests of the Military Museum. Monographs, thematic exhibitions, photographic library and a memorial room are just a fraction of this monumental display. We are immensely proud of our army brass bands. Also, you can’t pass cartography workshop of Military-Geographic Institute, where you can see exceptional printing press and maps of old Belgrade in what used to be the old dungeons.

 

 Military Museum, photo source: www.novosti.rs

 

 

5. The National Bank of Serbia

 

The National Bank of Serbia is one of the most beautiful buildings in Belgrade. Located in the inner circle of Belgrade, this architectural marvel you can’t seem to miss if you happen to be our guests. Gallery itself hides awe inspiring artifacts inside. One particularly quirky section is the one devoted to the history of money counterfeiting in Serbia. You may well notice items that you see every day, but younever knew how they came  to be and how to use them. Copies, forgeries, and a number of counterfeited , artificial objects aren’t just museum paraphernalia, but part of a modern life; to become familiar with the money that once was in circulation, the way it  used to be made  and what one needs to know about its usage. Come and learn something new!

 

 

National Bank of Serbia, source: www.novosti.rs

 

 

6. Museum of Natural History

 

Each country tends to have its own natural history museum. However, the Serbian one seems to be rather unique. In addition to the fact that it is one of the oldest and most important cultural institutions in Serbia, it is one of the major natural history museums in Southeastern Europe. Its whereabouts are at the heart of the Kalemegdan Fortress, surrounded by lush greenery and pristine nature. Museum exhibition comprises nearly 1,500,000 different replicas from Serbia, the Balkans and from all corners of the world.  Back in the day, an engineer Andras Gauls gave a collection of butterflies of India to the museum, amongst which is the Atlas, arguably the largest butterfly in the world. With a wingspan of over 30 cm and an area of about 400 cm2, it is  a miracle among these insects. On a similar note,  the Natural History Museum has the oldest and richest academic library in the Balkans. On a regular daily basis, there are almost 50 organized tourist tours, with children and youth being regular visitors of this cultural institution.

 

This building is certainly rather conspicuous…Photo source: www.politika.rs

 

 

7. Gallery of Radio - Television Serbia

 

You may well already know where  the building of Radio-Television Serbia is. Still , what makes it beautiful and unique is its gallery. Tourists seem to have always been interested in visiting this place for a  simple reason - they can get a sneak peek of history of Serbian television and culture in one location. A collection of technical facilities is invaluable, and the first thing one is bound to  notice when they enter the gallery are spectacular  stairs that lead you to its well-hidden chambers. A massive room in which daily concerts ,shows and various competitions are held,  looks compelling. The first association of this institution of culture that comes to mind  is children's choir ''Kolibri''. One  can see them in yellow outfit and by their magical singing voices once they set out to sing that is ; for decades they have been putting smiles onto the  faces of all the locals and their loyal audience.

 

 RTS, photo source: www.nocmuzeja.rs

 

 

8. The National Museum

 

‘The guardian of the life of Serbian people of the days bygone and of today’, is located in the center of Belgrade. The National Museum was founded in 1844 and it is the oldest museum in Serbia. Not only does it show exhibits of great historical and national importance, but it represents a hugely important point of reference by way of which important wealth of information about the traditions and way of life of Serbs is passed on. The entire complex is huge, a time that you’ve selected for looking goods of this institution is precious. Their publications as well as various programs for the wider public make  the National Museum more recognizable not only in Serbia but in the whole region. The cultural heritage of our country speaks volumes of its traditional values not to be forgotten. All this is within easy reach.

 

 Then and Now ... photo source: www.narodnimuzej.rs

 

 

 

9. Belgrade Cultural Center

 

Symbol of quality, beauty and magic are right here! Attractive location makes it distinctive, since it is located in the pedestrian zone of Belgrade, with a central view onto the Republic Square. Belgrade Cultural Center has a great variety of bits and bobs on offer complete with its coffee shops, book stores and souvenir shops, it is actually a center of culture, lively atmosphere and kind hearted hosts. This unique complex has a total area of over 2000m2, located in the old Press Building. It is composed of a range of  rooms: studios, depots, art gallery, gallery Artget, Basement gallery, cinema hall with a foyer, a Belgrade showroom and offices.  On a regular daily basis,  it hosts exhibitions, film screenings, theatre performances, learned discussions, academic lectures and various cultural events. In summer, when  Knez Mihailova Street turns into a bustling hub of city events,  this cultural centre becomes the scene of contemporary culture as well.

 

 Belgrade Cultural Center, photo source: www.seecult.org

 

 

10. Museum of Science and Technology

 

Museum of Science and Technology was founded in 1989 and is located in Dorcol, one of the oldest and most mysterious parts of the city. Each of the exhibits has their own story behind it to tell tales of its destiny. Over 400 exhibits are on display in this institution, and some, such as analogue computers, kitchens and bath tubs from the 18th century, taking up an entire wall. The museum, in effect, shows how Serbian people lived during the two centuries. Lest we forget the existence and history of some items are unbeknownst to the broader public yet. Here, you can see the printing machines, a military tank, a replica of a dentist's office among other things. Tourists are seem to be struck dumb with admiration in front of the orchestrion - a huge musical instrument which initially didn’t fulfill its purpose only to undergo alterations later to produce sound. One can notice a huge collection of almost 1,000 cameras of different shapes and forms, including an old star fotoman - a street camera, and battery – a metal candle, an invention of Aleksandar Despic, the founder of this stunningly beautiful museum.

 Museum of Science and Technology, photo source: stillinbelgrade.com

 

 

Tell us your impressions and don’t forget to visit these magnificent cultural institutions!

 

 

 

 

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