Museums in Belgrade
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE BELGRADE MUSEUMS GALAXY
One thing you should know about the Serbian people is that they are really proud of their history. So, if you happen to have some spare time and would like to get to know them and their mentality better, we recommend that you pay a visit to some of the museums situated in Belgrade. Bear in mind that you’ll get acquainted not only with Serbian, but also with European history, since this territory has also been settled by other peoples since ancient times.
NIKOLA TESLA MUSEUM
Probably one of the most interesting museums for foreigners. Situated in Vračar, this museum is dedicated to the work and life of undoubtedly the most prominent Serb, a Serb that enlightened the world, Nikola Tesla. The museum conserves and exhibits Tesla’s scientific and personal legacy and was opened to the public in 1955.
You will find many models designed by Tesla, such as the Egg of Columbus, various generators and transformers, as well as his urn. The museum possesses hundreds of his original documents and thousands of his plans, photographs and drawings. The museum organizes guided tours in English once or twice per day.
Address: Krunska, 51 // Website: www.nikolateslamuseum.org Working hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10-18h
MUSEUM OF SERBIAN HISTORY
Right in the city center, you’ll probably stumble upon the Museum of Serbian History. The museum is divided into several departments, including Historical, Archaeological, Protection of Cultural Heritage, etc. It frequently organizes exhibitions dedicated to the lives and works of some of the most eminent Serbs, such as Mihajlo Pupin – the greatest Serbian lobbyist in the USA and a founding member of the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics, which later became NASA. The exhibitions usually last for several months before they are changed completely.
Address: Nikole Pašica Square, 11 // Website: www.imus.org.rs Working hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12-20h
Residence of Prince Miloš Obrenović is another branch of this museum. Built in 1831, this residence represents one of the last architectural traces of Ottoman culture in Serbia. Here you can see a permanent exhibition dedicated to the founder of modern Serbia, prince Miloš. It is situated in Topčider.
Address: Patrijarha Pavla Boulevard, 2 Topčider
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
One of the most interesting museums for the younger generations was founded in 1989. Most of the objects presented here have been collected and donated by curators. Here you can get acquainted with ancient technology, the development effects of electrification, how people used to print without the printer, Tesla’s induction motor, etc.
Moreover, if you are coming with children, you can visit the Children’s Museum which is situated on the ground floor. More than 150 toys which belong to the period of the 20th century are displayed here.
If you are planning a group visit, it is obligatory to make reservations seven days beforehand.
Address: Skenderbegova, 51 // Website: www.muzejnt.rs Working hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10-20h
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Since its establishment in 1965, the Museum of Contemporary Art has had some of the most important works of Serbian, Yugoslav and international art of the 20th century in its possession. It owes its unconventional look to architects Ivan Antić and Ivanka Raspopović. The museum is also proud both of its diverse program and collaboration with some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries. Here you can see collections of paintings, sculptures and drawings which date back to 1900s. Currently the museum is being renovated, so is not open to the public.
Address: Ušće, 10. City block 15, New Belgrade // Website: www.eng.msub.org.rs Working hours: Closed – undergoing reconstruction
Nevertheless, you can always visit the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was actually opened several years before the Museum. It represents one of the most prestigious galleries in Belgrade and exhibits works both of Serbian and international artists.
Address: Pariska, 14 // Working hours: Every day 12-20h (Tuesday closed) Admission is free of charge
The National Museum was founded in 1844 as the largest and oldest museum in former Yugoslavia and represents cultural heritage of exceptional importance. Placed in the heart of Belgrade, the museum is being rehabilitated but it possesses dozens of archaeological, artistic, numismatic and historical collections and hundreds of works of art from prehistoric period to modern times. It also has sculptures such as the Lady of Vinča, which dates back to the 6th millennium BC.
The museum is also proud to exhibit works of Picasso, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Titian, Tintoretto, Vincent van Gogh, Kandinsky, El Greco, Marina Abramović, Paja Jovanović, Uroš Predić, Sava Šumanović, Petar Lubarda and many others. Address: Republic Square // Website: www.narodnimuzej.rs Working hours: Closed – undergoing reconstruction
MUSEUM OF YUGOSLAV HISTORY
The complex was founded in 1996 and consists of May 25th Museum, the Old Museum and the House of Flowers. Its main purpose is to celebrate Tito’s life and save his rule from oblivion. Tito has always been one of the most controversial figures in the Balkans, so this is a perfect destination for those interested in getting to know what communism here looked like. Thousands of items are displayed in the Museum.
You can visit the House of Flowers where you can see Tito’s grave. When Tito was ruling, Serbia was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was a huge and powerful country, and therefore the Museum possesses a myriad of his personal valuable items, such as a 14th century Tanto sword, great works of art, etc. The museum offers free guided tours in English every weekend at 11h.
Address: Botićeva, 6 // Website: www.mij.rs Working hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10-18h
The Military Museum was founded in 1878, just a few months after the Congress of Berlin which marked the beginning of Serbia’s independence. The First and the Second World War brought destruction to the museum’s buildings and its collections. Nevertheless, these wars also brought new collections – curators got their hands on the objects left or forgotten after the bombing, and the museum collections were greatly enriched. Today, approximately 30.000 objects and more than 100.000 photographs can be seen in the Military Museum. You can book a tour in English and the museum also provides access for the disabled.
Address: Belgrade Fortress, Kalemegdan // Website: www.muzej.mod.gov.rs Working hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10-17h
MUSEUM OF GENOCIDE VICTIMS
Established in 1992 as a reminder of the unforgivable crime against Serbs, Jews and Roma people which happened during the Second World War. This museum collects data about concentration camps, forced displacement, the devastation of cultural and historical monuments for the educational and historical purposes. Here you can see collections such as “They were just children”, which exhibits data about almost 20.000 boys and girls whose remains were found in one of the tombs at the Jasenovac concentration camp. One of the main projects of the museum, “War victims, 1941-1945“, is to fully identify war victims, regardless of their religious, ethnic or ideological affiliation.
Address: Nikole Pašića Square, 11/III // Website: www.muzejgenocida.rs Working hours: Please call +381 11 3398883 for details
For those interested to visit more museums, historical and memorial places in Belgrade, we also recommend places such as The Royal Palace and the White Palace, Museum of African Art, Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, Railway Museum, The Jewish Historical Museum and the Belgrade City Museum.
THE NIGHT OF THE MUSEUMS
Following the recent European trend of organizing cultural events during the evenings, Serbia also hosts every May it’s Night of the Museums. The event is open to all the public and gathers both Serbian people and foreigners. It lasts one day and usually happens between 17h to 01h in the morning. During those 8 hours, you are allowed to go to any museum in more than 60 towns in Serbia, just by buying one ticket which usually costs around 400 rsd (3€).
Moreover, on this day, people have a unique opportunity to visit some of the most controversial locations in Serbia which are open only for that particular occasion, such as the oldest psychiatric institution in the Balkans “Laza Lazarević”, Sheikh Mustafa’s mausoleum built in 1783 and the Institute of Forensic Medicine.
Have a look at last year’s event and be ready for the 2017 edition!