It won’t take you very long to realize that Serbia takes great pride in it’s citizens. They’ve produced many great names, but there is one in particular that seems to stand a little above the rest – Nikola Tesla.
One of the great engineers, physicists, and futurists in human history, Tesla has become beloved by the Serbian people. They love him so much they even stuck his face on the 100 Dinar bill (he was also featured on the 5 and 5,000,000 Yugoslavian Dinar bill). The airport in Belgrade is the Nikola Tesla Airport. Today, he is a little less known in America due to Thomas Edison stealing the limelight, but he’s no less important or relevant than he’s ever been. His name has been attached the electric car company “Tesla” in his honor.
In the heart of Belgrade, you can find the Nikola Tesla Museum. The museum was founded on December 5, 1952 with effort from Tesla’s nephew Sava Kosanovic. The museum resides in a residential villa that was built in 1927 according to the designs of distinguished Serbian architect Dragisa Brasovan.
The museum is divided into two key exhibits: a memorial exhibit and an interactive one. Upon entering the museum, you will find yourself in the main hall of the house where you can purchase your tickets for 500 Dinar (~$2.50).
When we entered, we had about twenty minutes until the guided tour would begin. While we waited for the tour to begin, we took our time exploring the memorial exhibit. The majority of this section was comprised of his personal belongings as well as his urn.
There was not a tremendous amount of information here, though there were a few interesting plaques. Most of it was simply his possessions and a few journal writings and the such.
The real interesting part was the interactive tour. The tours run in both English and Serbian. It begins with an informative video presentation about Tesla’s life. It’s really pretty interesting, starting with his early life and working through his professional life. It briefly covers the most important Tesla’s 300+ patents, and spent a great deal of time detailing his work on wireless power and his Colorado Springs project.
He spent much of his time in the United States, working for Thomas Edison. Later, he worked on a wireless transmission tower, but when found out by his financier JP Morgan that he intended to provide free energy, his efforts were shut down. Many of his efforts did come to fruition though, such as the development of AC electrical generators and the building of the Niagara Falls power.
After the video, a tour guide went into further detail about some of the details mentioned in the video. As well, they demonstrated some of his inventions such as wireless transmission of energy.
The most interesting – and entertaining – was the demonstrations with the Tesla coil. It could shoot over 1,000,000 volts of electricity, but it was turned down to create cool little lightning bolts to shock people with.
The tour ended after about 45 minutes. The museum while a little on the small side, packs a nice punch and makes for a great short activity.
You can find it at Krunska 51, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00