Danube Virtual Museum

Military Museum in Belgrade

The Military Museum is positioned on bastion of the 1st South-eastern front of the Belgrade Fortress in a building built in 1924 for the purpose of being the Military-Geographical Institute. In 1956 the building was given to the Military Museum. Surrounded by fortress` ramparts and one of Belgrade's beautiful parks, Kalemegdan, the Museum represents one of the symbols of the Belgrade Fortress.

It was founded by the Decree of Prince Milan Obrenović IV on August 10th-22nd 1878 upon request of Minister of the Army, colonel Sava Grujić. It was yet another manifestation of celebrating Serbia`s independence. The first permanent exhibition was opened in 1904 for the centennial celebration of the first Serbian uprising and as a part of King Petar Karađorđević's coronation ceremonies.

The museum was then placed in a humble building from the Turkish period, just beside the Roman Well. Soon after the foundation, the Museum entered Europe and the world by participating at the Balkan Expo in London in 1907. By exhibiting close to 100 carefully chosen items, the Museum attracted London public attention and even managed to get in local newspapers.

The museum’s building was demolished in the First World War, while the survived collections were mostly destroyed or were seized by occupying troops. Again more than two decades had past before the new exhibition was opened. King Aleksandar I Karađorđević issued a Decree of Founding the Military Museum in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1934. Brigadier General Vojislav Vuković, majordom of the Royal Court became Director of the Military Museum. Systematical collecting of items started and numerous donors, former soldiers and their descendants responded readily. Their names were signed in a special 'Golden Book', the work of a famous Russian artist Vsevolod Guljevič. The book is still kept in the Military Museum today.

A new permanent exhibition was opened in 1937 in two buildings of which one is today a residence of the City Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments. During the Second World War, collections suffered new devastation. However, according to the program of occupying troops, some cultural institutions, with the Military Museum among them, continued their work during the occupation.

Collecting of the items and their preservation was the main care of the museum staff. The allied bombing of Belgrade in 1944 brought new destruction to museum buildings and collections. In the new conditions after the Second World War, new work on collecting items started, especially from the previous war, as well as assessment of war damage. Also, the adaptation of the exhibition began in accordance with a new ideology. The museum collections were significantly enriched, especially with items from the war and revolution, and the Military Museum grew into an important institution of the new country. Great attention was given to acquisitions, expert personnel, research work, archaeological excavations and preparations of new exhibitions. This process of preparing new exhibitions included, besides museum experts, many prominent historians, archaeologists, architects and various artists. A new permanent exhibition was opened in 1961 by president Josip Broz Tito.

All important foreign delegations in Yugoslavia were guests of the Military Museum. The museum organized a large number of various theme and study exhibitions; edited several memorial complexes and commemorative rooms; issued several monographs, catalogues and other publications. The museum participated in symposiums and similar conferences in the country and abroad. Special attention was given to the acquisition of new items and compiling the collections. Today, the Museum has around 30.000 items systematically grouped into 12 collections and a very impressive photo collection with over 100.000 photographs.

The Museum has a specialized library with over 15.000 titles from fields of History, the History of Art, Archaeology, Museology and other similar scientific branches and with more than 5000 magazines.

(Text: Military Museum in Belgrade)

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Contact

Military Museum in Belgrade

Kalemegdan bb
11000 Belgrade
Serbia
phone: +381 (0)11/ 33 43 441
fax: +381 (0)11/ 33 44 915
web: www.muzej.mod.gov.rs
e-mail: vojnimuzej@mod.gov.rs