Danube Virtual Museum

National Museum in Belgrade

The National Museum in Belgrade, a complex type museum, is the most significant, oldest and central Serbian museum containing 34 archaeological, numismatic, artistic and historical collections at this moment. The National Museum was founded under the name Museum Serbski by the decree of the Minister of Education Јоvаn Stеriјa Pоpоvić on 10 May 1844.

Although the museum and its contents have changed considerably since its foundation, its role and purpose have remained unchanged: the National Museum is dedicated to protection, interpretation and promotion of the complex cultural heritage of Serbia and its surroundings.

The date of establishment of the National Museum simultaneously marks the beginning of an institutionalized, systematic protection of cultural property in Serbia, gathering and research, as well as the start of the systematic care of movable, but also immovable cultural heritage. Despite unfavourable conditions, relocation and a destruction of collections in the First World War, the Museum has been developing since the early 20th century with a clear concept of collecting only art and historical material. The wealth of the initial fund served to set up other significant museums in Serbia, among those the Ethnographic, Historical and Natural History Museums. The Museum – in that period known as the History and Arts Museum - began its second important phase: along with the care of movable and immovable monuments, it became a source of valuable information about the value and importance of national, and now international, cultural heritage.

Finally, with a permanent location in the building of the New Palace, the Museum became an attractive and lively place with rich exhibition activities. The History and Arts Museum was merged with the Museum of Contemporary Art, and in 1936 grandiosely opened as the Museum of Prince Pavle. The permanent exhibition had works of art donated by Prince Pavle, as well as foreign benefactors. After World War II, the Museum was given the building of the former Mortgage Bank in 1950, where it remains today. After a brief recovery, it was opened for the public in 1952. The name of the museum was once again the National Museum. The National Museum continued to expand, mostly owing to subsidiary museums that became a part of it – in 1973, the Gallery of Frescoes, a specialized museum of wall painting copies and decorative medieval Serbian monasteries; in 1975, the Museum of Vuk and Dositej – a museum of two great luminaries and reformers of the Serbian language and the Memorial Museum of Nadežda and Rastko Petrović – a museum of two exceptional artists; in 1978, Lepenski Vir Museum in Donji Milanovac – the most significant Mesolithic site in Europe, and finally in 1996, the Archaeological Museum of Đеrdаp in Kladovo.

Today, the museum collections contain over 400,000 archaeological and historical-artistic items, key mementos for archeology and the history of art, representing the development and civilization changes from prehistory to the late medieval period, as well as key artistic directions and styles, pinnacles of artistic achievement in the national and European art world from the medieval period to modern times. Some examples of the museum collections are the sculptures from Lepenski Vir (7th millennium B.C.), Vincian statues (6-5th millennium B.C.), Dupljaja cart (16th-13th century B.C.), golden masks from Trеbеnište (6th century B.C.), a shed from Jabučje (1st century A.D.), Belgrade Camea (4th century), the Gospel of Miroslav (“Miroslavljevo Jevanđelje“, 12th century), coins of King Radoslav (13th century), medieval icons and frescoes, a bowl from Vraćevšnica (17th century), paintings by Paja Jovanović (19th century) and Sava Šumanović (20th century). The collections were compiled mostly through research or presents of benefactors who were, in the long and rich history of the National Museum, both rulers and even more ordinary citizens. Owing to all of them, the National Museum is now a true symbol of Serbian culture.

(Text: National Museum in Belgrade)

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Contact

National Мusеum in Belgrade

Trg Rеpublikе 1а
11000 Bеlgrade
Serbia
phone: +381 (0)11/ 33 06 000
fаx: +381 (0)11/ 26 27 721
web: www.narodnimuzej.rs
e-mail: pr@narodnimuzej.rs