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Nikola Tesla arrived to Belgrade for his only visit on 1st June 1892 and was in ceremonial audience with the King of Serbia Aleksandar Obrenovic the next day along with the Minister of Education Andro Mitrovic.
Tesla spent 31 hours in Belgrade all together from 1st to 3rd June and was awarded the Order of St. Sava the second degree.
During his stay in Belgrade he visited the National Museum and the Great School (the University) where he addressed the students and the professors. He also spoke with the physicist Djordje Stanojevic about the building of the power station in Belgrade.
“I have as you may see and hear remained a Serb even overseas where i am engaged in testing. That is what you also should be and to raise the glory of Serbs in the world with your knowledge and work.” said Tesla to the students.
A great party was organized in Tesla’s honor not far from the Mostar junction, at the Topcider hill most likely in the villa of Weiffert Brewery. On that occasion he was greeted by the great Serbian poet, doctor Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj by reading a welcoming poem to Tesla who was a great admirer of the poet and even translated his poems into English.
Nikola Tesla was born on 10th July 1856. in Smiljan, Lika, what was a military border in Austria at that time, Croatia today. He was born in a family of a priest in a Serbian Church ( The Metropolitanate of Karlovci). His father was an orthodox priest and his mother came from an old priest family Mandic.
Tesla began his education in native Smiljan, studied in Graz and Prague but never finished his studies. Before leaving for the USA he worked in Maribor, Pest, Strasbourg and Paris.
He left Europe in 1884. hoping that a famous inventor and industrial man Mr. Thomas Alva Edison, whose company he worked for in Paris, would help him realize his technical innovations.
However, he stayed in Edison’s company for less that a year and founded his own company “Tesla” in New York in 1885 when he started making the first models for using alternating current- the innovation that changed the world.
During that time the first text about Tesla’s inventions was published in “Branik”, the magazine from Novi Sad, where Tesla was called “Serbian Edison”.
Nikola Tesla, the genius inventor and a complete loner by his own free will, died in the midst of the ll World War in New York on 7th January 1943. The urn with his ashes was moved to Belgrade and it is being kept in the Museum Nikola Tesla.
The museum has been located in Krunska Street since the end of 1952. in a presentable building from 1929.
Tesla’s birthday, 10th July, is celebrated as the Science Day in Serbia and the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA, declared it an official holiday.