Monday, May 29, 2017

SERBIA, Belgrade: Historical Museum of Serbia, and environs

We wanted to travel to Belgrade to visit the capital of the former Yugoslavia. And one place in particular that we wanted to visit was the Museum of Yugoslav History (and Tito mausoleum)

(As we have been traveling around the Balkans, one refrain we hear at museums and archeological sites is about artifacts that are in Belgrade that they are trying to get back. I thought with all of the artifacts that are housed there - it must be a truly magical place.)

Unfortunately, our driver did not know the way around Belgrade or to the museums we had indicated we were interested in visiting. So we did not make it to the Museum of Yugoslavia.  We got directed (by various pedestrians and gas station attendants) to this museum, which is a museum of Serbian history. Since we were there, we decided to look around  2 exhibits -- one related to WWI and the other about an artist named Olga Ivanicki.  (at The Historical Museum of Serbia)

WWI became a topic of our dinner conversations. My daughter wanting to know how it started, was it really a "world" war, etc., etc. I was thinking back to my US History 2 class in 9th grade ...during which I first remember learning about Archduke Ferdinand and his assassination in the Balkans. I don't think I could have predicted back then that I would some day be sitting in a cafe in Belgrade - having this discussion with my daughter over a glass of rakija.

The other exhibit was about an artist named Olga Ivanicki.  My daughter was enchanted by her collection of shoes and purses (and her paintings of shoes and purses!) and other accessories (jewelry, glasses) - as well as the recreation of her studio.  I was feeling in a rush - since we were at the "wrong" museum - and I still wanted to get to the fortress (and, I had hoped, the "right" museum) - and things were going to be closing soon on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.  But, I took a deep breath, and let her enjoy these exhibits.

Here is the museum's website:
entrance to the Olga Ivanicki exhibits
I believe this is the National Assembly

I believe this is City Hall in Belgrade

entrance to the museum -- the Historical Museum of Serbia

from the WWI exhibit

the exhibit was about the medical facilities to deal with the Typhus pandemic in the region

from the Olga Ivanicki exhibit - what a sense of style! - we could see her outfits and accessories as well as her art

there were So Many. Shoes.  My daughter loved looking at every pair. (This is just one of the display cases)

and purses!

and one of her paintings of shoes

my daughter was captivated by every aspect of this exhibit

There were playgrounds everywhere. I was reluctant to stop for the playgrounds, because I felt too rushed with all we wanted to do in the few hours before things started to close. But we had to stop in this contraption. I am not sure what it is called - but - you can make it spin around. Fortunately she did not fling out of the opening and  onto the pavement. The downside of living in a litigious society is not having the opportunity to experience the kinds of playground equipment we have seen on our travels.

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