National Museum Serbia

National Museum Serbia in Belgrad has a great archaeological collection and very beautiful presentation. Visitors get good insight in (pre)historic life in this region where rivers dominate the landscape and many different tribes shaped the local customs.

Do not go to the National Museum Serbia, people told me. Apparently, it is a prominent project of the actual president that many citizens of Belgrad hate. However, archaeological findings house in this ‘Narodni Muzej Srbije’ so I went there anyway and I did not regret. The enormous hall on the ground floor has a nice atmosphere and good overview over the ages, starting in the 9-7th millenium BCE with the extensive findings of Lepenski Vir – like the figurines on the photograph above. Mesolithic artists shaped sandstone boulders from the river into sculptures and altars.

The National Museum Serbia contains many other precious objects and they know how to show them as you can see here. It is a joy to walk and look around.

Fortunately, always great to see, they have ancient jewelry! I was particularly intrigues by the ‘wristband’, an ornament that people wore 1500-1000 years BCE. I’d loved to try it for myself. More in general, why are jewelry makers not more often inspired by ancient times and the often spectacular ideas of our ancestors? The silver jewelry shown here date from 500-400 BCE.

These are just a few impressions. I really recomment that you go and see for yourself as there is so much more than what I show. The National Museum Serbia houses in a former bank and they use that as an advantage by housing a numismatic collection in two former bank vaults. Here you see pictures of a coin of Emperor Valentinian 1 (364 BCE) – of the oldest Serbian coin (1230 AD) with Christ blessing King Radoslav – and of a beautiful Yugoslavian banknote (1931). If you like ancient coins, the numismatic collection alone is rich enough to pay a visit to.

The first floor has lots of medieval objects, many of them religious. The top floors have paintings – I spotted quite some Dutch ones among many international famous names. For this blog, I think the Serbian painter Uros Predic (1857 – 1953) is interesting to show with some very fine Realistic paintings: ‘An orphan at his mother’s grave'(1888) and ‘Fugitives from Herzegovina'(1889). I was deeply moved while watching them.

Interested in archaeology and museums? You may also like:
Musée National Luxembourg
Musée d’Angoulême
Archaeological Museum Amman
Archaeological Museum Gaziantep