The AC-DC incident

Belgrade Travel Blog

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The city of Belgrade looks so much nicer this morning - it is sunny and fairly warm. I head out walking through the city to what is supposedly the best museum of all of Belgrade and possibly all of Serbia - the Nikola Tesla museum. I get there but I can’t join in on the next tour because it is fully booked by a group of schoolchildren - I don’t get why they are going to museums on a Sunday - but apparently that’s the way it is done in Serbia.

 

Instead of waiting outside the museum for a bit over an hour I decide to enjoy the nice weather and walk around the neighborhood.  Close by is the St. Marko Church it is a quite impressive orthodox church - I would like to have a closer look inside. But unfortunately this is not possible because it is Sunday and there are a mass going on - and for what I know about orthodox masses you should not just hang around until it is finished because that’s most likely going to take several hours. Hence I give the church a miss and continue my walk towards the government district where I pass by the Serbian government district which is home to the National Assembly, the president palace, the parliament and the city assembly all within a few hundred meters from each other.

 

I have more or less spent my hour of wondering around the city so I head back to the museum. Nikola Tesla is one of the main Serbian hero’s of all time. Hence every time I tell a Serb I never heard about him before I decided to go to Serbia they are very surprised - they all thought he would be world-famous and everybody would know about him. They even named the Belgrade airport after Nikola Tesla.

 

I get in to the museum and see what the man is all about - and it is pretty clear he is a really smart man. He had a huge number of patentees from all his inventions but unfortunately he was a poor business man and didn’t make much money of it himself. His main achievement was the invention of the induction engine which has had a huge impact on daily life through the 20th century and till this day.  But he also invented the first remote control and experimented on radio transmission and X-ray technology.

 

His engine used alternate currents which brought him into direct conflict with the main man inside electricity at the time - Thomas Edison.

The Tesla museum
This is what the AC-DC incident is all about - and it has nothing to do with a rock band trashing there dressing room or hotel room.

 

Thomas Edison was using direct current for most of his inventions - hence an introduction of alternate currents would render many of his patents obsolete and hence cost him a fortune. Hence Thomas Edison wanted to prove that alternate currents would be dangerous to use. The way he chose to do this was by using one of Tesla’s patents and makes the very first electric chair for New York using alternate current. The implication being straightforward - alternate currents can kill you.

 

In the end alternate currents proved to be far superior and we all use it safely today. But despite this superiority Tesla never made a fortune. I leave the museum which is closing by now - its only open till 1. From here it’s just a short walk to the future main church of Belgrade. I stress future because it is still work in progress. The construction in 1935 but have been halted repeatedly - first by the Nazis during the war - then by the communist during this era. And later it was halted by simple lack of funds. If the church is ever completed it will be a very impressive building which should be the biggest orthodox church in the world.

 

I go from the church towards the fortress of the city. It is a bit of a walk - but walking through the old town for some of the distance make it a pleasant alternative to taking a bus or a tram. I get inside the fortress where I actually just want to stroll around for a bit. But I am distracted by all the tanks at the entrance to the fortress. The tanks are part of the exhibition of the military museum of Serbia and I decide to go in and have a look. There are several things on display - but they are not quite as eye catching as the tanks and gun outside the museum. But the fact of the matter is the main thing you go to the museum to see is the piece of the F117 the Serbs shoot down during the NATO bombing campaign.

 

It was a bit puzzling at the time how the Serbs manage to shoot down this plane which was invisible on radar. But it turned out the Americans had only tested the plane against modern radar systems - like the one the Soviet Union or Russia would have. But the Serbs didn’t have this kind of modern radar - they had very old radar systems. And these old systems use so much power that even a stealth airplane will not be invisible anymore - and the Serbs could see them.

 

I head out of the museum and go in and have a look at the rest of the fortress. At the very end of the fortress is a big statue which commemorates the victory in the First World War. The statue should have been placed inside the city but the lack of clothes for the statue meant the good citizens of Belgrade could not accept the statue in the middle of the city - instead the statue is now placed at the very edge of the city - looking away from the city.

The saint Marko church

 

I walk down from the fortress passing some old churches and head back towards the old town - unfortunately all good comes to an end and suddenly it starts to rain. I take it as a sign of no more sightseeing today.

yadilitta says:
Great blog!!!
Posted on: Apr 06, 2010
Liselore_Verschuren says:
Nice blog!
Posted on: Apr 05, 2010
Sweetski says:
Now there's an interesting story..., placing a statue outside the city because its nudeness might offend people. If only he was something to look at... :)
Posted on: Apr 04, 2010
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The Tesla museum
The Tesla museum
The saint Marko church
The saint Marko church
The saint Marko church
The saint Marko church
The National Assembly
The National Assembly
The National Assembly
The National Assembly
Belgrade Assebly
Belgrade Assebly
The dome of the National Assembly
The dome of the National Assembly
Horse at the National Assembly
Horse at the National Assembly
The National Assembly
The National Assembly
Presidential offices
Presidential offices
The city assembly
The city assembly
The city assembly
The city assembly
The city assembly
The city assembly
The flag of the city
The flag of the city
Park at the government area
Park at the government area
Teslas Columbus Egg machine
Tesla's Columbus Egg machine
Induction moter
Induction moter
Model of the first induction moter
Model of the first induction moter
Tesla tube
Tesla tube
Tesla tube
Tesla tube
Model of plane which can take off …
Model of plane which can take off…
The big orthodox church
The big orthodox church
The big orthodox church
The big orthodox church
The big orthodox church
The big orthodox church
Statue at the entrance to the fort…
Statue at the entrance to the for…
Building in the fortress
Building in the fortress
Entrance to the fortress
Entrance to the fortress
Entrance to the fortress
Entrance to the fortress
The view of the Sava river
The view of the Sava river
The view of the Sava river
The view of the Sava river
Flag at the entrance to the fortre…
Flag at the entrance to the fortr…
The victory monumentS
The victory monumentS
Spare the city for such blatant po…
Spare the city for such blatant p…
The joining of the Save and the Da…
The joining of the Save and the D…
Belgrade Sights & Attractions review
The man who created the 20th century
The Nikola Tesla Museum is one of the best museums in the country. It tells a story of the life and inventions of Nikola Tesla who was born in Croatia… read entire review
Belgrade
photo by: tj1777