VIRTUAL EXHIBITION Djordje Stanojevic - Rector Who Lit up Belgrade

On February 15th, in honor of Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia, the University Library “Svetozar Markovic” in Belgrade will open the cycle of virtual exhibitions They Built Serbia.

Every year on the Statehood Day, the Library will present the general public with a virtual exhibition on lives and works of the people who contributed immensely to the development of Serbia.

A virtual exhibition   Djordje Stanojevic – Rector Who Lit up Belgrade  is the collection of digital materials about Djordje Stanojevic (18581921), rector of the University of Belgrade and a pioneer of electrification of Serbia.  Owing to his effort and work, in 1893 Belgrade was one of the first capitals in the world with electric street lighting.

In addition to various materials, this bilingual exhibition in Serbian and English will present the general public with the digitized copies of Djordje Stanojevic’s books. Some of these books are the real treasure of Serbian cultural heritage.


 The virtual exhibition Djordje Stanojevic – Rector Who Lit up Belgrade will be available from February 14th 2014 on the following link:

Djordje Stanojevic – Rector Who Lit up Belgrade


This virtual exhibition represents a comprehensive collection of digital materials about Djordje Stanojevic (1858–1921). The exhibition portrays the academic work of Djordje Stanojevic and his pioneer activities in the fields of electrification, astronomy and photography. The visitors will be able to browse through the bibliography which includes all the contents about this prominent and versatile man which are available on the internet at the moment. Moreover, they will be able to search through the selected bibliography of the printed materials such as books and articles which are available at the University Library and other libraries around Serbia. The exhibition is available in Serbian and English and it will be translated into Russian.

Digitized versions of Djordje Stanojevic’s books, some of which are less known to general public and which are the real treasure of Serbian cultural and scientific heritage, will be presented at the exhibition. Serbia in Pictures is the first Serbian photomonography. Starry Sky of Independent Serbia is our first popular scientific book on astronomy. Bombing of the University of Belgrade, a monography in French printed in Paris, is one of the most important testaments to the destruction of the University of Belgrade in WWI which is available to general European public.

Djordje Stanojevic was the rector of the University of Belgrade (1913–1921) during the most glorious and at the same time the most difficult period in its history. Nikola Tesla was Stanojevic’s friend and he organized Tesla’s only visit to Belgrade. He earned all the merits for the construction of the first hydroelectric power plant in Serbia, only five years after the hydroelectric power had been built on the Niagara waterfalls, and also for the introduction of electric street lighting and electric power in Belgrade. Stanojevic introduced electric power in many cities around Serbia. He participated in the construction of the thermal power plant in Cacak, and hydroelectric power plants near Zajecar, Sokobanja, Nis, Veliko Gradiste, Ivanjica and Vlasotine. He considered the construction of the hydroelectric power plant on Djerdap. Djordje Stanojevic was a physicist, an astronomer, a meteorologist and a popularizer of science in the modern sense of the word. He was the Serbian pioneer in numerous areas of his almost renaissance activity. He was the first Serbian astrophysicist, the first writer of university coursebooks in physics, the author of the first photomonography in Serbia, the author of the first Serbian book about aeronautics, the first man in Serbia who set up the first radio connection and he also made the first X-ray snapshot.

“Scientific game is open to all, without any exceptions.It is open to Serbs as well.But we have to admit that we have not participated much. I don’t want to say that we haven’t participated at all. It is not the people who are to blame. We do have many skillful people, but scientific research is very expensive and we don’t have the money. It is not that we lack money because we are poor and we live in misery, no, that’s not the case. The fact is that we spend our people’s money on futile, useless, and not only that, but also evidently harmful political fights and agitations.”


 (An excerpt from the lecture at the University of Belgrade held on March 16th 1893 when Stanojevic was elected a professor to the Physics Department).