The National Museum in Belgrade, Serbia is the largest and oldest museum in Serbia, and has over 400,000 objects including many foreign masterpieces. Unfortunately the Museum has been closed for renovations for more than five years.
If you wish to learn more about Serbian national art we at ReadyClickAndGo would suggest you visit Novi Sad, Serbia’s second city, just an hour and a half north of Belgrade along scenic country lanes, or, if you can read the Cyrillic alphabet, you can get the train, or take the bus down the motorway.
On the way back to Belgrade we stopped at the Musuem of Bee Keeping and Wine Celler at the Zivanovic family home. We met Mr Zarko Zivanovic whose great-grandfather was a professor at the famous Karlovac grammar school but was also the founder of modern beekeeping in Serbia and a man who had a great knowledge of wine making.
In the family house is a unique beekeping museum with objects you rarely see nowadays but which used to be common – such as beehives made of thin strips of dried wood woven into a dome shape and covered in mud – very different from the beehives made today. Extracting honey in the old days was rather hit-and-miss and of course, there were no protective clothes then either – but people did believe that beestings were good for the blood! The honey at the Zivanovic farm is very clear and thick, not runny, which shows there are no preservatives added, unlike what you get in a supermarket.
Along with beekeeping and producing high qualilty honey the Zivanovic family is at the forefront of wine production in Serbia and are winning awards, diplomas and medals at home and internationally. They own huge vineyards 200 m above sea level near the Danube on the slopes of the Fruska Gora mountain, and their wine is produced in 300-year-old cellars. Their Ausbruch wine was on the wine list on the Titanic. Their greatest secret is the old recipe, passed down through the generations, from which is prepared Bernet wine, and this Bernet was served at the Russian, English and Viennese courts right up until the First World War. Similar to Port but much stronger, it is made from natural wines with the addition of 27 different ingredients such as raisins, beans, mustard, nutmeg, vanilla and figs. If you are passing through Novi Sad visit this unique place and you won’t regret it – you can book combined visits to the museum and the wine cellar with wine and honey tastings too.
As an added bonus I would recommend you try to sneak inside Mr Zivanvic’s house to meet his grandmother, a beautiful, charming lady with an unbelievable zest for life which I guess is the result of plenty of healthy honey and fine wine!
For more information about Serbia and travelling to Serbia please email Tara@ReadyClickAndGo.com