The Memorial Complex of Mihajlo Pupin

©Zoran Boldorac

The Memorial Complex in Idvor consists of Mihajlo Pupin’s home, the Old School, (the elementary school which he attended) and the National Home which is Pupin’s foundation. The Complex gained the status of cultural monument-a memorial center in 1957, and the status of a cultural monument of exceptional significance in 1990.

Pupin’s home

The house of one of the most eminent physicists is a target of a sort of a pilgrimage. The house was built as a larger type of the Pannonian house otherwise known as ‘the clod house’. Its basis is rectangular, in the street line and its narrow side is facing the street. The street side of the house has one larger room with two windows and a smaller one with one window. The larger room leads to the kitchen which is the center of the house leading into another room which faces the yard. In each of the two larger rooms there is one walled furnace which were fueled from the kitchen and the kitchen was the room with the open chimney. The small room which faces the street leads into the entrance porch with brick pillars. The entire house was made of bricks, plastered and painted. The house is covered with gable roof with simple roof tiles. It has the fronton facing the street typical to the houses in Vojvodina.

The house was first restored in 1979, however the reconstruction performed in 2004 gave the house the appearance it has today. Today the house is an ethno-museum. The furniture in it did not precisely belong to Pupin’s parents, but it is authentic for the period of Pupin’s life in the house. The small room facing the street has been adapted to look as a study with several photographs of Mihajlo Pupin.

The Old School

The Old School building was constructed in 1843. Mihajlo Pupin was educated in that school. It was the school until 1979 when Idvor got a new, modern school building. It is at the edge of the village park in immediate vicinity of the National Home. The building has rectangular basis and its longer side with the entrance is facing the park while the shorter side is facing the IveLoleRibara Street. It is the building made of bricks, it has only a ground floor and its roof is made of wood and covered with simple roof tiles. Its basis is symmetrical and there are central hall, two classrooms, annex rooms and two porches on the side of the school leading to the yard. The classroom turned into a museum has a walled furnace. All the rooms have wooden floors, but the entry hall floor is covered with the six-angled bricks. The façade is simple which is common for the architectural style of the age in the Austrian provinces. It exhibits the characteristics of simplified neo-classicist style flat lintels with the imitation of the arches, simple cornice and parapet plates. The front (north) façade has two sections, the central one slightly projecting before the two lateral ones. The façade is divided by pillars between the windows and the pillars in the middle were additionally decorated with shallow rustic plates. The double doors on the main entrance have geometrical ornaments. The rear façade is simple, unornamented with the entrance at its center and two porches with three arches above them.

In 1979, in the classroom at the right side of the entrance, the Museum of Vojvodina in Novi Sad has set an exhibition dedicated to life and work of Mihajlo Pupin, which stands to the present day. The exhibition is a simple one but pertains sufficient information for all those who wish to learn more about Mihajlo Pupin and his work. It unravels the life story of the great scientist, starting with the first steps he had taken in his parent’s home to the immense success he achieved in the USA and in his homeland. In 2012, in the other classroom, the village school teacher cooperated with the local Culture Center to arrange the ethno-exhibition of old items once used in the country. Other parts of the building are not used.

National Home – Pupin’s Foundation

Mihajlo Pupin spoke for the first time about his intentions to finance the construction of the National Home in Idvor in the article called ‘The Gardening Production’ published in the magazine the ‘Privrednik’ in its November-December issue in 1933. The Home would be, according to Pupin ‘not simply a lecture hall, but also school for the Idvor’s youth and other inhabitants to learn about growing fruit and vegetables’ meaning it should become a university. The location ‘embraced by the church and the school’ appeared ‘made for’ the National Home, so he made an agreement with the church administration to take over a section of the church yard for the new building. Sponsored by the Belgrade association ‘Businessman’, he established the ‘Mihajlo Pupin’ Fund for the development of agricultural sciences which had at its disposal the funds deposited in the Serbian-American Bank intended for the construction and maintenance of the National Home. When the construction started, Pupin was supervising all the construction works, technical and financial details, but he died before it was completed. The National Home was opened to the public in 1936, less than a year after Pupin’s death, and it was the fairest and the most modern building in the area at the time, but it never became a university that Pupin intended it to be.

The architectural style exhibits neo-classicism characteristics. The front is divided by pilasters, entrance portal and a fronton in the upper section of the building. The portal is flanked by door frames and a lintel which were added in the 70s made of burnt clay by ceramist DelijaPrvacki. There is Pupin’s bust, a work of the sculptor Mestrovic in the niche, above the entrance doors. Aside from the 150-seat hall with a gallery, a stage and offices, there are also a library, electric power generator and a radio system that could reach the entire Idvor. The Home has a sewage system which is functional at present day.

The National Home was a Culture Center, a place where different events, film projections, local political gatherings were organized till 1979. For a certain period after the Second World War, it was used as a storage facility for storing wheat. In 1979, on the occasion of celebrating 129 years of the birth of its founder, a new wing was built to the Cultural Center ‘Mihajlo Pupin’, next to the National Homeaccording to the design of BogdanBogdanovic. It is a construction made of reinforced concrete with a 300-seat hall and annex premises.


The development of this site is financed by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.




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