National Museum Šabac
Sane Mind Serbia

National Museum Šabac

I was not sure whether to write this post about National Museum Sabac. I already know that not many people will read it. It’s a small, niche museum, also there are more famous museums in Serbia, with bigger collections.

In the end, I decided to do it for two reasons. First of all, for myself. In the future, whenever I want to refresh my memory about this place, I’ll simply come back to this post. Right now I remember almost everything, but I’m not sure if I’ll still remember in several years.

I also hope that some people may be interested to see what’s in this museum, although I’m not going to hold my breath. From what I’ve seen during my visits to numerous museums in Serbia, people don’t go to museums. Apart from the National Museum in Belgrade, all other museums that I’ve been to were empty. I was the only visitor and that was a very sad state of affairs. I can’t accept that museums were empty because of coronavirus pandemic. The virus didn’t stop people from going to bars and restaurants. Simply, there is no interest.





Despite the fact that the city authorities established this museum in 1955, they started to acquire artistic and historical objects for its permanent collection at the beginning of the 20th century.


National Museum
National Museum Sabac


The collection was created in 1934, but suffered a great loss in the Second World War. After the war, whatever remained was kept in the Sabac Library. Finally, the city administration established the City Museum of Sabac and in 1960 changed its name to the National Museum Sabac.


National Museum Sabac
Archpriest Jovan Pavlović – Pavle Simić


The museum building dates back to 1857. It was the first building in Serbia created specifically for secondary education. During its history, the building served as a school, a seat of the telegraphic department, a military hospital, the Sabac library, the city command after the Second World War and finally as a museum.


National Museum Sabac
Flag of Drina and Sava Equestrian Circle Prince Mihailo


Initially, the museum occupied only the ground floor, but expanded to the whole building in 1961. Because of its historic and architectural significance, it is a protected cultural monument now.


National Museum
National Museum Sabac





The Holy Gates have been kept in the museum since 1954. They are the work of the zoograph Stanoje Popović, a priest from Martinci. He gained his art knowledge in the monastery Šišatovac.

Popović produced numerous individual icons and several iconostases. Although he created his works when zoographists were in decline, he greatly contributed to the transformation of the old 17th century Serbian icons and created important works of the Serbian 18th century icon painting.


National Museum Sabac
Holy Gates – Stanoje Popović (18th century)





Prince Miloš Obrenović presented the testament, that you can see below, to the Sabac church in 1826.


National Museum Sabac
Testament presented by Prince Miloš Obrenović





First schools started opening following the end of the Second Serbian Uprising. Governor Jevrem Obrenović gave the incentive for their opening and later many citizens followed his example. The first primary school opened in 1824, the middle school in 1837 and later other secondary schools.

Over the years, there was no lack in care for poor students, as numerous funds were created. A large number of individuals bequeathed their property to Sabac schools or initiated construction of new schools.

Today, there are seven primary and eight secondary schools in the city, plus several colleges.


National Museum Sabac
Schools in Sabac





The first modern pharmacy opened on the 11th October 1856. Its owner was Franz Ludwig, M. Pharm, from Ilok.

The founder of the second Sabac pharmacy in 1868 was Konstantin Nikolić, who became the first PhD in chemistry in Serbia.

At the end of the Second World War, five private plus one hospital pharmacy were working in Sabac. After the war, the new communist government confiscated them all and just three of them continued as state pharmacies.


National Museum Sabac
First Pharmacy in Sabac





During the 19th century, the shoemaking craft started to appear in towns which, over time, became a strong guild. In villages, in domestic manufacture, peasant shoes were made of untanned pig skin.

In the mid 19th century, peasant shoemaking of tanned skin started, while in towns professional shoemaking craftsmen made so called “crvenjaši”. 

With the arrival of craftsmen from “the other side of the river”, new peasant “Jerry shoes” appeared, made of bovine skin and coloured in black. Shoemakers made simple shoemaking tools on their own.


National Museum Sabac
Shoemaking in Sabac





In 1888, a trade store opened in Sabac selling imported female hats. After the First World War, Sabac entrepreneurs started making them independently. Until the start of the Second World War, nine hat shops operated in Sabac.

The only craftsman that made male hats in the city, before the start of the Second World War, was a hatmaker Milorad Ristić.

The last hatmaker in Sabac ended his profession at the very start of the 21st century.


National Museum Sabac
Hat making in Sabac





Industrial and overall rise of the town influenced the everyday life of gentlemen and ladies of that period. From the mid 19th century, prominent citizens built private houses, which contributed to the European look of the town.


National Museum
National Museum Sabac


Furniture was mostly obtained from abroad, rooms and lounges were furnished in a modern style and the advancing spirit of the town was reflected in both its public and cultural life.


National Museum
National Museum Sabac


The centre of social life were widely popular taverns, there were 104 of them in 1838. The first theatre and music plays, cinema projections, political assemblies and public meetings were held in hotels and taverns and even the first electrical lighting decorated the Bohemian spirit of the town.


National Museum Sabac
Unmarked Painting


Fashion was inevitable for both younger and older ladies, but also for gentlemen and thus the town’s cobblestone streets looked like European fashion catwalks.


National Museum Sabac
Priest Ljubinko Popović – Uroš Knežević (1848)


Painters sporadically stayed in the town, but they left several significant portraits of prominent citizens from the 19th century.


National Museum Sabac
Unmarked Painting





In the conditions of poorly developed industrial production, there was a great demand for objects of domestic manufacture. Everything necessary for the life of a single family was produced in a village. Apart from food production and other works related to the household, women made raw materials, fabric items and clothes for their families. That way, they maintained traditional methods of weaving, embroidery and ornaments. Male members of the population were mainly occupied with the manufacture of craft products.

In the late 19th century, due to the close trade relations with nearby Srem, the influence of Vojvodina costumes on clothes worn by the population in Mačva district was very high, while Sabac kept clothes of the Dinara type.

Over time, town influences were more and more intensified and noticeable. Industrial production replaced domestic manufacture of clothing items.


National Museum Sabac
Traditional Costumes


As you can see, it’s a small, but very interesting and informative museum. If you happen to visit Sabac, make sure that you also visit the museum. You can see everything in an hour and it can be a nice part of your overall touristic experience. Plus, it’s always good to see and learn something new.

As I said, I will always be able to come back to this post in the future and refresh my memory. After all, I tremendously enjoyed my visit to Sabac, a place where I’ve never been before.



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