The Homeland Museum in Knjaževac
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The Town Museum of Knjаževac is located in Njegoševa Street 6, home of the Radical Party leader, Aca Stаnojević.

Алекса Аца Станојевић

Aca Stanojević

One of the founders of the Serbian Radical Party in 1881 and opponent to the regime of King Milаn Obrenović.

He was accused of participation in the Timok Rebellion in 1883 and the affair of Čebinac in 1884 and was forced to leave the country. Together with his godfather Nikola Pаšić he was the most prominent figure of the Radical Party. On several occasions he was a member of the Parliament and Chairman of the National Assembly. After the death of Nikola Pаšić in 1926 he was the president of the Min Board and the leader of the party. He did not approve of the coup d’etat by King Alexander and his 6 January Dictatorship introduced in 1929. Acа Stаnojević died in 1947 and was buried in Knjаževac with the highest state honors.

The Town Museum of Knjаževac is located in Njegoševa Street 6, home of the Radical Party leader, Aca Stаnojević. The house was built from 1903 until 1912 at the time when he was the Chairman of the National Assembly according to the architectural plan of construction entrepreneur Jovan Fogler from Vienna. It was built in two phases, and is a free facility with rich façade plastic, a yard and a fence. It is not close to the street, it has a front garden, so its external appearance is like the one of an Italian villa. This house with its symmetrical façade and attractive wooden front porch, by its architectural and artistic elements represents a specific type of building (a town villa) in Knjаževac from the beginning of XX century and with elements of Art Nouveau.

The architectural heritage and original townscape value and also the history of this object (the house of an important historical figure) are some of the reasons for its being one of the significant monuments of cultural history, i.e. it is a house of history. Brаnislаvа Mаrković (1903 -1983) donated the house during her lifetime to the Museum and her town. In order to preserve the object at the same location and its architectural and ambient values, and also its adequate presentation, it was proclaimed a cultural monument in 1983.

The conservation and restoration works were carried out by the Institute for Preservation of Cultural Monuments from Niš and the Homeland Museum from Knjаževac according to the project of architect Milorаd Vujinović, whereas the concept project for the adaptation of the museum exhibition was made by Dušicа Živković, advisor-ethnologist of the Homeland Museum in Knjаževac. The works were carried out in the period 1987-1988 and then the object was opened to visitors under the name Town Museum or Town House.

Numerous examples of original material found in the house, archival documents and personal belongings of Aca Stanojević, as well as the material obtained as gifts from old Knjaževac families or individuals form a modest but significant fund. The fact that this house is a cultural and historical monument from the end of XIX and beginning of XX century was used to present and conjure the atmosphere of the time when Acа Stаnojević lived and also to reconstruct the interior of a town house of that period.

For the presentation of different items of high cultural and artistic value the upstairs rooms were used in which the town house interior was presented in stages. The big room – salon furniture, wall mirrors… and all this belongs to the neo-Renaissance, a carpet from the period of Napoleon III, a cast iron furnace and other items. The study – a writing desk and a chair, a richly decorated cabinet, a small carpet (Gizel), salon seating set, art paintings (all from the legacy of Acа Stаnojević)…

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The bedroom – a wardrobe, a bed with ornamental elements of engraved wood (neo- Renaissance), a chest for washing with porcelain accessories (Art Nouveau), a cross, two icons (neo Baroque) and Acа Stаnojević’s travelling bag with his initials. The small room – a small chest is shown (Neoclassicism) and also a table with six wooden chairs from Vienna (Art Nouveau). On the porch are a small table with ornaments and wicker chairs Tonet. Other important items from the collection are a gramophone with a cylinder from the beginning of XX century, a drapery from the court in Cetinje, table lamps, porcelain and glass dishes from the end of XIX century, a telephone and a radio (“Philips”), a small part of the rich library of Acа Stаnojević. In the hall are personal items of Acа Stаnojević, his papers, letters, documentation related to the Radical Party, photographs, etc.

The downstairs has been used for various “non-museum” activities. A part of it is the space used as a sales gallery and a salon for weddings. This part is also used for literary and cultural evenings, ceremonial signing of contracts between companies and also for various lectures or scientific conferences which makes it a frequently visited place and an integral part of school curriculums (history, art…)