In response to the significant interest of our fellow citizens to the thematic strolls organized in the course of the European Heritage Days, on November 5, 2017, the 9th free guided tour through the New Cemetery of Belgrade was organized. The tour entitled „Sparkling Minds of Serbia“, which led the visitors thorough the authentic ambiance of the old Belgrade, private and public histories of many significant individuals, was the most visited so far.
In addition to the short history of the New Cemetery, the visitors had a chance to hear the life stories of the famous mathematician Mihailo Petrović – Mika Alas, a violinist and fishing enthusiast, as well as the interesting tale of the Kujundžić Family: Dr Vojislav Kujundžić, physician, philanthropist and benefactor, who launched an initiative for opening of crematorium, which earned him a place in the international Encyclopedia of Cremation, his older brother, a poet, dandy, philosopher, minister of education and benefactor Milan Kujundžić – Aberdar and the Kujundžić sisters: Jelena, married to the politician Stojan Novaković and Nerandža, the local beauty who was known as us: „Beautiful Nera with twelve layers of flounces“, due to her exceptional beauty and gorgeous crinolines she used to wear.“
The visitors were also able to see the final resting places of a diplomat and lawyer Mileniko Vesnić, statesmen Nikola Pašić, writer and parliament representative Petar Kočić, scientist Jovan Cvijić, the first Serbian formally educated female physician Draga Ljočić, the Old Bard, poet and Patriot Stevan – Vladislav Kaćanski, unperceived hair to the Serbian thrown Mihailo – Velimir Teodorović, Russian Imperial Ambassador in Serbia on the eve of the WWI – Nikolaj Hartvig, author Branislav Nušić and composer Stevan Morkanjac. The stroll continued through the Alley of the Fallen Patriots where the visitors remembered the citizens of Belgrade hanged at the Terazije Square at the beginning of the WWII, in addition to all known and unknown individuals killed in the occupied Belgrade. The stroll subsequently went through the Alley od Meritorious Citizens, the final resting place of the significant individuals such as: Slobodan Jovanović, Meša Selimović, Miloš Crnjanski, Danilo Kiš, Ivo Andrić, Branko Ćopić, Paja Jovanović, Olja Ivanjicki, Milić od Mačve, Zoran Đinđić, Bata Živojinović, Dragan Nikolić, Petar Kralj, Zoran Radmilović and many others.
The tour ended with the tale of a botanist and writer Stevan Jakovljević – the author of the „Serbian Trilogy “, a book that was heavily criticized at the time, but still became and was remembered as „the first Serbian best-seller“ and his sister Milicа Jakovljević Mir –Jam, Milica Jakovljević Mir-Jam an author and journalist, free-spirited women, who through her literary and artistic work tried to teach the young people how to cope with the challenges of the modern living. Without a doubt, the most intriguing figure whose story the visitors were able to hear, unfortunately almost unknown to general public is Nikola Krstić, an intellectual, doctor of philosophy and law, legal historian, professor at the Lyceum, politician and free-thinker, but before all the author of chronicles of his time. Nikola Krstić wrote his diaries regarding the situation in Serbia for almost forty years. Although he passed on in 1902, his observations remained surprisingly contemporary until this day. The manuscript of Nikola Krstić’s Diary comprises 4.096 pages, and it is considered to be used as a source by Slobodan Jovanović for his book „The Second Reign of Miloš and Mihailo Obrenović“. In addition, it is believed that Slobodan Jovanović destroyed some „juicy parts“ of this diary.