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Nikola Tesla connecting India and Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  07/25/2022 | Science , Education | Unrated
Welcome to Croatia - the land where Nikola Tesla was born!

The monument of Nikola Tesla in the city of Gospić, created by Frano Kršinić, one of the greatest Croatian sculptors. The same monument was placed on the Niagara Falls in 1976. Frano Kršinić (1897-1982) was born in the town of Lumbarda on the island of Korčula. Without any doubt, this is the most beautiful monument of Nikola Tesla in the world.

Joginder Singh Nijjar, Suresh Karupiah, Mirjana Hrašovec, Željko Hanjš, Verica Kostelić, Ana Horvat, Barbara Bulat, Jane Sha, Vijayendra Devalraju, Vivek Prakash, Darko Žubrinić, in front of the hydroelectric plant Ozalj I (also known as Munjara Karlovac, 3.54 MW), built in 1908, still working. A monument of culture, built by Herman Bolle (1845-1926).

On 2nd and 3rd July 2022, an excursion was organized by the Croatian-Indian Society in Zagreb (CIS), jointly with CIGRE-Croatia. The aim was to learn more about Nikola Tesla's education in Croatia (Tesla spent the first 20 years of his life in Croatia) and about his role in the history of Electrical Engineering.

Organizing this excursion was proposed by Professor Dina Šimunić (FER, secretary of CIS) and its content has been planned by Professor Darko Žubrinić (FER, also a member of CIS), jointly with Joginder Singh Nijjar, president of CIS.

The first day, we visited the Museum of the Castle of Ozalj (many thanks to Mr. Stjepan Bezjak) and two Hydroelectric plants of Ozalj on the beautiful Kupa river. The Ozalj I hydroelectric plant was built in 1908, and is working continously till these days. It is among the oldest such electric plants in Croatia, and is now a cultural and technical monument of Croatia. Its project was completed by Herman Bolle, distinguished Croatian architect of German-French origin, born in the city of Koeln. Then we visited the Karlovac Grammar School, which Nikola Tesla attended (back then, it was a Higher Real School in Rakovac) in his formative years between 14 and 17 (many thanks to Antun Milinković for superb explanatations). Martin Sekulić, Tesla's professor of physics, has a great merit for kindeling his interest in Electrical Engineering.

The second day, we visited Tesla's monument in Gospić (created by Frano Kršinić, distinguished Croatian sculptor). Its additional samples exist at Niagara Falls in the USA (since 1976) and in Belgrade, Serbia. There is no doubt that Frano Kršinić created the most beautiful monument of Nikola Tesla in the world. Then we visited the Museum of Nikola Tesla in his native village of Smiljan near Gospić.

Among 14 participants of the excursion, there were five citizens of India: Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar (citizen of Croatia and president of CIS), Vivek Praksh, PhD in Electrical Engineering (presently at FER, ZVNO), Suresh Devalraju, PhD in Astrophysics (presently at the Faculty of Geodesy of the University of Zagreb), Mrs. Jane Sha (presently at Algebra, Zagreb), and Vijayendra Devalraju, software engineer (EPMA, Zagreb). We learned a lot about Nikola Tesla, as well as about India and Croatia. During our return to Zagreb the second day, we even sang Indian and Croatian songs.

We are deeply obliged to CIGRE-Croatia (in particular, to Dr. Božidar Filipović-Grčić, HEP), for sponsoring our journey. Also many thanks to Galop company, which upon our return the second day afforded us a short additional visit to the town of Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb, in order to see the buildings of Rimac Automobili electric car company, now in the process of considerable expansion.

Photos by Ms Ivona Filipović of CIGRE-Croatia.

On the right, the second hydroelectric plant, Ozalj II on the Kupa river, built in 1952 (2.2 MW). We have also visited the Castle of Ozalj (on the photo in the middle, above the river), superbly described in Croatian and English by Mr. Stjepan Bezjak, director of the Museum of the Castle.

Near the Kupa river in the city of Karlovac, just after the lunch in the KVAKA Restaurant.

Karlovac has four rivers: Kupa, Korana, Mrežnica, and Dobra.

In the Gymnasium (Grammar School) of the city of Karlovac. The school was attended by Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) during three years (which back then was a Higher Real School), in the period of 1870-1873, when he was at the age of 14-17. It is the only school that Nikola Tesla completed in its entirity. His most important professor was Martin Sekulić (who was lecturing Physics and directed a laboratory of the mentioned school that had as many as 579 physical instruments), who kindeled Tesla's keen interest in Electrical Engineering.

Standing in the middle (just left to Jane Sha) is Antun Milinković, professor of Chemistry and Biology, who superbly described us the school. He prepared a huge surprise to our colleagues from India: the corals shown on the table were purchased in the time of Tesla's schooling (in 1870s), and they originate from the Indian Ocean!

In front of the main entrance to the present day Gymnasium of Karlovac. Standing the third from the left is Mrs. Martina Marušić Britvec, who is the director of the Tesla Experience Center, built just by the Gymnasium. It will be officially opened by the end of 2022.

In Smiljan, the birthplace of Nikola Tesla. Smiljan is a small village in the region of Lika, on the northern side of Velebit, the most important Croatian mountain (from which one has spectacular views to the Adriatic Sea and hundreds of islands). Smiljan is 250 km south of Croatia's capital Zagreb.

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