Nikola Tesla exhibit opens at Prague's Exhibition Grounds

A new exhibit featuring models of Tesla's most famous creations, and details about his connection to Prague, runs through December 11.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 20.11.2022 14:02:00 (updated on 21.11.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A new exhibition celebrating the life and works of Nikola Tesla opens tomorrow at the Výstaviště Prague Exhibition Grounds. The exhibit includes models of Tesla's inventions as well as details about his connection to Prague, where he studied at Charles University in 1880.

The exhibit comes to Prague in cooperation with Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Museum, giving locals a rare chance to see working models of the Tesla coil and other inventions from the museum's permanent collection.

The Nikola Tesla Museum in Tesla's home country was founded in 1952 and opened to the public in 1955, and includes more than 200,000 items relating to the inventor's professional and personal lives. It also includes his death mask, and an urn containing his ashes.

Nikola Tesla has a long history in Prague. The inventor studied in Prague at Charles University in 1880, studying under physicist Ernst Mach, and lived on Ve Smečkách street off Wenceslas Square. He would have likely stayed in Prague longer, but left after one semester following the death of his father.

Later in life, Tesla was awarded Czechoslovakia's highest honor, the Order of the White Lion, First Class, from then-President Edvard Edvard Beneš, as well as an honorary doctorate from Czech Technical University. He would thank the people of Prague after being awarded:

"I would like to convey my sincere thanks to the municipality of Prague for their kind and valuable message," Tesla wrote to Czech Technical University in a letter published by the newspaper Národní politika in 1937.

"I have fond memories of your beautiful city, and the inspiration I received there is helping me in my work right now. I hold the great honors shown to me there in my highest esteem, and I hope I shall prove myself worthy of them. My admiration for the great people of Czechoslovakia, bearers of the torch of education, cannot be expressed in words."

Following Tesla's death in 1943, the Czechoslovak company Elektra was rebranded as Tesla after the inventor, and went on to have a state-sponsored monopoly on electronics production in the country through 1989.

Tesla a.s. was privatized after the fall of communism and still produces electronic products today despite numerous changes in ownership. The company took legal action against Elon Musk's Tesla, Inc. in the 2000s over trademark infringement, but the two companies signed an agreement of coexistence in 2010.

A street in Prague 6 is named after the famed inventor, and also contains a monument to Tesla: a bronze statue depicting an electrical discharge, designed by Czech artists Jiří Trojan and Stefan Milkov.

The Nikola Tesla exhibit at Prague's Výstaviště Exhibition Grounds runs daily from November 21 through December 11, and includes information in both Czech and English. Entrance runs 180 crowns for adults, and 90 crowns for children.

More information about the exhibit can be found at the official Výstaviště website.

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