Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla is the most famous pupil of the Karlovac Grammar School (the Real Gymnasium), and his Great Royal Realschule diploma is the only diploma he ever received, since the health and family reasons prevented him from finishing his university studies and graduating. He was born in Smiljan in 1856, and died in New York in 1943. 

‘My education continued at the Karlovac Real Gymnasium… I had become intensely interested in electricity under the stimulating influence of my professor of physics, who was an ingenious man and often demonstrated the principles by apparatus of his own invention. Among these I recall a device in the shape of a freely rotatable bulb, with tinfoil coatings, which was made to spin rapidly when connected to a static machine. It is impossible for me to convey an adequate idea of the intensity of feeling I experienced in witnessing his exhibitions of these mysterious phenomena. Every impression produced a thousand echoes in my mind.’ (Nikola Tesla)

Although he spent only three years in Karlovac, they exerted a lasting influence on his inspiration and life choices. Today, the students at Karlovac schools like to make excuses, saying Tesla had pretty bad marks in physics but managed to become a world-famous scientist nevertheless. To their disappointment, the story is not true. 

We are not sure other stories reflect the real history, either, but we like to retell them. Once, Tesla reportedly dove under the pontoon bridge and when he saw he would not be able to resurface on the other side, he remembered there had to be some air between the surface and the bridge boards and so he survived. Another time, the flooded river almost took him over a dam, and he survived thanks to the fact that he remembered the hydraulic pressure diagram (showing the pressure of moving fluid is proportional to the area it acts upon), so he turned sideways and managed to swim to the riverbank. Being good at physics can sometimes save your life.

Visit the Tesla HotSpot in front of Karlovac Grammar School!

Karlovac got the first Tesla HotSpot in the world, in front of its famous Grammar School, in 2016. It is also the starting point of a brand new tourist story. This is the starting point of an international HotSpot route by means of which Nikola Tesla will connect the countries in which he lived and worked. 


The HotSpot circle at the Grammar School walkway is meant to help you stand in the best position for taking a photograph (either a selfie or a group snapshot) in front of the school building. The circle is a TESLA HOTSPOT and enables framing the same scene from the nearby information panel.

Karlovac has been an inspiration to many, Nikola Tesla included, as witnessed by this spot, where you are going to:

1) Visit via the QR-code on the information panel

2) Read all about Tesla and the school. Also be prepared for further research of the page content

3. Stand in the circle. The school building is now your backdrop and you can now send your virtual postcard, to anybody, anywhere, from the very place where Nikola Tesla once stood

4. Do everything you can so that Tesla’s positive energy can get maximum reach… yes, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on are more than welcome.

And that’ll bring you good luck! Do not throw any coins, just take a photo! Tesla’s energy is changing the world!

Vjekoslav Karas
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