One of the most important cultural institutions of Belgrade – the National Museum is situated in the Republic Square. The establishment of the National museum in Belgrade is connected with the year 1844, although a museum was first mentioned in Serbia in 1837. It was founded as the Serbian National Museum during the reign of Prince Milos Obrenovic. Up to 1937 it was without permanent premises. Upon the initiative of Prince Pavle Karadordevic, the National, i.e. the Historical and Arts Museum, became the Prince Pavle Museum. After the World War II, the Museum obtained the building of the Mortgage Bank, built in 1903, adapted in 1946 and reconstructed and brought up to date in 1965, when the central dome, demolished in an air raid, was restored.
The Museum has collected all sorts of exhibits from the area where Serbs lived. The National Museum has very varied collections (archaeological, medieval, gallery of Serbian and foreign arts and historical collection).
Among the most important exhibits of the Museum is Miroslav’s Gospel (1190) – the oldest and most precious, preserved Cyrillic manuscript. The Gospel is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.