Housed in a large warehouse-like building in a studenty part of town, Zagreb's Technical Museum features a wide and rather random selection of exhibits, the connection being a mechanical or engineering link.

There's a room full of old fire engines and firefighting equipment, a walk through various types of energy-transformation devices, running from water-wheels through various steam pumps and turbines to aircraft engines, the main floor is themed around transport with lots of old cars, trams, trains, planes, bikes and motorcycles, and some model boats, while a balcony houses a selection of satellites and spacecraft (mostly models and mock-ups) as well as selections of household devices through the ages. It's all a bit higgledy-piggledy and disorganised but quite fun to stroll around and find the gems in amongst the randomness - most exhibits are labelled in English as well as Croatian, but information on how things actually work is mostly absent or hard to find and/or follow.

 At one end of the building is a mining section with lots of old mining equipment and some very scary-looking gas masks; there's also a minshaft thing which you can go down on guided tours at certain times. Also offered on a scheduled basis is the gem of the whole place - a demonstration of the various electrical feats and discoveries of Croatia's greatest scientific genius, Nikola Tesla. Even without a native speaker to translate the guide's rambling, it makes for a pretty spectacular show as various principles of eletrical and magnetic fields are demonstrated with nifty and mostly original toys that make science look more like magic. Watching an audience member stand in a cage while it is zapped by massive arcs of crackling blue energy is remarkably scary fun, and of course seeing ten million volts arc from a tesla coil is impressive.

 All in all a fun afternoon's entertainment for the inquisitive, with the Tesla section the main highlight - check the website for demo times to avoid disappointment.

 One other thing about the place - it's unheated and can be pretty chilly in winter. It can actually be warmer outside than in, even on snowy days...

 Details:

Technical Museum
Savska cesta 18
Zagreb
Phone N° : (01) 43 54 46
Fax N° : (01) 42 84 31

Website (English version): http://www.mdc.hr/tehnicki/en/index.html