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By: Jasmina Trajkov, museum advisor

Eight months after the first glass was produced in Avram Petronijević’s glass manufacture and sent as a gift to HSH Prince Alexander Karađorđević, the Serbian ruler visited this factory and on that occasion he was given a magnificent welcome. A couple of years later, during the trip to Serbia, the prince was again a guest of Avram Petronijević, and then he went to Jagodina, where he spent the night. The local press wrote about these visits.

According to preserved sources, Prince Alexander Karađorđević (1806–1885) visited for the first time the glassworks of Avram Petronijević at the beginning of July 1847. This manufacture was located near Jagodina, between the villages of Mišević and Belica. The prince was accompanied by Melentije, the Bishop of Šabac, Lieutenant Colonel Jovica Nikolajević, the head of the Kragujevac District, Major Ranko Matejić, the head of the Jagodina District, Srećko Popović, the president of the court, Archpriest Jovan Simeonović and other eminent personalities. The first ceremonial reception was prepared at the passing stations in the village of Bukorovac and the second was organized near Taborište.

The prince and his entourage arrived at Avram Petronijević’s glass manufacture around 10 am and their arrival was announced with shots from signal cannons and rifles. The firing continued during lunch. After lunch, the prince visited the manufacture. In the evening, the whole area was lit up and the special picture was placed in front of the place where the ruler was sitting. The picture shows a portrait of Karađorđe with the figure of Prince Alexander Karađorđević underneath. To the right of the prince’s portrait was a figure of Avram Petronijević, and to the left was Toma Vučić Perišić. Below Petronijević’s portrait was the inscription: “Serbian Monument to the Constitution of Freedom”, while below Vučić’s portrait was written: “Serbian Monument to the Courage of Freedom”. Next to the prince’s portrait there was following inscription: “As the father bravely fought for freedom with his arm and sword, so the Son lays the foundation for the Serbia with industry!”

At around 10 o’clock in the evening, the mixture for making glass was ready, so the production of various items began. In the morning, the prince attended the making of glass products. As a gift to the ruler, three bottles for alcoholic beverages and two glasses were made. Glass water flasks were made for high-ranking guests, and other guests received various products: glasses, candlesticks, etc. The prince gifted the workers in the factory and gave a short speech, and then returned to Kragujevac.

Four years later, the prince was welcomed again in Jagodina. Accompanied by his family, he traveled around Serbia from June 12 to June 28, 1851. One of the places he visited on this occasion was Jagodina. The prince and his family left for Topola on June 12. They stayed there for a few days, and then visited monastery Blagoveštenje in the district of Rudnik. The prince was given a solemn welcome, and the royal couple donated a monastery. The prince gave a contribution in money, and princess Persida a large silver candle. The plan was to visit Kragujevac and then return to Belgrade via Jagodina, Svilajnac, Požarevac and Smederevo.

The district chief of Jagodina, accompanied by “another noble person”, went to meet the prince, on June 23, and welcomed the ruler in Kragujevac. Then the royal family, accompanied by the chiefs of the Jagodina and Kragujevac districts, set out for Jagodina. On the border of the two districts, as well as on the road between the villages of Sabanta and Sugubina, the ruler was greeted by the gathered people. The prince first visited Avram Petronijevic’s glass manufacture. Lunch was served here, and after the rest, the prince and his retinue went to Jagodina, where they arrived at six o’clock in the afternoon. The prince was welcomed by the clergy, city administration and a large number of residents of Jagodina. The entry of the royal family into the city was announced by the firing of signal cannons and the ringing of church bells. The next day, the prince, with his wife Persida, daughter Kleopatra and son Petar, attended the liturgy in the church of the Holy Archangel Michael, after which he “made a rich contribution to the church”. A lunch was prepared in the churchyard, which was attended by the clergy, city administration and other respectable citizens. During lunch, signal cannons kept firing and church bells were ringing. The festivity in honor of the high guests lasted until late at night. The next day, the royal family continued their journey. After breakfast, which was served in the village of Ribare, they continued further towards Svilajnac. Smederevo was the last place they visited and then the royal family returned to Belgrade.