Taken from: "I sinu viđelo iz rijeke"    And there was light over the river

JP Elektroprivreda SRBIJE, Beograd 2011, ISBN 978-86-7302-030-3


The Geographic Location…

The Pod Gradom Hydropower Plant is situated in Uzice, on the Djetinja River. After draining water from the Tara and Zlatibor slopes, the Djetinja River runs through the Kremanska Plateau and a gorge down to Uzice. From there it slowly continues due east. In Pozesko Polje it meets with the Skrapez River, making the Zapadna Morava River together with the Moravica River. It is 74 km long.

The hydropower plant was built below the walls of the medieval town of Uzice where it got its name. As the _ rst hydropower plant built in Serbia, the Pod Gradom SHPP is today is one of the tourist attractions of this area. The National Museum of Uzice and Elektrodistribucija Uzice, operating within the Elektrosrbija Company make sure that every tourist visiting the power is properly informed about it.

…the Power Plant

The idea of Professor Djordje Stanojevic regarding the Djetinja River water utilization was accepted in July 1898 by the management of the Uzice Weaving Mill Joint Stock Company. The king of Serbia, Aleksandar Obrenovic, laid the foundation on 3 May 1899 with a grand ceremony, marking the start of the Djetinja Hydropower Plant construction. The power plant was commissioned on St. Ilija’s Day, 2 August 1900. On this day, Uzice got electric lighting, while the Weaving Mill was the first industrial facility in Serbia to use electricity to operate its machines. The Weaving Mill grew to be a large textile factory.

The hydropower plant equipment was selected and ordered by Djordje Stanojevic.Not just any equipment, but the one enabling the application of Tesla’s principles in power plant operation and electricity transmission. This state-of-the-art equipment had to be shipped from abroad – Vienna and Budapest to Uzice. It somehow reached Kragujevac by railway, where it was loaded onto a cart drawn by six pairs of oxen which took it over the Jelica Heights and the steep Potajnik Hill to Uzice.

Some 400 households were lit by electricity in the beginning. The people of Uzice then remembered the words of Mitar Tarabic and his prophecy that ‘a light will shine from the river’. The first Serbian hydropower plant, Pod Gradom, was revitalised in 2000, on the occasion of its centennial. The entire power plant grounds have been restored, whereby the Pod Gradom HPP today represents a technical, cultural, museum and tourist complex.

The power plant was automated, electrical and mechanical equipment overhauled, together with the switchyard 2.1 kV and 10 kV. The facility now also has a CCTV system installed.


Dam type

Low concrete dam

Construction height

4,5 m




Zapadna Morava

Installed discharge

2,3 m3/s


0,36 MW


Two Francis turbines manufactured by „Ganz & Co. Danubius“ (1900)

One Francis turbine manufactured by „J. M. Voith Heidenheim“ (1904)


Two three-phase alternating current generators, manufactured by

„Osterreichische Siemens – Werke Wien“ (1900)

- Capacity: 64 kW and 100 kW

One three-phase alternating current generator, manufactured by

„Siemens - Halske“ (1904)

- Capacity: 200 kW

Possible annual Generation

0,26 GWh

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