A Belgrade story about flying carpet isn’t precisely a story from ’1001 night’, but rather a true story that is still being told as an incredible event.
A building which today is the Belgrade City Library was built in 1870, as a ‘Serbian Crown’ hotel. What happened here by the end of 19th century went this building near Kalemegdan down to history. The landlord of the building in that time decided to renovate the roof during the year 1896. In order not to disturb the guests, the repairers were fixing it part by part. Among the repairers (masons) there was a silent and with a head in the clouds one, named Stojan, born in south Serbia. He came in Belgrade as a freelancer during spring/summer season. Roof works went on as planned, until one day the sky above Belgrade was darkened with dark, heavy clouds. Expecting rain, repairers were in a hurry to cover the uncovered part of the buillding with a linen, to preserve the attic. And then everyone came down. Everone except Stojan, who stayed on the top of the building to tighten the linen on some more places. Suddenly, both linen and this dutiful worker were raised from the ground by the force of the wind and flew over Kalemegdan and river Sava like a feather, safely landing on sandy plains of then Austro-Hungarian Empire, and now a part of New Belgrade. Terrified Stojan was out of himself for a long time. He wasnt hurt, but he hardly managed to explain to Austro-Hungarian border guards what actually had happened. When they saw he couldn’t talk right out of fear, frontiersmen let him go, along with his linen, back to Serbia. Stojan soon was gone from Belgrade, never to come back. There was nothing more heard about him.
Unfortunately, poor Stojan maybe didn’t even know that he was caught and carried as if on a magic carpet by a kind of weak tornado. This powerful funnel-shaped air vortex descends from the lower parts of clouds, usually Cumulonimbus down to the ground. But, above the water surface it is often formed a tornado called Tromba; the word originates from Italian language, meaning a ‘water pillar’. But, lately Tromba can be formed above the solid ground as well, carrying dust instead of water drops. So, we can differ sea trombas, land trombas and tornado. Trombas often move in high speed and have pretty great destructive power, crushing roofs and twitching trees. With the development of meteorology and learning about the natural phenomena, this Belgrade mystery is explained, but it remained as a beautiful story about the time before ours.