Karadjordje - Black George!
Djordje Petrovic, leader of Serbian people- the supreme leader of the rebels, was called by the Turks Karadjordje (Black Djordje), and was born in 1762. in Sumadija's village Visevac. He was a trader, brigand and often in conflict with the Turks. He volunteered for the Austrian-Turkish War (1788-1791) on Austrian side, and then the people's army Hajji Mustafa Pasha against the “janicari” (Turhish soldiers)
At the assembly in Orasac in 1804. he was elected as the leader of the rebels. As a strategic and commander of the army he has demonstrated exceptional abilities. The most important battles against the Turks were obtained thanks to, above all, his determination, courage and capable command.
As the head of the state administration he took care to ensure the unity and independence of Serbian authorities.
After the military collapse of the 1813. he sheltered in Austria, and later moved to Russia where, as implacable fighter against the Turks, took ideas from Greek heterista about the united struggle of Christian people in Balkans for national liberation.
He returned to Serbia in 1817, but by the order of Prince Milos Obrenovic, who felt it wasn't good time for fighting in that moment, killed on 25. January the same year.
Astute scientist and best interpreter of Serbian history Radovan Samardzic gives us this image of Karadjordje during the preparation of the uprising:
"In the company of one guy, with little porridge, dried meat, hard cheese, corn and brandy in his bag, always armed with more than it's marked, Black Djordje, as lanky and light- footed as he was, visited all shortcuts in Sumadija and regions across the river Morava, and at first he found his knowledge about the country and opportunities of hills, forests, water and not-well-known paths in future warfare against the Turks, but the main objective of his silent and invisible detour of Serbia was to visit and know better every significant landowner, concillate him for the national cause and to check how much is each of them determined to fight for it."
BEGGINING OF UPRISING - Candlemas in Orasac
First Serbian uprising didn't brake out spontaneously or even unprepared. For it's beginning necessary preparations were made. Confirmation for this is the event in the monastery Voljavca in the summer of 1803. at the monastery celebration, when at the monastery attic, Duke Matija Jovcic from Topola was talking with Karađorđe and Gaja Pantelic not to start an uprising at that point. Karađorđe agreed with Dragutin Milutinovic that with Milos Kabadarac weapons should be supplied from Germany. After the events in Voljavca Karadjordje sent Gaja Pantelic to national leaders to start preparing people and to widen the network for uprising.
Less than five months after the meeting in Voljavča, preparations for the uprising had already been completed and it had to be to reach an agreement before winter. Orasac was defined as a place where it should happened, a meeting place was the house of Stevan Tomic at the day of St. Archangel Michael. Host Stevan was preparing a wedding for his son Maxim, so it was natural that for a dual cause to assemble a large number of people. When the wedding was far gone, quietly and unobtrusively, Archpriest Atanasije and everyone else made their way to a nearby gully.Prudent priest Atanasije maintenance lengthy speech, clearly realizing that the most important prerequsite for this joint venture was unity, and that the greatest danger was treason. The assemblage was completed with an oath and participants dispersed in the belief that the venturewas brought to an end. Based on this agreement, the conspirators gathered at the second gathering in Orašac in 1804. This time Duke Marko Savic was marrying his son Luka. As it was decided about the uprising in 1803., an officer and commander should be selected who would lead an uprising against the Turks. There were distinguished people at the gathering , which is indicated by the fact that five proposals for a commander were given.
Radovan Samardzic said: "Obviously, at a meeting in Orasac in 1804.Karadjordje wasn't randomly selected as a national leader in the rebellion. They knew, everyone, both his character and actions that he had already took. In fact, he bacame the leader at the beginning of preparations for the revolt. And his strategic idea of the rebellion was extension of his way to prepare people for the collective rebellion."
Ignition of Turkish hans began by Aleksa Djukic from village Banja with his squard, they were burning inns in Topola, Zabare and Jagnjilo and the rebelsm just after the Candlemas assembly in Orasac and election of Karadjordje as a leader started to burn inns in Orasac. Later they burst into flames Turkish hans all around the uprised Serbia and the rebels finally began to siege cities. One of the first besieged cities was Rudnik where stayd notorious Sali-aga aslo known as "Rudnik bull." The governors sent Aganlija Hussein Alemdar "to aline the above matter and to restore order." He went from Belgrade with detachment of four hundred janissaries. Aganlija was known in the people as the most peacemaking dahi. Because of the fear that he could fall between two fires, Aganlija's companies and the Turks from Rudnik, Karadjordje asked Petar Kare to prevent Rudnik Turks with his personnel and he went to Drlupa to "crack the cake" with Aganlija. Although none were for peace, they agreed, for tactical reasons, to negotiate.
During the unplanned gunfight Aganlija was wounded in the leg, two rebels were killed and Glavas was wounded in the head by Turkish bullet. Snow was falling continuously and this first seriosus conflict could be regarded as unfavourable for the rebels. Karadjordje admited that they were broken. The situation has, however, reversed the next day, after dahi decided to withdraw to Belgrade. All events taken together have made this conflict in reporters reviews, however, like rebel victory. As a help to Sall Aga in the besieged Rudnik came Uzice's muselim Džavić and Karanovac's muselim Pljakić. When Peter Kara got help from Milan Obrenovic from Tresnjevica, Arsenije Lomo and Karadjordje Rudnik was conquered and burned. The two major victories echoed strongly in the rebeled Serbia. And at the same time there has been a taking off Valjevo under the leadership of Jacov and Matija Nenadovic, and shortly after the siege and fall of Sabac. Serbs suffered a major defeat only in bloody and unequal battle on Cokesina In late May Pozarevac surrendered and Posavci have taken Palez a little earlier. Vasa Čarapić took Grocka and Milan Obrenovic took Cacak.
On 26th of April in the second attack Jagodina was burned and occupied, and near Lestane Vasa Čarapić managed to break the army of Kucuk Ali. Smederevo surrendered on 18th of July, and in august Milenko Stojkovic was able to catch and to behead runaway dahis on Ada Kale. The heads were sent to the Sultan in Stanbol.
Battle of Ivankovac
took place on the religious holliday The Transfiguration of the Lord (19. august) in 1805. and was crucial for the further course of The Uprising. As the commander of the Turkish army was determined Hafiz Pasha, who headed the army from Nis to Belgrade along Morava River. Karađorđe appointed Milenko Stojkovic with Peter Dobrnjac and Stevan Sinđelić to wait for Turks in village Ivankovac east from Cuprija on the right side of Morava river. In a fierce clash with the loss of life on both sides, the Turks, when they saw the Karadjordje army on the other, left side of Morava river, withdrawed in Paracin. The rebels have set up their camp orward Paracin.During the night one called Steva the scribe asked Karadjordje to fire a cannon at Turks in the town. Served by good fortune, and he injured Hafiz Pasha himself who withdrew that night to Nis, where he died of wounds from a cannon.
Battle of Misar
is one of the brightest victories in the First Serbian Uprising. There was stopped the Bosnian Turks march led by Suleiman Pasha Skopljak. Misar is a barrow from which we can see a field near the Sava river and the town of Sabac. Karađorđe decided to build the big trench, which could fit about 7000 people. Several times a shrinking rebel army met Turkish troops, which had to come out of Sabac and storm up the hill. With outstanding tactics and skillfully selected position for battle, Karadjordje managed to defend himself, and entering light Serbian cavalry at the decisive moment in the battle, to turn things to their advantage. Janko Katic died before the actual battle. Karadjordje' s war chapter consisted of Matija and Jakov Nenadovic, priest Luka Lazarevic, Milan and Milos Obrenovic, Sima Markovic, Lazar Mutap, Stojan Cupic, Milos Stojicevic and others. It was 13th august 1806.
Deligrad is the best fortification built during the First Serbian Uprising. On Deligrad were many fights beginning from the 1806. Any Turkish military offensive from Nis, implied the attack on Deligrad. The fort was built by Petar Dobrnjac and it was on the right bank of the South Morava river. The longest commanders of Deligrad except Dobrnjac were Stanoje Glavas, Arsenije Lomo, Milutin Savic. Civil commander was Aleksa Djukic, and Karađorđe's messenger was Tesa Obradovic.
The Ottoman Sultan,Selim III sent a huge Turkish force to quell the uprising. The Serbian high command decided to meet the Turkish force under Ibrahim Bushati, pasha of Shkodër, at Deligrad.
The Serbian right wing numbered 5,000 men under the command of Mladen Milovanović at Bela Palanka. The center consisted of 15,000 troops which would be placed at the Kunovaci mountain. The left wing would be composed of 5,000 men under the command of Milenko Stojković with an additional 3,000 reserve troops to guard from any possible Turkish flank attack from Niš. Stanoje Glavaš would command the elite and cavalry troops whose job was to delve deep into enemy territory and harass them as much as possible.Tomo Milinović was a head of artillery and made significant effort by good positioning and frequent relocation of the cannons.
The Turkish Army consisted of 55,000 regular troops with additional auxiliary and Janissary support. The Serbian army withstood several enemy offensives. The Serbian rebels also attacked the Turkish positions numerous times and managed to capture 9 Turkish cannons. Meanwhile, the elite troops of Stanoje Glavaš effectively liberated Prokuplje thereby splitting the Turkish army in two. The Turkish wing under the command of Pazvanoglu was swiftly defeated by Mladen Milovanović and the Ottoman force was routed.
The battle provided a decisive victory for the Serbs and bolstered the morale of the outnumbered Serbian rebels. To avoid total defeat, Ibrahim Pasha negotiated a six week truce with Karadjordje.
After the fall of Belgrade in 1813..Deligrad was abandoned and the brave defenders dispersed houses. Deligrad had never been conquered militarily.
Battle for Belgrade
is a very important moment in the rebeled Serbia. The rebels held the city under siege for about 2 years. No matter where other battles were the siege battle was not abandoned and was always maintained. The camp was initially in Vracar and later on Tasmajdan and Karađorđe always came back to the walls of Belgrade after some battles. With this siege it was impeded for Turks to come from behind the rebels, and they were also unable to come to the liberated areas and of course the dahis were desabled to escape. Final take over of Belgrade began at Sava gate and major role had Konda bimbasa and Uzun Mirko Apostolović. The fiercest battles were at Stamboul gates where Vasa Carapic died, between today's National Theatre and The National Museum. During the battles for liberation of Belgrade, about 50 rebels and 300 Turks died.Leader of one of the Turk troops Alija Glusanac tried to maintain in the upper town, but when he saw that all was lost he took the boat and escape to Vidin. On 8th of January, at St. Stephen Protomartyr Belgrade was finally in Serbian hands.
The Suvodol battle
took place in early June 1809. Karađorđe rejected a series of concessions that he had proposed by Porta (Turkish Sultanate. He wanted to extend the uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sandzak region, in order to eventually merged with Montenegro. In 5th of May 1809. Karađorđe occupies Sjenica, and after the Battle of Suvodol occupies Novi Pazar in 16th June, so that some units encountered some Montenegrin squads. Turks used Karađorđe's absence and from Nis and Vidin direction they attacked the Serbian army, which was in the near Nis, in Kamenica. The commander of Serbian army was Miloje Petrovic Trnavac who was previously abandoned by Peter Dobrnjac Hajduk Veljko Petrovic and with their units went to Deligrad and Krajina. This is an introduction to the Battle of Čegar. As Stevan Siđelić was in the nearest ditch close to Nis, because he wanted to be the first to enter the Niš, all Turkish military forces were attacking its Resava soldiers. Trnavac was located about 3km away from Sinđelic. When he saw there is no help for him Sinđelić had burnt all of ammunition that they had and all the Serbs and Turks who were there at the time, flew into the air. Turks made Skull Tower on Cegar from the heads of the dead, the most terrible monument of Serbian suffering.
Military breakdown of the Uprising in 1813
Because Napoleon's Russian campaign
campaign in 1812. Russian troops were withdrawn from Serbia. Russia made peace with the Turkey in Bucharest which rebels didn't accept because of the unfavorable decisions for Serbia.
At the end of the summer of 1813.
the superior Turkish army attacked Serbia from several directions. After a lengthy battles of Deligrad, Negotin and Zasavica (Ravanje), the Turks re-conquered Serbia. A large part of the population, with Karadjordje and other insurgents, went to Austria and Wallachia.
Turks in Serbia made harsh reprisals, restored their power and established the Belgrade pasha jurisdiction at the old borders. The resistance of the Serbian people was not completely broken. On the tradition and achievements of The First Serbian Uprising free Serbia was later restored.
Serbia received proof of its ninth century statehood existence.
The Ministry of Culture has bought the stamp belonging to Serbian Prince Strojimir for almost 20,000 euros at an auction in Munich 11 July 2006. The stamp is evidence of the existence of the Serbian state in the ninth century, which is three centuries earlier than what former existing evidence have shown.
BELGRADE - Serbia has received a "new" oldest feature of its statehood - Seal of Serbian Prince Strojimir from the ninth century. The ministry of culture has bought the seal of Prince Strojimir for almost 20,000 euros at an auction in Munich 11 July., No one in Serbia knew of the existence of this stamp, which has been privately owned. Our collectors learned about this valuable item from their Russian colleagues.
The oldest material evidence that Serbia have prior to this finding to testify about its statehood, are documents left from the Rulers of the Nemanjic-line, dating from the twelfth century
- We had difficulty getting to this oldest preserved symbol of Serbian statehood. List price of the stamp at first was 6,500 euros. However, the Bulgarians, who for historical reasons find this stamp very important, they offered 15,000 euros to prevent the item to be on auction that day. Which is just to show how attempts are made to hide historical truths from the world and that history is being manipulated with and used in political battles.
Fortunately, our consulate in Munich reacted swiftly and bought the stamp for 16,000 euros. Taking into account the fees of the auction house, the total cost for us was nearly 20,000. It's a small price to pay if we bear in mind the importance of the stamp for the Serbian history - says the Minister of Culture, Dragan Kojadinović.
The seal will be kept at the Historical Museum of Serbia, which will be moved to Vlajkovic street - explains Kojadinovic
Dr. Djordje Jankovic, president of Serbian Archaeological Society and head of the Department of National Archaeology of the Middle Ages, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, in the material that was sent to the Serbian prime minister explained that Prince Strojimir was the son of Serbian prince Vlastimir, who ruled the middle of the ninth century, and one of three brothers who shared Serbia and ruled it. Also, he was the grandfather of Prince Časlav, who ruled Serbia from 927 until after 950.
"So the prince, owner of the seal belonged to the oldest known Serbian dynasty rulers. It is possible that from the same dynasty also originates subsequent dynasties Vojislavic, large prefect, and even the Nemanjic:s ", according to the explanation which was forwarded to Kostunica.
Part of Byzantine goldsmiths from Athens, Thessaloniki, OR Constantinople
Professor Jankovic explains that the stamp was probably compiled by Byzantine goldsmiths in Athens, Thessaloniki or Constantinople, which testifies to the political ties with the Serbian Empire, which was important because it conflicts with the Bulgarians. The existence of the stamp proves that the Serbian prince had court office records and administration that monitors the state. The Prince is obviously a Christian as was his ancestors.
God help Serbia
Stamp of Prince Strojimir is made in gold, weighing 15.64 grams, hight 1, 9 inches, conical shape and a knocker on top. It has a circular inscription field with a cross, surrounded by the Greek inscription "God help Serbia."
Source: Glas Javnosti
Ravanica monastery, together with the Church of the Holy Ascension, and its buildings surrounded by strong defensive walls with seven towers, lies at the foot of the Kučaj mountains, in the village of Senje near Ćuprija. It was the endowment of Prince Lazar. It was built during the period between 1375 and 1377, and its frescoes were painted in the years preceding the Battle of Kosovo. The benefactor’s composition was added to after Lazar’s death in the battle.
Due to its architectural and artistic features, the Ravanica church can be called the birthplace of the new artistic movement called the Morava school. The church is original in its architectural style, which is a blend of the Mount Athos tradition of the trefoil base and the cross-in-square five-domed model which became standard in the time of King Milutin. Its trefoil floor plan inspired the future development of church layout. The church was built from alternating rows of stone and brick and was decorated with ceramic ornamental elements and rich sculpture.
In its frescoes, which have remained preserved in the apse and main interior portion of the church, certain innovations can be observed relating to patterns in the selection of themes and cycles (Major Festivals, the Passion of Christ, Miracles and Parables) which were to become standard in the painting of later Moravian Serbian churches.
Ravanica is the main endowment of the famous Prince Lazar , where he was buried following his death in the battle of Kosovo. Since then, Ravanica has been a pilgrim's destination and an important center of cultural activities and the Serbian people's assemblies. The monastery has been damaged by the Turks several times, in 1386, 1398, and 1436. In the great war following the second siege of Vienna, a number of monks got killed and the rest of them took the relics of the canonized Prince Lazar and withdrew in face of the Ottoman's offensive in 1690. Only in 1717 was the sole survivor among the monks, teacher Stefan, to come back to Ravanica and find the monastery looted and deserted. With the help of local inhabitants he restored the monastery and built a new narthex. However, the site suffered repeated assaults during the Serbian revolution at the beginning of the XIX c. The new restoration took place in the middle of the XIX c. During World War II, Germans damaged the monastery one more time, and detained, tortured, and killed its archimandrite Makarije on February 24th, 1943.
The Ravanica church is the first monument of the Morava School of the Serbian medieval art. Its ground plan has the form of an enlarged trefoil with a nine-sided dome in the middle and four smaller octagonal domes above the corner bays. There are 62 windows. The church was built in alternate courses of single-line stone and three-line brick. Valuable ceramic decoration makes use of geometric patterns, floral motifs, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic shapes.
The frescoes were not all painted at the same time and by the same artists, though they are mostly dated between 1385 and 1387. The middle-register frescoes, which are of the highest artistic value, were painted by two artists, one of them known as Constantine, who left his signature on a fresco of a warrior saint. Some of the noteworthy compositions include the Communion of the Apostles and the Adoration of the Lamb in the altar apse, as well as the Festival cycle in the upper registers of the church.