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Prince Mihailo Monument

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Subject: 1991 protests in Belgrade, Culture in Belgrade, Belgrade
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Prince Mihailo Monument

The statue of Prince Mihailo, pointing towards Constantinople.

Prince Mihailo Monument is a monument of Prince Mihailo monument is located in the main Republic Square in Belgrade, Serbia, and was erected in 1882. It was first public monument with representation of equestrian figure of ruler in Serbia . The author of the monument is Italian sculptor Enrico Pazzi. Reliefs on the monument were performed according to the drawings of architect Konstantin Jovanović. The monument was declared a Monument of Culture of Great Importance in 1979 and it is protected by Republic of Serbia.[1]

Mihailo Obrenović III, Prince of Serbia

Prince Mihailo (1823–1868) was Prince of Serbia from 1839 to 1842 and again from 1860 to 1868. His rule began after the death of his elder brother, and ruled until 1842, when he was ousted in a revolt led by Toma Vučić-Perišić.

Prince Mihailo has come on the throne, for a second time, after the death of his father, Miloš Obrenović I, 1860. He ruled for eight years as the absolutists, making progress in Serbia, harmonizing agreements with neighboring countries, for common action on the Balkans. During the second reign of Prince Mihailo, Turkish authorities were handed over the remaining cities of Belgrade, Šabac, Smederevo, Soko, Uzice and Kladovo management Serbia in 1867. Rule of Prince Mihailo Obrenovic was discontinued by assassination in the Košutnjak 1868.


International Competition

During the second half of the 19th century in Belgrade, starts to rise numbers of monuments, which represent numerous prominent personalities from the cultural and political life of Serbia. So it was decided that after several debates and contest erect a monument to Mihailo Obrenović, which would be placed at the former Theatre Square outside the National Theatre. On this occasion in 1873 an international competition was announced. Total of 17 works were received, mostly from foreign artists.

For the author was elected an Italian sculptor, the distinguished Florentine master Enrico Pazzi. The Italian sculptor, was born in Florence in 1819. He was a pupil of the famous sculptor Giovanni Sarti and Duperray. He was representative of the Italian verismo. His artistic direction was showing life as it is, with all its glory and despair. Pazzi was famous by his work on the monument, dedicated to the Italian writer Dante. Monument to Dante was erected in 1865. Monument is located in front of the Florentine church of Santa Croce. Proposal off Pazzi was innovation in a Serbian society of that time. Innovation was in displaying ruler on a horse. Work on the monument began in 1874 and continued in 1878 when Serbia gained independence, so the raising of this kind of monument dedicated to victory and liberation became live again. Equestrian statue in Belgrade was done in the spirit of classic Italian representations of ruler on a horse, having model in ancient art. It was the first monumental equestrian statue in Serbia.[2]

Making and setting of the monument

The bronze equestrian statue of Prince Mihailo on a horse, by the Italian sculptor Enrico Pazzi was erected in 1882.[1] It was erected in honor of the Prince's most important political achievement, complete expulsion of the Turks from Serbia and liberation of the remaining seven cities within (then) Serbian territory, still under the Turkish rule (1867). The names of the cities are carved on a plates on the monument itself, on the statue's pedestal, and the prince is sculptured with his hand pointing to Constantinople, indicating the path for the Turks to leave.[1]

The ceremonial unveiling of the monument took place on December 6, 1882, on the day of Saint Nicholas, patron of the dynasty Obrenovic. The event was conceived as a large ephemeral spectacle on the occasion of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Serbia. At that time, a horseman without a hat was an unusual occurrence, and to the public noticed that.[3] Revealing of Monuments was a great spectacle, on the occasion of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Serbia. Stage backdrops decorated with flowers, greenery, heraldic shields with a white double-headed eagles and flags, were set. On this occasion, Enrico Pazzi, as author of one of the most important Serbian monuments of 19th century, received the Order of Knight of Takovo, order of second degree. The ceremony was attended by the highest representatives of church, state and army with great support and the presence of people. The whole event was attended by the press of that time and above all by the "Serbian Newspapers". The concept of the ceremony were supposed to show a demonstration of power of newly proclaimed Kingdom.[2]

Monument is made of bronze is composed of three ptchrts, the plinth, the pedestal, and the equestrian statue. The bronze figure represent the prince on the horse, the Serbian liberator, liberator from the Turks, whose outstretched arm pointing to yet oppressed areas. The raised arm gesture with outstretched index finger comes from militaristic corporeal rhetoric dating back to Roman tradition particular used later from the French neoclassical art. For Prince’s Mihailo such a gesture actually meant victory in the field of diplomacy, not on the battlefield. Position of the Prince and the horse also indicated that. Prince holds the reins with the left hand, gesture which symbolizes the ability of the ruler to control and manage. Prince Mihailo was presented as the savior of the nation who sacrificed himself for the national ideals. The pedestal is of the oval type with a relief frieze. The representations of front and rear frieze are taken from the circle of dynastic mythology that celebrates antiquity and heroism of the Serbian people and their renewal under the Obrenović dynasty. The scene of the "Serbian Gusle Player" is on the back north side, surrounded by people dressed in different suits, which points to different ethnic boundaries of the nation, far beyond the political borders that existed in the period of the Principality of that time. On the front south side is the representation "The Prince Milos in Takovo" pointing to the idea of dynastic and national continuity, and to the idea of war for the liberation of homeland.[2] On east and west side of the monument is reliefs which glorify Prince Mihailo. On the east side is the "National Deputation in front of the Grand Duke Mihailo," based on the idea of restoration of the golden period in the restored state and on the other west side is the representation "The Serbs take an oath over the grave of Prince Mihailo". In the middle of the scene there is an ancient sarcophagus with an inscription in French, which say: "Michel III prince de Serbie". The entire pedestal with reliefs was set at a high rectangular plinth, so that the monument with its location and appearance could have dominated the space, and which in the assessment had an important visual and symbolic role in the elevation of the royal personality. The emblem of Obrenović dynasty is on the front south side of the plinth, similar to the emblem on the Duke’s tomb in the Orthodox Cathedral. Three large bronze garlands were on the lateral sides, on which were inscribed in gilt letters the names of cities liberated in 1867: Belgrade, Kladovo, Soko, Smederevo, Šabac and Užice. On the back, north side is the text: “To Prince Mihailo Obrenovic III. Greatful Serbia. “ In the corners of the plinth were placed four relief trophies, and around the monument, there was a fence with candelabras. The Monument to Prince Mihailo was the first equestrian statue with the sculpture of a ruler from the national Serbian history.

Unveiling of the monument was followed by firing from a hundred and one cannon, and the ringing of bells from all churches of Belgrade, were heard during ceremonial unveiling of the monument and removing of the white cover. In front of the monument the Prince was honored and the anthem sung. Journalistic sources say it was a sublime moment of the ceremony. After that, laying of silver wreaths of glory started.

The Monument to Prince Mihailo was established as a cultural monument of great value, Decision on Establishment, "Off . Gaz. SRS" No.14/79.

See also


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b c - Prince Mihailo Monument Retrieved 7 July 2013
  3. ^ Scandal at Monument bareheaded Prince Retrieved 29 July 2014Scandal at bareheaded Prince

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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