Gazimestan Memorial site Monument Pristina

The Gazimestan Monument is immovable cultural site of Repulic of Serbia of extraordinary importance. The Gazimestan historical complex marks the historical site of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, where the battle was held between the Serb and the Turkish armies, on the Vidovdan – the Saint Vitus Day, the 15th /28th/ June 1389, some ten kilometers south-east of Pristina. The Gazimestan Memorial historical complex is positioned on the elevation of the vast Kosovo Field, few hundred meters from the former road direction Kosovska Mitrovica and Podujevo The Gazimestan Memorial is unique historical monumental compound which marks one of the most significant events of the whole Serbian history as the decisive battle of the Serbs and the Ottomans through centuries became the inextricable part of the collective memory and identity of the Serbs. The Gazimestan Memorial includes the monument to the Kosovo soldiers in the form of medieval stone tower constructed in 1953 by the design of Aleksandar Deroko, as well as the Sultan Murat turbe /mausoleum/ and the Gazimestan turbe mausoleum /the turbe of 2 flag-bearers/.

The central place of the Gazimestan Memorial complex is encircled with iron fence, and includes the 25-meters high tower constructed from 77 rows of stone which contain more than 17000 stone blocks from the Gacanica quarry. In front of the entrance to the Gazimestan Memorial complex are barracks where the Kosovo Police guards the spot and control documents of visitors.

In Kosovo Polje Field, in the valley of the Lab River, the historical battle was waged on the 15th June 1389 between the Serbian medieval Principality and the Turkish Empire. The Serb Army numbered some 35000 soldiers and was deployed on the right banks of the Lab River. Thus the right wing of the Serb Army relied on the Sitnica River, while the left wing was turned towards the mountains, with the central headquarters of Prince Lazar. On the day of the Kosovo Battle, around 8 hours in the morning the Turks started the battle, crossed the Lab river with the left wing, and fiercely attacked the Serbian Army which rejected the attacks and turned the Ottomans on the left river bank. Then the Serb Army took the attack by crossing the Lab river with its right wing, broke the left wing and approached the Turkish Army. The Duke Milos Obilic used this moment of the battle and attacked and deadly wounded the Turkish commander – Sultan Murad. In order to influence the battle course, around 10 the commander of the right wing of the Turkish Army – prince Bayezid and majority of the Turkish troups attacked the right wing of the Serbian Army, that caused the bloodiest fights around the Mazgit hill and Gazimestan point. The crucial moment of the Kosovo Battle was around the noon, when the Prince Lazar commanded the Serb standby troops to enter the battle. The distant right wing of the Serb Army collapsed under the Turkish attack and the outnumbered troops led by Jannisaires led to the Serb retreat that impacted the battle outcome with the loss of the Serb Army and death of both tsars. When Prince Bayazet took over the command over the Jannisaires and standy forces, he attacked the central part of the Serb Army, captured and beheaded the Holy Prince Lazar. Loss of the Serbian independence, the failure of Serbia in Kosovo and soon decay of the other Balkan states were consequences of the Kosovo Battle.

The Gazimestan Memorial is rich in the lyrics of the Kosovo Epic Poetry, and every Saint Vitus day gathers all who respect the Kosovo Oath and the Serbian patriots. In the central part of the façade of the Gazimestan Monument are encarved words of the curse of the Serbian Prince Lazar to the Serbs, below the coat of arms in the fort of crossed sabres. Even today the Oath of Prince Lazars warns and reminds the Serbs on their duty to protect the population, Fatherland, the Serbian State and the Orthodox faith

“Whoever is a Serb and of Serb birth,

And of Serb blood and heritage,

And comes not to the Battle of Kosovo,

May he never have the progeny his heart desires,

Neither son nor daughter!

May nothing grow that his hand sows,

Neither dark wine nor white wheat!

And let him be cursed from all ages to all ages!”

At the foot of the Gazimestan Monument are the marble plaques with engraved description of the Battle of Kosovo and the presentation of the operational organization of the Serbian and the Turskish forces during the fights. Stairs lead to the top of Gazimestan Memorial Monument on whose rest space are marble plaques with the Kosovo epic lyrics. The wide panorama of the Kosovo battleground towards the vast Kosovo Field spreds from the top of the Gazimestan monument. In the proximity of the Gazimestan Monument is the white monolite marble column with lyrics of despot Stefan Lazarevic. When the NATO troops entered Kosovo and Metohija Province in 19999 the area around the Gazimestan monument was destroyed, the tower undermined with destruction of the informative artistic parts. The entire field around the Gazimestan Memorial was covered with the red peonies which are believed to have appeared from the blood of the Serbian heroes.

In 1989 for the Anniversary of six centuries after the Kosovo Battle, the bronze artistic applications were posted right in the area f the Gazimestan tower to indicate the Kosovo jubilees.

The Turbe of Tsar Murat is mausoleum of the Turkish sultan that his son Bayezid erected on the place of the father’s death in the Kosovo Battle, positioned some 1 km in air line from the Gazimestan Memorial on the other side of the road Priština – Kosovska Mitrovica. In the turbe of Sultan Murat are buried sultan’s internal organs while his body was balsamized and buried in the Bursa mosque. The present apperanace of thr Sulta Murat turbe date from the 19th century and makes the example of the Turkish Baroque with stylish features in the window frames, the corner pillars and the shallow encarved insciptions at the entrance. The Sultan Murat turbe has the quadrant basis and was constructed from the ashlar stone. Around the turbe, in the lovely garden, and tombs of the members of the Turbedari Family who for centuries take care after the Sultan’s mausoleum. The Turbedari Family origins from Uzbekistan and settled here few hundred years ago. For their care and guard of the Sultan’s mausoleum, this family was named the Turbedar Family. Gazimestan turbe is stone mausoleum of the octagonal shape where the earthen remains of the Turkish flag-carrier barjaktar are kept, and legend has it that here is the spot of death of both the Turkish and the Serb flag carriers. Due to construction of new Albanian houses, the turbe of the sultan Murat can not be observed from the new highway, while the newly built construction in proximity of the Gazimestan Memorial hardly destroys the monumental complex.