Monument to Despot Stefan Lazarević Unveiled in Belgrade Today

19. Apr 2021.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selaković and Deputy Mayor Goran Vesić have ceremoniously unveiled a monument to Despot Stefan Lazarević in the centre of Belgrade today, fashioned in accordance with the concept design of sculptor Svetomir Arsić Basara.

On this occasion, the head of Serbian foreign affairs noted that the new monument represents a true celebration for the capital of Serbia, since Belgrade became the royal seat for the first time during the reign of Despot Stefan, who was one of the most outstanding rulers of the Serbian medieval epoch, a great warrior, knight, virtuous statesman, lawyer, diplomat, and patron of the arts.

“On this day, when the celebration of the Days of Belgrade ends, we have unveiled a monument to one of the most outstanding rulers of the Serbian medieval epoch, a man whose presence was the swan’s song of Serbian medieval statehood and culture. He was the founder of the Serbian university in Resava, and for 154 years Belgrade and Serbia did not erect a single monument to him”, said Selaković.

He added that Belgrade has shown a considerable dose of ignorance towards Despot Stefan, while having the duty to speak more of him, as Despot Stefan was the one to win the city of Belgrade from the Hungarian king Zsigmond and turn a Hungarian border town into the gates of the Balkans and the most important city in this part of Europe.

Today, at the start of the third decade of the 21st century, the Minister noted, Serbia needs no other signpost but Despot Stefan Lazarević, saint and ruler, to whom the monument is erected with the desire to educate all those who do not know enough about him, and to make this part of Belgrade, long known for greyness, pollution and dilapidation, shine again.

“The monument to the Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja is hereby followed by a monument to Despot Stefan Lazarević. All those who would attack this monument and this idea should first examine for whom the monument is erected, let them see for themselves what they did for Belgrade and whether at that time Belgrade grew brighter or darker”, said the Minister, convinced that in times to come “wonderful monuments” will be raised precisely in the capital to many of our great people, and that every part of Belgrade will become even more beautiful.

The Minister noted that during the past few months, as he met people from abroad coming to Belgrade after five, ten, twenty years, only "from their mouths” did he realise how far Belgrade has progressed, how much it is changing, and to what extent these changes and progress are something that can no longer be halted.

“It is precisely the vision presented to the citizens by the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić at the time he became the Prime Minister of Serbia, implemented by Belgrade with the support of the Government and the state, that has made our capital the flywheel of the overall development of the entire country”, noted the Minister.

He emphasised that it is important to maintain the culture of remembering those who made Belgrade great before us, and that one of the brightest stars in this constellation of personages is that of Despot Stefan Lazarević, at one point unjustly forgotten and side-lined in our history, and as of today, the Minister is convinced - a person that will receive a lot of attention.

“And let the unveiling of this monument be only the beginning of the raising of awareness and the culture of remembrance regarding Despot Stefan and his predecessors, as well as all those after him who made Belgrade great and left it to be lifted even higher and made what it is, the gate of the Balkans to the west and the gate of the west to the Balkans”, concluded the head of Serbian foreign affairs.

The monument to Despot Stefan Lazarević was placed on the square between the streets of Gundulićev Venac, Drinčićeva, Palmotićeva, and Despota Stefana Boulevard, with the Despot presented with a sword in his right hand, a book in his left, and a cross on his chest. The monument is four metres tall without its base.