In the vicinity of Nis, on Cegar hill, the location of the famous First Serbian Uprising battle, there is a monument put up in memory of the courageous soldiers and their commander Stevan Sindjelic, who perished there. According to the plans for the liberation of Nis and south Serbia, the Serbian Army, with its 16,000 fighters, arrived in the vicinity of Nis on 27 April 1809. During more than a month of preparations, the insurgents built 6 trenches in the villages surrounding the city. The most exposed Serbian position was on Cegar hill, where the commander was the duke of Resava, Stevan Sindjelic. At the same time, this trench was the biggest by size (the fortification itself measured 140/30 meters, in one part was Sindjelic's tent, and in the other was the powder magazine). The frontline faced Vinik hill, from which the attack was anticipated. The Battle On the day of the great battle, 31 May 1809, the attack started on the foremost position held by the Serbs – Cegar. The battle took the entire day, with the Turks attacking in waves. They were rejected five times, though with major losses. Marching over the corpses of their fellow soldiers, the Turks managed to enter the trenches on the hill in the sixth attempt. Once inside, they attacked the Serbs with rifles, knives, and bare hands. Realizing he could not reject the attacks any further, Duke Sindjelic rushed towards the powder magazine. Luring as many Turks as he could closer, he shouted “Brothers, save your lives!”, drew his gun and fired shots at the magazine. The Duke, the remaining Serbian soldiers, and numerous Turks were killed in the explosion. The Monument The first monument marking the location of Stevan Sindjelic's ditch, the venue of the Battle of Cegar, was made in the shape of a small granite pyramid. The monument was presented to the public on 21 June 1878, in the presence of Prince Milan Obrenovic. This happened only six months after the liberation of Nis from the Turks and Cegar was therefore the first monument made in the free Nis. Today's tower-shaped monument – symbolizing a military fortification – was erected on the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Nis, and it was presented to the public on 1 June 1927. The architect in charge was Julien Dupont from Nis (a Russian emigrant). A bronze bust of Stevan Sindjelic, made by the Croatian sculptor Slavko Miletic, was added to the monument's semicircular niche in 1938.
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