The well-known place of Orašac, only 70 km away from Belgrade, is considered the cradle of the modern Serbian statehood. It was in this Sumadian village that in the far 1804, at the Visitation of the Virgin Holiday (2/15 February), all prominent Serbs met and agreed to raise an insurrection against the centuries-long Turkish rule and to elect Djordje Petrovic Karadjordje as their leader.
In the rememberance of this major event of the newer Serbian history, a memorial complex named ” The First Serbian Insurrection ” has been raised, comprising:
THE MEMORIAL DRINKING FOUNTAIN is located in Marićeva Gully, not far from the church. It was set up in 1954, at the event of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the First Serbian Insurrection against Turkish rule. The fountain is a part of a larger compound comprising a buttress made of stone blocks. There are three arched marble plaques in the intermediate portion of this monument. The middle one carries the text that says:
” IT WAS ON THIS SPOT THAT THE FIRST SERBIAN INSURRECTION WAS RAISED ON FEBRUARY 15, 1804. ”
The left – and right – hand plaques each carry four lines of the well-known epic poem ” The Commencement of the Uprising against Turkish rulers ” . The bronze plaque on the right-hand side of the buttress depicts a high bass relief of Karadjordje, girdled by the text in archaic Serbian language saying:
THE SUPREME LEADER OF THE SERBIAN PEOPLE
This portrait of Karadjordje is the work of Raja Nikolić, the sculptor from the town of Arandjelovac. On the occasion of celebrating the two – hundredth anniversary of the First Serbian Insurrection, The Fondation Trust ” First Serbian Insurrection ” put up the relief ” Rebellions Oath ” made by Z. Miladinović i M. Rašić.
THE CHURCH IN ORAŠAC was raised between 1868 and 1870. The iconostasis of the church is of notable artistic value. It was painted by Steva Todorović, one of the most renowned Serbian artists in the second half of the 19th century. The iconostasis comprises 24 icons with representations of saints and scenes from the New Testament. The north pilaster contains a memorial plaque made of white marble from the local Mount of Venčac, dedicated to those who died in the Balkan Wars.
THE MEMORIAL SCHOOL, built at the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the First Serbian Insurrection, has got an interesting pre-history. On the eve of the First World War, in 1912, King Peter I visited the historic place of Orašac. Local farmers asked the king then to raise an educational edifice instead of the monument to Karadjordje and the insurgents.
The King promised to do that as soon as his endowment in Oplenac was completed. King Peter’ s son, King Alexander I Karadjordjevi fulfilled this promise given by Karadjordje’ s grand – son.
According to his order, a Council was established in Orašac for the purpose of building of the memorial school. The whole kingdom participated in building of this beautiful edifice, designed by architect Petar Gačić.
In February 15. 1933, Vicar Bishop Tihon consecrated the school, in the name of his Excellency Patriarch Varnava. His Majesty King Alexander I Karadjordjević attended the event. It was an impressive popular jubilation held in honour of the famous insurrection leader and his fellow soldiers.
On the occasion of celebrating the two – hundredth anniversary of the First Serbian Insurrection, the municipality of Arandjelovac raised a monument dedicated to Karadjordje, 3.4 m tall, made by sculptor Drinka Radovanovic out of the white marble from nearby Mt. Venčac.
This memorial compound in Orašac is complemented by the sepulcher of Teodosije Marićević, dislocated from the Anićs family yard into the churchyard. The fact that there are other artefacts from the time of the First Serbian Insurrection in Orašac, is of no less importance. Namely, there are several very old and ethnographically important buildings and other facilities protected by law.