The spectacular statue of a Serbian soldier testifies the remarkable venture, performed in the first half of the last century.
On the cliff above the river Ibar in the village of Cerje, halfway on the road between Kraljevo and Raska, the Serbian warrior keeps guard for eight and a half decades already, and next to it there is black pine that sprouted from the rocks.
The concrete statue of a Serbian soldier from three and a half meters is located on the vertical rocky hill above the river. The soldier is positioned to keep an eye on the main road, so with decades now it constantly reminds passers of the heroism of Ibar warriors in the two Balkan wars and the First World War. Besides, on the stone slab beneath the monument it’s written: “Dedicated to Ibar heroes fallen for the king and the homeland 1912-1918”.
However, this unusual “guard” was almost destroyed, so the collaborators and experts from the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments in Kraljevo renewed the statue.
The monument was damaged because of the burden of time, human negligence, the subsequent war and earthquakes… Also, it was almost devastated by rifle bullets (from the Partisans) right after World War II. Because of the bullets there were missing parts of the blouse, parts of the gun, the spade and the epaulettes…Due to the ingress of water and ice in the winter, the mentioned reparations were necessary and urgent.
Renovation was performed by using the old technique of “washed exposed aggregate concrete”, ie. concrete mixture made up of precisely determined stone granulation. Sealing cracks, new epaulettes, “patching” of the blouse, reparation of the gun and the spade … was performed by the sculptor Vladimir Jablanović, and the stone postament was strengthened by the repairer Viobran Krstic.
This monument was placed in 1930 by the engineers and workers from the national technical company “Labor” from Belgrade. They worked on the reconstruction of the road Kraljevo-Raska and construction of the railway through the Ibar gorge to Skopje. These works had been led by the engineers Vlada Starcic and Aleksandar Ackovic, so it is believed that it’s theirs, especially Ackovic’s idea and realization to place a monument in honor of Serbian heroes from the valley of Ibar.
There is a plan to illuminate the statue so the passers can detect it at night.
Translation to English : Biljana Vidoevska