Sunday, April 17, 2016

Centenary of Serbian army landing on the Ionian Islands of Corfu and Vido / April 2016

President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic

Belgrade, April 16 [2016] – President of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic will lead the Ceremony on the occasion of celebrating the centenary of Serbian army landing on the Ionian Islands of Corfu and Vido, on Monday, April 18, 2016, starting at 10.00 (11.00 local time).

After the central commemorative ceremony at the Memorial Charnel House and laying wreaths on the Navy Cross, President Nikolic will lay a wreath in the "Blue Tomb".

President will attend the opening of the new permanent exhibition "Serbs on Corfu 1916-1918" in the Serbian House at 14.00 (15.00 local time).

During the visit, President will be proclaimed an honorary citizen of the Municipality of Corfu, at 20.00 (21.00 local time).

For special merits for Serbia, for expressed generosity and humanity towards the Serbian soldiers who landed on island of Corfu 100 years ago, Serbian President will award Municipality of Corfu with the Sretenje Medal.

The delegation of the Republic of Serbia, beside the President of the Republic Tomislav Nikolic, consists of: Zoran Djordjevic, Minister of Defence, Aleksandar Vulin, Minister for Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Ivan Tasovac, Minister of Culture and Information in the Government of Republic of Serbia.

President Nikolic will stay in Serres on April 19, 2016, where he will be awarded an Honorary Citizen Charter and keys of the city of Serres.

A Letter to the Editor:

The island of Corfu is the eternal resting place of Serbian soldiers. The largest were in Kato Korakijani with 560 graves and Agios Mateos with 520 graves. Ahileon was a Serb officers' cemetery. The refugees were buried in the town cemetery in Garica and other rural cemeteries. The most famous Serbian memorials on Corfu are: Mausoleum on the island of Vido, memorial plaque in Gouvia and Monument in Agios Mateos.

Died Serbian soldiers were buried on the rocky coast of the island of Vido, in shallow graves at first, and then were, when they began to die massively, transported by the boats from French medical tomb and immersed in water of the Ionian Sea, the "Blue Tomb". It is believed that on the island of Vido and in the "Blue Tomb" over 10,000 Serbian soldiers and recruits were buried. A large Mausoleum-Ossuary was built on the island of Vido in 1936, in which the bones of soldiers buried there are placed and stored.

The Serbian House is a museum dedicated to the suffering of the Serbian army during the retreat through Albania in the First World War, 1915 - 1916. The City Assembly of Corfu assigned an edifice for the museum on May 04, 1993. General Milorad Prelevic was the author of the first museum exhibition in 1993. This year, for the first time after 23 years, the museum is completely reconstructed and the new permanent exhibition of the Historical Museum of Serbia is exposed.

Serbian army, under the leadership of Stefan Dušan, won the city of Serres, on September 25, 1345, the third most important city in Byzantium. Chalkidiki was conquered also, including the Holy Mount Athos. Realizing that the Byzantine Empire weakened, Dušan decided to raise a realm of a young nation full of strength, on the ruins of the Byzantine. After all the conquests, Stefan Dušan decided to declare himself for the emperor. He made an agreement with the Holy Mount, which always considered the Byzantine Emperor as its sole and legitimate sovereign.

The Protat, administrative center of Mount Athos, decided that name of Dušan is mentioned in all the prayers, right after the name of the Byzantine Emperor John V. In return, Dušan pledged to respect the autonomy of the Holy Mount. King Stefan Dušan proclaimed himself emperor around Christmas (December 25, 1345) in the city of Serres.

The city of Serres is also significant because the most important medieval legal document, Dušan's Code, was amended in that city. Specifically, Stefan Dušan developed a wide legislative activities and the adoption of that law formalized and systematized provisions that had previously been regulated by customary rules. The Code, at usual numbering, consists of 201 articles. It was passed on Assembly of nobility and church dignitaries, held on the Ascension, May 21, 1349 in Skopje (135 articles), and was amended on the Assembly on August 31, 1354 in Serres (66 articles).


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