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Monument, Yugoslavian Modernism

Project timeline

1977 – 1979


Monument & Memorial

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Article last edited by Bostjan on
May 15th, 2019

Kadinjača Memorial Complex Change this

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Description Change this

This memorial complex at Kadinjača, Serbia commemorates fallen Partisan fighters from Posavina and Orasje and all the fighters from the Worker's Battalion who perished at this spot fighting against German forces during the Battle of Kadinjača on November 29th, 1941.

Spomenik Construction

In 1952, a modest 11m tall stone pyramid-like memorial was built near the summit of Kadinjača Mountain under which was built a crypt where the remains of the Worker's Battalion soldiers who died during the 1941 battle were interred. However, in late 1962, the SUBNOR veterans group and the municipalities of Užice and Bajina Basta devised plans for a much more expansive memorial complex to be added to compliment the stone pyramid crypt. After an prolonged pre-construction planning process, designer Miodrag Živković and architect Aleksandar Đokić were ultimately commissioned in 1977 to create this memorial's expansion. It was formally opened during a grand ceremony at the site on September 23rd, 1979, which was personally presided over by Yugoslav President Josip Tito himself and reportedly attended by over 100,000 people.

The new addition to the monument consisted of, a museum complex (designed by Aleksandar Đokić) which is called Spomen-Dom Kadinjača, followed by a sprawling and undulating series of white painted concrete pylons emanating from the earth at different angles and sizes which was named 'Alley of the Worker's Battalion'. The focal point of these undulating pylons is the tallest one among them, which is wider than the rest and pierced with a bullet-hole like opening. In addition, a large amphitheatre was built in the center of the complex, named the 'Plateau of Freedom', which hosted educational presentations, 'Young Pioneer' meetings and school gatherings. Interestingly, in the final form of the redevelopment of the old memorial by Miodrag Živković, the original stone pyramid element was not removed or minimized... in fact, Živković's new sculptural elements are often credited for enhancing and highlighting the original memorial element, especially in the way in which it emphasizes rather than over-takes it.

In 1984, a new memorial element was added to the site on the hillside just a few dozen meters southwest of the spomenik's museum to commemorate the death of President Josip Tito. The memorial consisted of the planting of 88 trees to symbolize the 88 years of Tito's life. In addition, a paved pathway was included around the trees along with displays of several WWII artillery cannons. This new memorial was called "Partisan Woods'.

Yugoslav Wars to Present-Day

This monument complex has consistently been kept in fairly good shape and has not faced the eras of vandalism, neglect or destruction that many other spomenik complexes across the Balkans were met with during the fall of Yugoslavia and the onset of the Yugoslav Wars. However, in 1992, at the onset of the dismantling of Yugoslavia, the town of Titovo Užice changed its name back to simply 'Užice', perhaps to distance itself from its Partisan heritage during the wave of Serbian nationalism that swept across the country during the early 1990s. But despite this, not only is the spomenik complex at Kadinjača well maintained, but many thousands of visitors a year still come to visit this site, while many annual commemorative events are still regularly held here. In addition, there are future plans to include further memorial elements, as well as plans to renovate the museum and the monument's lighting systems.


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