The residence, which is also called Karadjordjes Palace or Karadjordje's Manor, stretched from the bell tower to the tower situated at the most southwesterly point of the fortified town.
The residence had seven rooms, a room in which equipment for the horses was kept, a large porch in front of the rooms and two cellars. The residence was made of stone.
Today part of the residence is preserved , while a part dissapeared when the town was destroyed, in 1877. Original ethnographic articles, items and documents are exhibited here.
PETAR I KARADJORDJEVIC
(King of Serbia 1903-1918; King of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians; November 18th, 1918 - 1921)
The King attended schools in Belgrade and Geneva, and finished the Military School of St Sire in Paris, and as a lieutenant the Higher Mlitary School of Metz. He fought on the side of France in the Franco-Prussian war, and took part in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian uprising, under the name of Petar Mrkonjic. He unsuccessfully offered cooperation to Prince Milan Obrenovic.
He ascended the throne at the age of 51, as a mature person. Petar understood that desire of self-ruling and absence of hearing of one,s people,s wishes brought the disaster to his predecessors from the Obrenovic Family. Peter chose the system of the constitutional monarchy, and freedom of parliament and parties.
Serbia experienced a rapid economical progress. Railways were built, water transport activated, trade and crafts developed, foundations of industry laid, all of which contributed that the state of Serbia fully gets included into European and world economy.
The ruling period of King Petar I is marked by three liberation and victorious wars: the 1st Balkan War in 1912, the 2nd Balkan War in 1913, and World War I from 1914-1918. The secret conspiracy organization "Black Hand" led by army officers was still very active. After coup d'etat in May 1903, it had grown stronger and had a substantial impact on the political life of the country. It was under its pressure that the King abdicated on June 22,1914, transferring his royal duties to the crown prince Aleksandar.
All of the Serbian people cherish the memory of King Petar as a beloved and righteous ruler, who went together with his army through the most difficult experiences of W.W. I: crossing of Albania and exile in Greece. Since World War I brought liberation to all Slav peoples who had lived in Austrian-Hungarian Empire, King Petar became the first King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenians in their joint country.
He died in 1921.
The leader of the first Serbian uprising, Karadjordje Petrovic, built his memorial , the Church of Our lady, in keeping with the traditions of medieval Serbian rulers. Construction started in 1811 and the building works were completed that year. The church is single-naved with the base in the shape of an inscribed cross. It has a pointed roof, covered with tiles, above which rises a narrow dome.
The spatial entities are clearly divided in the interior of the church: the square nartex is linked to the central area with the slight extension of the northern and southern choir. As in all Ortodox churches, the altar stands in the east, behind the iconostasis.
The Holy Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and a white dove as a symbol of the Holy Ghost) is depicted in the dome.
The church is built of stone, plastered and today whitewashed.
What remained of Karadjordje's Town are only the two towers on the south part of the town with a residence building located between them, as well as parts of the north and south walls of the town fortification. The towers have got openings for accommodation of cannons.
Today,s Topola can be said to have been founded at that moment when Karadjordje first settled on the western foothills of Oplenac, in 1781. He built himself a large log cabin with several loopholes on the place of today’s Karadjordje fortified town.
This settlement was destroyed in the first Serbian uprising when Turkish governor Kuchuk Aliyua passing through Topola, burnt down Karadjordjes fortified town, in 1804.
With the failure of the first uprising, in 1813, Topola town was burnt down. The ruins of Topola town stood decades as mute witnesses of Serbian revolution.
The restored residence with the one remaining tower, the church with the belfry and the school has all been preserved to the present day. Original ethnographic articles, items and documents are exhibited here. A monument to Karadjordje was recently built in the center of this fortified town.
However, at the very beginning King Petar I moved in with his servants. This is how the building got the name of "King Petar's house".
King Petar’s house was built in 1912.
Today it is an art gallery with different kinds of exhibitions (relics, paintings etc.).
Park Oplenac is a monument of nature which has benefited from the protection of the state. With its abundance of flora (pine, oak, linden, marple), it represents air spa. The territory around the Municipality is rich in hunting grounds and is surrounded by lush meadows, fields and woods. There are deer, rabbits, wild boar and foxes and the world of birds is represented by pheasants, quails and doves.
The Oplenac hill near Topola (height above sea level 345m) is the spot at which the transition begins from the so-called low into high Sumadija. According to the tradition , the forked branches were suitable for making "oplen" – the wooden parts of villagers carts. Thence the name Oplenac.
The crypt runs under the entire church. It was intented to be the burial place of members of the Karadjordjevic dynasty. There are 39 burial chambers in the crypt with thomstones made of Decani onyx. Members of five generations of the Karadjordjevic faily are buried in the crypt, four of which are rulers.
Takin a photo inside of the Mausoleum is FORBBIDEN! I took it secretly.
Near the town of Topola, on the wooded hill of Oplenac, there stands a big five-nave church dedicated to Saint George, all in white marble, the endowment of Karadjordje's grandson - King Petar I.
This white marbled church was built between 1904 and 1912. It is the burial place of the Karadjordjevic Dynasty. It was designed as a synthesis of the outstanding features of Moravska School of architecture, with copies of most beautiful frescoes from Studenica, Zica, Mileseva, Sopocani, Gracanica, Decani, the Pec Patriarchy Church and other middle age Serbian monasteries. Numerous portraits of Serbian rulers from XII till XV centuries, as well as of Karadjordje and King Peter I, represent a unique gallery of mosaic portraits.
With a surface area of 3,500 square metres and containing 15,000 various nuances, it is truly worth a visit. This church is one of the most visited cultural monuments in the country.
Karadjordjes cannon has a place of honour on the windowed porch. This bronze cannon, is known as "Aberdar" (meaning herald in Turkish). Missing from the cannon today is the right handle, which was taken of to be made into the crown of King Petar I.
In 1805, Karadjordje rebuilt his home by constructing a two-storey building and other outhouses in the courtyard. He surrounded the courtyard with a palisade. With the positive progress of Serbian uprising , the town of Topola, as Karadjordjes residence, got significant political meaning. Topola was hive of activity.
"Petrovic attended high school in Geneva, college in Paris, military school in Saint Sirs and military academy in Metz. He served in the French Army and was conferred the Legion of Honor. His long, 40+ year exile from Serbia, his military education of Swiss neutrality and French democratic spirit, influenced his personal and professional development. Having seen a considerable number of possible models for a dynastic mausoleum, notably the Dome des Invalides in Paris or the abbey in Saint-Denis, King Peter laid down the requirements for the new church in a competition announced on December 4, 1903. He wanted the new church to be monumental and, more importantly, in the Serbian-Byzantine style."
Taken from www.oplenac.com
Here is one true story about King Petar... my grand grand father had told it to my father and my father told it to me. During the WW1 while serbian army was crossing Albanian mountains during the winter, the souldiers were gathered arround the fire (my grand grandfather was there) and one of them said that it was easy for the King, that he wasnt there to freeze with them. And like from nowhere The King Petar appeared among them, he told them he is there with them, suffering the same way they are. That he is not angry cause they said that, that he understands how they feel. He also said he just wanted to tell them he is there with them.
No wonder people liked the King, they used to call him Uncle Pera ( no intention to maake it simmilar like Uncle Sam)
There is a Petar's house that you will visit. It is turned into a gallery now. You can see some Petar's belongings there like diary, pictures,some jewlery and even Aleksandar's ( Petar's son) uniform in which he was killed in Marsei, you can see the bullet hole and some blood on it.
(No pics alowed)
The house was builded in 1912.
When the kript was finished ramains of Kardjordje were brought and burried there. They are in the church on the left side of the altar. On the left side there is King Petar I. Rest of the Karadjordjevic;s are burried below the church in the kript.
After King Peter's death in 1921. his son Aleksandar continued working on the church till he was assassinated in Marsei, on October 9th, 1934.
The crypt, intended to be the burial place of members of the Karadjordjevic dynasty, runs under the entire church. Members of five generation of the Karadjordjevic family are buried in the crypt., four of which are rulers.
Here are buried:
In the upper part of the church, where the religious services are being held are the tombs of Karadjordje and King Petar I.
Prince Aleksandar I
King Aleksandar II
With the failure of the first uprising, in 1813, Topola town was burnt down. The ruins of Topola town stood decades as mute witnesses of Serbian revolution. Only, with the change in dynasty, when Karadjordje,s son Aleksandar came to the throne in 1842 did changes start to take place.
Today part of the residence is preserved, while a part disappeared when the town was destroyed, in 1877. The residence had seven rooms, a room in which equipment for the horses was kept, a large porch in front of the rooms and two cellars. The residence was made of stone. Original documents, personal items belonging to Karadjordje, the weapons of the insurgents and various ethnographic articles originating from the XIX century are exhibited here. Here you can see "aberdar" (meaning herald in Turkish) - cannon. Right handle is missing today from the cannon - it was taken off to be made into the crown of King Petar I.
Residence is complete renovated in 1965.