Vasa Čarapić

The “Dragon of Avala“, Vasa Čarapić was a governor of the Grocka nahiye, an administrative district, and of the warlord in the First Serbian Uprising. He energetically advocated invasion of Belgrade, about which Karađorđe was rather hesitant for quite a while. The attack on Belgrade started on the St. Andrew, the First called among the Apostles, Day, on 30 November by the Julian calendar. By night the rebels jumped over the Sava Gates, and Vasa Čarapić, as one of the four commanders, led 3,000 men, attacking the moat at the Stambol-Gate (present Skadarlija). The moment he led the attack he was hit by a Turkish bullet. He died in the Karađorđe’s tent,  which he had been able to go in without any previous announcement. It was said that Karađorđe himself envied such a heroic death. The Turks retreated to the fortress and two weeks later the city was handed over to the insurgents. The brave warlord got its street in Belgrade, Vasina ulica (Vasa’s Street).


The Čarapić family comes from the Montenegrin Kuči Clan, and their surname originates from a curious event: an ancestor of Vasa’s once killed a dog belonging to a Turk, so he sent 500 silver coins as a compensation, but instead of putting them in a pouch he put them in a sock (čarapa).


The monument to Vasa Čarapić on the place he got killed, near the National Theatre


Some of the Belgrade downtown street also bear the names after the fighters in the First Uprising: Uzun-Mirkova, Dobračina, Kondina, Stanoja Glavaša, Kneza Sime Markovića…