Stevan Sinđelić

A Resava warlord, Stevan Sinđelić was born in 1770 in a village of a symbolic name, Vojska (army). He lost his father rather early in his life, so he was given a surname Sinđelić after his  mother, Sinđelija. Before the uprising he served under the Resava prince Peter, who was executed in the Slaying of the Elders campaign. In 1804 Sinđelić incited the people of the Resava region to a rebellion and soon defeated the Turks at Jasenjar, between Ćuprija and Svilajnac. He participated in many battles – at Ivankovac in 1805, where due to his bravery he was awarded a title of voivode, a commander-in-chief; and at  Deligrad in 1806. In the crucial 1809, with 3,000 men of Resava he joined the rebels whose goal was to liberate Niš. The Serbs were entrenched  at 6 positions nearby Niš, and Sinđelić was in the first one, on Čegar Hill, where the Niš Fortress commander, Hurshid Pasha, was aiming his attack. The battle started in the morning on 31 May and lasted a whole day. The Turks charged five times and the sixth time they managed to enter the trench. Sinđelić saw that the already few defenders could not maintain their position, so he fired at the ammunition storage. Everyone died. Sixtieen thousand Turks and four thousand Serbs were left lying on Čegar. In an act of retaliation, Hurshid Pasha built a horrifying tower of the rebels’ sculls, the Scull-Tower (Ćelekula).


Surname Sinđelić comes from the word sinđel [sind-dʒel],(Greek, son (sa) + kellion (cell) – a cell-mate) and it denotes a title of an educated monk, a bishop’s secretary, an advisor; hence a male name Sinđel and female Sinđelija.


The monument to Stevan Sinđelić in Ćuprija, Svilajnac, and in Niš; a song Oj, vojvodo Sinđeliću(Hey, Voivode Sinđelić)