Çerkez Dayı (Uncle Circassian) – Vienna, Austria - Atlas Obscura

Çerkez Dayı (Uncle Circassian)

A monument dedicated to a lone, brave invader. 


Vienna is an old city that lived through various empires, sieges, and wars. Signs of these events can still be found throughout the city, but not many pay tribute to the past invaders. 

The Ottomans attacked the city in 1529, laying siege for two weeks before being driven away. This was the start of a decade-long strife between the two sides. One can find many monuments commemorating this event, most of which depict Viennese soldiers standing over conquered Ottomans, however, surprisingly one small statue on the corner of a house displays the opposite, an Ottoman soldier on a horse, charging with his sword raised. 

This soldier is Çerkez Dayı, or Uncle Circassian. It’s said Dayı rushed into the city as soon as the cannons made a hole that was large enough. However, in his enthusiasm, he did not check to see if others followed, and he quickly found himself on the other side of the wall, surrounded by the enemy. 

Where most would give up, surrender, or flee, this man fought bravely against impossible odds, dying not long after to a flurry of bullets. However, this story impressed the Viennese king so much that it is said that he was embalmed and entombed on top of his horse, out of respect for his actions. 

Today the grave of Dayı no longer exists, but a statue commemorating his deeds remains, showing him in his moment of glory.

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The statue is freely accessible.

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