Coincidentally, a tourist tour of the castle of Shonanso on the Loire by historian and professor at the Paris Sorbonne, Dr. Boško Bojović, brought an incredible discovery – a monumental tapestry of the color of Kosovo.
In one of the most famous and most visited castles in France, it is located in the lobby of a room that belonged to Queen Maria Medici.
A Byzantine scholar, a longtime professor at the Department of History at the famous Sorbonne, Bojoviћ said in an interview with Sputnik that it is not known when the tapestry was in that place in the castle, which changed owners during its long history and has been owned by the Menia family, industrialists since 1913. which turned it into a museum.
He points out that it is undoubtedly a court tapestry, probably from the end of the 16th century. Such tapestries, which are five and a half meters by three and a half meters, could not be afforded by someone who is not from the court. According to Sputnik’s interlocutor, they were made as a house, for months, sometimes even years, and that cost a lot.
In an attempt to find out more about the origin and the customer of the tapestry, Bojović went to the Belgian city of Odenard, where in the 16th and 17th centuries there were huge weaving mills, manufactories, in which more than 100,000 people worked. Based on the work, it is certain that the tapestry is from those Flemish weaving mills, where, he says, there is not only a beautiful museum dedicated to them but also a huge archive where there are thousands of contracts with the names of tapestry customers.
Most likely, there is an agreement on who ordered the tapestry “Kosovo Battle”, but such a discovery requires a lot of research.
“The lady who is an expert, a specialist in those tapestries, Martina Vanvelden, was also interested because apart from the battles of Alexander the Great, everything else on those tapestries are events, battles from Western Europe. So that would be a precedent. It would be the only cycle that shows an event from the Balkans, the Battle of Kosovo, “says Bojović.
He explains that the tapestry “Kosovo Battle” is part of one cycle and that is why it is probably not the only one on that topic. There is, he says, an indication that one of the parts of that cycle is in the collection of Yves-Saint-Laurent.
When asked if that actually means that we don’t even know how much importance was attached to the color of Kosovo at that time, this historian answered that this is exactly what it is about.
“The commentary next to the tapestry about what it represents says that it is the Battle of Kosovo from 1389, it says who the participants in the battle were, but also that it is the most important battle in the Middle Ages in Europe. It is also written that on the occasion of that battle, the French King Charles VI ordered bells to be rung in all churches in France as part of the victory of the Christian army over the Turks and that he personally went to Notre Dame to pray on that occasion, “Bojović states.
It is mentioned, he adds, that the French king ordered the service of Te Deum in Notre Dame, Emperor Lazar and Miloš Obilić are also mentioned, it is also explained that in the central part of the tapestry is Patriarch Spiridon, who blesses the Serbian army, and that in the upper left is the retreating Turkish army.
A lengthy commentary below, when Anne Foster signed it, states that the “Angels of Extermination” on the tapestry satirized the Turkish army and forced it to flee, as well as that it could have occurred after the great Christian naval victory at the Levant in 1572, the first great victories against the Ottoman Empire after the one in Kosovo.
Because the Turkish army withdrew from the field of Kosovo, and the winner was the one who remained on it, the victory of the Serbian army was celebrated. Bojović, however, says that we do not know the outcome of the battle, because the Turkish army withdrew so that Bajazit could secure the throne after the death of Emperor Murat. But regardless of the outcome of the battle itself, he points to its significance.
“There are battles like Borodino, which are uncertain in the outcome but have their consequences. Borodino was a military unresolved battle and in fact a Russian victory. And here, according to the inscription on the Kosovo pillar of Despot Stefan Lazarević from 1402, is the victory of the Christians. Other sources that are closer to the event also speak of the victory of Christians. But the political consequences were different, ” the historian points out.
The battle of Kosovo opened the way for the Turks because the Moravian Valley opened for them, and that is the gate of the Balkans and the way to Central Europe. It is known that the Battle of Kosovo had a great repercussion in Europe and a universal dimension in terms of geostrategic, historical significance, and the consequences of that battle.
Noting that it could be said that the Kosovo battle in some way continues today, Bojović says that it has its own explanation.
“In any case, Kosovo has always had geostrategic significance. In the center of the Balkans, at almost equal distances from the three seas. There were great battles both before and after the Battle of Kosovo. It is no wonder that even today in that area of Kosovo and the Moravian and Vardar valleys, spears and great powers are breaking and their exponents, their pawns, are kidnapping and fighting for that area, “Bojović notes.
He reminds that in that territory, after the Battle of Kosovo, an equally important battle was fought in 1448, where Serbs did not participate directly, but almost half of Europe did, and it was a great defeat for Christians. Also, the battle of Kacanik in 1690 in the war of the Holy League against Turkey. Well, the Battle of Kumanovo in 1912, after which the Turks finally left Kosovo and Metohija. Everything, he says, is in that zone and that environment.
The tapestry “Kosovo Battle” in the castle of Chonanso on the Loire, says Bojović, as much as it means to honor and respect for the Serbian army, it can also be a source for new knowledge about that battle.
“There are obviously new sources, as can be seen from this tapestry. Indirect, but there are, and what could still be found in archives, chronicles, in old writings. Surely there is more than what we know, “said this historian, who ended his long career as a professor at the famous Sorbonne.
Bojović stated with regret that the French in the Middle Ages had more ear for the significance of the Battle of Kosovo and for respecting what the Serbian army did in 1389 than they have today for the great victory of the Serbian army, side by side with French soldiers in the First World War.
In the past, all the bells in the churches in France rang in honor of the Serbian army, and the king personally attended the prayer service in the Church of the Mother of God in Paris. Today, in the same Notre Dame, to the shame of France, on the occasion of the centenary of the victory in the First World War, in addition to the Serbian flag, the Kosovo flag, a self-proclaimed state on the territory of Serbia, is flying.