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The Stone Cross of Michael The Brave, CalugareniCod 1017

Prince Serban Cantacuzino had a spectacular stone cross erected, right on the place where the battle was won in 1682.

On the inner sides of the cross can be seen the fight carried by the prince.

As time passed, a village has arisen close to the monument,  now called the Stone Cross, part of Calugareni town, county of Giurgiu.

In 1862, for its protection, the monument is framed into a chapel, that has side windows and a roof of lead sheet.

Calugareni monument remembers us about the fight of 13 – 23 August 1595.

The Wallachian army led by Prince of Romanians Michael the Brave, strengthened by several Transylvanian troops sent by Sigismund Bathory, tried to stop the invading Ottoman army led by Sinan Pasha, whose objective was to transform the Wallachia into  a pashalic (Ottoman colony).

Michael’s operation failed, and was followed by capturing the Bucharest by Turks and tactical Michael’s retreat in the mountains. Subsequently, reinforced with a larger army, Mihai had to remove the Ottomans, defeating them decisively in the battle of Giurgiu, in the middle of October 1595.

The balance of forces was net favorable for the Ottoman army. Nicolae Balcescu, citing contemporary sources show: “Indeed, the [Sinan]’s army was, as we know, of 180 thousand soldiers, more than ten times that of  Mihai Voda, which, although all aid he received from Moldova and Transylvania barely reach 16 thousand strong and 12 cannons”.

Regarding the Christian army manpower, we can say that Michael the Brave had under his command more than 10,000 strong troops and an artillery composed of 12 large field cannons.

The official chronicle speaks about 8.000 Wallachian and 2.000 Hungarian. This balance of forces net unfavorable to Allies explains the choice of the prince for the land located south from Calugareni, that was  wooded, swampy, crossed by Neajlov River, wherein attacker’s movement could be done only on a single road with a must for crossing the narrow bridge  over the river.

In this space, the numerical superiority of the Turks could not been valued, the land configuration requiring attack in waves, without possible broad deployment on the wings.

A number of 7.000 Ottomans have felt on the battlefield, and their cannons and a green flag of the prophet fell into the Romanian hands.

By Calugareni victory, Mihai had managed to achieve the main goals: had caused important losses to enemy, demoralized Sinan Pasha and delayed the movement of the Turks and won the time necessary for concentrating anti-Ottoman forces.


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