Vladan Đorđević

Ipokrat "Vladan" Đorđević (pronounced [ʋlǎːdan d͡ʑɔ̝̌ːrd͡ʑe̞vit͡ɕ], Serbian Cyrillic: Владан Ђорђевић, 21 November 1844 – 31 August 1930) was a Serbian politician, diplomat, physician, prolific writer, organizer of the State Sanitary Service. He held the post of mayor of Belgrade, Minister of Education, Prime Minister of Serbia, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Envoy to Athens and Istanbul.[1][2][3]

Vladan Đorđević
Владан Ђорђевић
Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
11 October 1897 – 12 July 1900
MonarchAlexander I
Preceded byĐorđe Simić
Succeeded byAleksa Jovanović
Personal details
Born(1844-11-21)21 November 1844
Belgrade, Principality of Serbia
Died31 August 1930(1930-08-31) (aged 85)
Baden bei Wien, Austria
Political partySerbian Progressive Party

Early lifeEdit

Ipokrat Đorđević (Ипократ Ђорђевић) was born in Belgrade, the son of pharmacist Đorđe Đorđević and Marija (née Leko).[4] He was of partial Aromanian descent from Macedonia.[5] He had two siblings.[4] He was named Ipokrat after Hippocrates, by his godfather Kosta German.[5] He later changed his name to Vladan, which had been his nom de plume, upon the suggestion of his professor at the Lyceum, Đuro Daničić, who Serbianized many names of his students.[5]

His father, a pharmacist, came from a family that had long been established in Serbia. Vladan Đorđević's mother died when he was only seven years old, but his father brought him up in Sarajevo, where he moved to open the first European-style pharmacy. Vladan received an early Serbian education in Sarajevo, where he already showed a strong taste for natural history. For his work Kočina krajina while attending the Sarajevo Lycee he received a prize from the Matica Srpska in recognition of his historical monograph. Đorđević attended the Panslavist Congress at Moscow in 1867, and spoke against the idea of linguistic unity.

Medical careerEdit

The medical profession having been selected for him, he began his studies at the prestigious University of Vienna's School of Medicine with a stipend from the Serbian government. While on a scholarship in Vienna he exposed the evils of Austrian rule and consequently had his scholarship taken away from him. A chance meeting with Prince Mihailo Obrenović in Vienna who sympathized with Đorđević and his scholarship was given back to him. After graduating as a surgeon he volunteered his services in the Franco-Prussian War. After the conflict, he came back to Belgrade where he made a name for himself as a competent physician. He received the rank of major and chief medical officer in the Serbian Army.[6]During the two Serbian-Ottoman wars of 1876 and 1877-78 he tried to implement Prussian practice of medicine, but to no avail.[7]In 1879 he was in charge of Serbian Kingdom's health sector and one of the first physicians to work on public health within the state administration, obtained parliamentary support for a law on the establishment of a national health fund. By securing financing for the health service, Đorđević not only ensured its creation but also received official recognition for hygiene being a public good that should be advanced by means of state contributions. In 1880 he married his Viennese sweetheart Paulina, who bore him fifteen children. He was the principal founder of the Serbian Red Cross,[6] the Royal College of Physicians, and its organ, Arhiv, to which he contributed several papers of marked ability. He also led the Progressive Party with Milutin Garašanin, the son of Ilija Garašanin.

Political careerEdit

Mayor of BelgradeEdit

Đorđević served as mayor of Belgrade from 1884 to 1885. When he took over, Belgrade had 4.420 houses and buildings and a population of 35,783.[8]

Upon taking the office, he "chased away bureaucrats and protectionists", arranged the quay along the Sava bank and introduced street lanterns. In 1880, the administration introduced the new city tax (trošarina), intended to be used for the construction of waterworks, sewage, schools, cobblestone pavement, etc. A special municipal commission was sent to London, UK, and to other European cities, to check how the communal matters are resolved there. Đorđević decided to use the tax for setting the foundations of the municipal solid waste collecting system. He regulated the disposal of the garbage from private houses and organized "cleaning troops" within the Fire department. In order to make the garbage collecting operational, Đorđević ordered the purchase of carts, one for each quarter of the city, 14 oxen, 13 employees and organized the administrative service. Due to the cholera outbreaks and his medical background, Đorđević envisioned the system primarily for the sanitation and health reasons, thus as a non-profit enterprise so the fee paid by the citizens was symbolic.[8]

As Belgrade expanded, the city’s old cemetery in the neighbourhood of Tašmajdan became inadequate. It became too small to function as Belgrade’s main graveyard and, once being located on the outskirts of the city, as Belgrade grew, Tašmajdan became downtown, close to the Royal court. The city was in financial distress and a large lot for the new cemetery couldn't be purchased, so Đorđević donated a patch of his own land so that new cemetery could be established. In the next decades, the area, including the graveyard itself, was known as "Vladanovac", after Đorđević, but was gradually replaced with the name New Cemetery.[9][10]

Prime ministerEdit

In 1894 he retired from his position and went to live in Paris. No sooner had he arrived when he was called back to Belgrade and made an envoy to Constantinople.

In 1900 however, Alexander Obrenović decided, despite the bitter opposition of his father and of Đorđević, to marry his mistress Draga Mašin.

Vladan Đorđević's years as prime minister is his Kraj jedne dinastije would thus optimistically define his authoritarian government (1897–1900) as a regime of "order and labour", Red i Rad(Discipline and Labor).

During his stay in Belgrade, he proclaimed martial law, and carried out his measures of reform with unrelenting sternness, banishing from the town anyone who attempted resistance or stood in his way. When all the reforms were made, he was removed from his post as Mayor of Belgrade. Đorđević fell afoul with the authorities afterwards. He was accused in 1906 of giving out government secrets in his book Kraj jedne dinastije: prolozi za istoriju Srbije (The End of a Dynasty: Contributions to the History of Serbia, 3 vols., Belgrade, 1905, 1906), and convicted to six months in prison. He served his sentence stoically in the overcrowded Belgrade city gaol.


Đorđević kept up his interest in literary and historical matters by an extensive correspondence, and his home at Belgrade was the centre of a dissitinguished literary circle. With friends and colleagues he helped found a new journal, Otadžbina, in which some of his earlier writings, mainly practical hygiene and economic subjects, were published.

By his generation, therefore, Đorđević was recognized as a man after their own heart. He was liked because he was brusque, vigorous, relentless, straightforward and open. He was made major in the Serbian Army and he fulfilled all their expectations. After a short period he gave up his commission, and in 1880s became a member of the council, in which capacity he distinguished himself by his ability in financial affairs, and his zeal in social reform.

No Serbian historian has written a more extensive account of the Serbo-Bulgarian War than Vladan Đorđević who published his two-volume "Istorija Srpsko-Bugarskog rata 1885" in 1908.

Đorđević was awarded Order of Saint Sava, Order of the Cross of Takovo[11] and is included in The 100 most prominent Serbs.

An exhibit at the Gallery of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts titled "A portrait of a tireless creator" was opened in November 2020. During the exhibit, Đorđević's autobiography Memories (2500 pages) was presented to the public for the first time.[12]


  • Otadžbina (Fatherland), Beograd: Štamparija kraljevine srpske, 1890
  • Srbija na Berlinskom Kongresu, Beograd: Štamparija kraljevine srpske, 1890
  • Grčka i srpska prosveta, Srpska kraljevska akademija, 1896
  • Kraj jedne dinastije: 1899–1900, Štamparija D. Dimitrijevića, 1906
  • Moja odbrana pred sudom (My defense before the court), Beograd: Narodna štamparija, 1906
  • Srpsko-turski rat: uspomene i beleške iz 1876, 1877 i 1878 godine, Volume 1, Izdanje Ignjata Daničića, 1907
  • Istorija srpsko-bugarskog rata 1885: Od Slivnice do Pirota, Nova štamparija "Davidović", 1908
  • Evropa i Crna Gora, Sv. Sava, 1912
  • Evropa i Balkan: Evropa i Rumunija, Sv. Sava, 1911
  • Arnauti i velike sile, Izdavač trgovina Jevte M. Parlovića i kompanija, 1913
  • Mladi kralj, Štamparija kraljevine srbije, 1913
  • Car Dušan: istorijski roman iz XIV-oga veka, Volumes I-III, Naklada Hrvatskog štamparskog zavoda, 1920
  • Golgota: silazak sa prestola, Beograd, 1933

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Vladan Đorđević". Serbian Academy of Science and Art. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  2. ^ "The List of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs since the Forming of the First Government in 1811 to This Day". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Serbia. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  3. ^ "VLADAN ĐORĐEVIĆ: A PORTRAIT OF A TIRELESS CREATOR". www.sanu.ac.rs. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  4. ^ a b NIN. Nedeljne informativne novine. Politika. July 2005. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b c Glasnik Srpskog istorijsko-kulturnog društva "Njegoš". 25–26. Njegoš. 1970. p. 72.
  6. ^ a b Božidar Kovačević (1971). Živan Milisavac (ed.). Jugoslovenski književni leksikon [Yugoslav Literary Lexicon] (in Serbo-Croatian). Novi Sad (SAP Vojvodina, SR Serbia): Matica srpska. p. 115-116.
  7. ^ Boeckh, Katrin; Rutar, Sabine (31 January 2018). The Wars of Yesterday: The Balkan Wars and the Emergence of Modern Military Conflict, 1912-13. ISBN 9781785337758.
  8. ^ a b Jovan Popović (26 February 2018). "Почеци комуналне хигијене у Београду" [Beginnings of the communal hygiene in Belgrade]. Politika (in Serbian). p. 10.
  9. ^ Dimitrije Bukvić (28 October 2012), "Обнова најстаријег гробља у престоници" [Reconstruction of the oldest cemetery in the capital], Politika (in Serbian)
  10. ^ Dragan Perić (23 April 2017), "Шетња пијацама и парковима" [Walk through markets and parks], Politika-Magazin, No. 1021 (in Serbian), pp. 28–29
  11. ^ Acović, Dragomir (2012). Slava i čast: Odlikovanja među Srbima, Srbi među odlikovanjima. Belgrade: Službeni Glasnik. p. 92.
  12. ^ Serbia, RTS, Radio televizija Srbije, Radio Television of. ""Портрет неуморног ствараоца", изложба посвећена Владану Ђорђевићу отворена у САНУ". www.rts.rs. Retrieved 2020-11-04.


  • Сузана Рајић, Владан Ђорђевић. Биографија поузданог обреновићевца, Београд 2007.

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Gliša Geršić
Minister of Education of Serbia
Succeeded by
Svetislav Milosavljević
Preceded by
Đorđe Simić
Prime Minister of Serbia
Succeeded by
Aleksa Jovanović
Preceded by
Đorđe Simić
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Aleksa Jovanović