The Austrian capital city Vienna represents a strategic turning point in Ottoman history. Two failed attempts to conquer the heart of the Habsburg Empire, the Ottoman Empire’s main rival in central Europe, symbolized the beginning of the retreat of the Ottomans from Europe back to Anatolia.
Centuries later, former Ottoman territories in Europe still have many remnants of the former Muslim Empire. Although Vienna was never under Ottoman rule, the city still has an Ottoman landmark in the Janissary Statue.
In one of the streets in Vienna, the statue of Uncle Circassian stands among the unprecedented classics of gothic architecture. Uncle Circassian is believed to be an Ottoman soldier, in other words a janissary, who was caught by Austrian troops while digging a tunnel underneath the city. Since Vienna is designated with many architectural masterpieces, Ottoman leaders based their conquest plan on creating the least possible damage to the city. Thus, tunnels were strategic in the Ottoman war plan. Uncle Cricassian was one of the Ottomans working in the tunnels where he was killed.
In commemoration of his prowess, a statute showing a Janissary on a rampant horse was built and plated with gold. Turks living in Vienna called the square where the statute stands as Circassian Square. A bakery around the square is also a part the legend. It is said that Uncle Circassian was hiding in a tunnel under the bakery. When the staff in the store discovered him, they called the soldiers and he was killed after putting up a heroic fight.