Culture, customs and traditions - history through the ages
Montana Region Nišava Region

Skull Tower

This unique monument was built because of the great battle of Čegar. When Hurshid pasha the invadesr of Niš realized that although he had won positions on Čegar Hills, the battle would be hard to win. More than 3,000 Serbs died in battle and at least twice as many Turks. He commanded to bring the heads of killed Serbian soldiers in Čegar, to skin and skulls and to put them in the tower and skins to be filled with cotton and sent to Constantinople. This frightening monument was built on the road to Constantinople as a warning to those who raise the uprising against the Ottoman Empire. Since the mid-nineteenth century, there is a record that has a square tower with a height of 4.5 m, width and length of 4 m. and that each of the four sides of the tower has a total of 56 rows, each row has 17 skulls, which totaled of 952 skulls. Over the time, the majority of the skulls are missing or damaged, so there are only 58 skulls in the tower today. In 1938 a chapel was built to preserve the Skull Tower from further deterioration. In the same year at the front door a bust of Stevan Sinđelić, by the sculptor Stefan Miletic was placed and also bronze plaques with the message of the famous poet Lamartine left when passing through Nis in 1833: "Let Serbians keep this monument. It will teach their children what good is the independence of a people and shows them what price they paid for her fathers."