“Skull Tower” is a unique monument in world scale. Once it was out of town, the road of Constantinople and is now in the city, the Boulevard Brace Taskovic. The tower was built from the skulls of Serbian soldiers, killed in Cegar, near Nis, in a battle that was fought on 31st May 1809th year. It was built soon after the battle and ordered the Hursid Pasha, the then commander truskog Nis, later Grand Vizier.
Serbian rebels attached great attention liberated Niš. Therefore, it is already in the spring of the 1809th in the vicinity of the town was a big army, 16,000 soldiers, led by Miloje Petrovic, Veljko Hajduk, Peter Dobrnjca and dukes, Elijah Barjaktarevic, Paulje Matei and Stevan Sindjelic. Positions are occupied by the northern edge of the valley, the villages of Upper and Lower Matejevac and Kamenica. With the attack on the city stalled, and the Turks had time to significantly strengthen. So that the 31st March they attacked first. From the fortress, in the morning, left a large number of troops and embarked on the most prominent position on the hill Cegar ditch, commanded Resava Duke, Steve Sindjelic. Because of the discord, which was present among the Serbian commanders, Sindjelic not received adequate reinforcements, and, notwithstanding the courage of his troops, the defeat was inevitable. When a large number of Turks already begun to enter the ditch, Duke Steve Sindjelic, not wanting to surrender, entered the gunpowder and fired a bullet from kubura. The air is blown the whole trench, together with the Serbs, but also a huge number of Turkish soldiers who come.
Europe was first informed of this monument of Turkish and Serbian atrocities courage 1833rd , when the French poet and academician, Alphonse de Lamartine published his work “Journey to the East”, where, in a separate section, “Notes on Serbia, ” stressed the importance of this monument to the Serbs and the need to be preserved.
However, the threat to “Skull Tower” came from the Turks themselves. In the second half of the nineteenth century, when administered with low pashaluk Mithat Pasha, later President of the Turkish government and known modernizer of the Ottoman state, it was decided to demolish this building, whose performance has been prevented by the intervention of Nis Turks.
After liberation from the Turks, “Skull Tower” has been difficult, even critical condition. 1878th The roof was raised ceremidni on four pillars, above the tower. Rescue monuments continued contributions from all over Serbia, and in 1892., designed by the architect of Belgrade, Demetrius T. Leka, built the chapel of the “Skull Tower. He later placed in front of the chapel bust of Stevan Sindjelica, Lamartinovim panel with text about “Skull Tower” and edited the surrounding area.
Today, the remaining 58 in the tower of skulls which, together with the whole environment, the National Museum of Nis and the whole city carefully taken into account, respecting the words of Alfonso de Lamartine: Let the Serbs keep this monument. He will teach their children what it is worth the independence of a nation, showing what the price paid by their fathers.