Skull Tower

Skull Tower, Nis

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 12:00 AM
About
It dates from a time when Ottoman soldiers were growing increasingly tired of Serb rebellions against their rule. After quelling one such uprising in 1809, Ottoman troops decapitated 952 fallen Serbs and built the short, square tower out of the Serbs' heads. While the Ottomans intended it to serve as a warning to the local population, within a few years the Serbs had managed to rid their lands of the Ottoman occupiers, and they preserved the Skull Tower as a memorial to the sacrifice of the early Serb nationalists.
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4.0
317 reviews
Excellent
133
Very good
106
Average
60
Poor
15
Terrible
3

IgorMarkovic
Smederevo, Serbia1,298 contributions
Emotional and thought provoking!
Sep 2021
The Ćele kula Museum is a remembrance of the great sacrifice made by Serbian warriors in their fight against the Ottoman occupation of Serbia and Niš. Although the battle for Niš was lost, the intentional and man-made explosion of unimaginable scale has become a historical and legendary. If you're in Niš, make sure to visit this place, it is really thought provoking and quite emotional. All recommendations!
Written September 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

WITY TRAVELS
159 contributions
Must see monument
Mar 2021
A 14 minute drive east from Bubanj is Skull Tower; one of the most haunting monuments in the world. The rule of the Ottoman empire over Serbia was not pleasant to say the least and the Serbian people were not just going to sit back and do nothing. In Belgrade, we saw the monument to Karađorđe. He was responsible for the First Serbian Uprising in 1804. This proved to be unsuccessful. In May of 1809 was the Battle of Čegar, here in Nis. Trenches were dug for Serbian soldiers to charge the Ottomans.

On Čegar Hill, Vojvoda (Duke) Stevan Sindjelic (Sin ja lich), the leader of this uprising dug a trench for him and his 3,000 loyal soldiers. This trench was closest to the Turks. On May 31st, the much larger Turkish army took over the trench. Sindjelic realizing no help was coming and not wanting to give the Ottomans the satisfaction of killing his men, took out his gun and blew up the gun powder reserves which created a great explosion that blew up the remaining Serbians in the trench and many of the Ottomans as well.

In this trench and the area nearby 4,000 Serbs and 10,000 Turks were killed. Even with this advantage the Serbian forces withdrew their troops. But that wasn't enough for the Ottomans. The Ottoman commander ordered his men to decapitate the dead Serbians, skill their skulls, fill them with cotton and send them to the Sultan Constantinople as a sign of their victory. With those skulls this horrific monument, skull Tower, was built. This tower stood at the entrance of the city of Nis as a warning sign of what tragedies would be in store for anyone trying to liberate themselves or defy the Ottoman rule.

The foundations of the chapel began in 1894. A plaque dedicated near the chapel in 1904 reads: "To the first Serbian liberators after Kosovo." The chapel was renovated in 1937 and a bust of Sinđelić was added the following year. The Second Serbian Uprising led by Miloš Obrenović, eventually succeeded in turning Serbia as a semiautonomous state.
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

map&camera
Sofia, Bulgaria394 contributions
Scull Tower
Feb 2021
The monument means a lot to the people of the Balkans as most of their coutries were under Ottoman rule for centuries. There was an uprising (The First Serbian Rebellion) in 1809. The rebellion was defeated and the Ottomans gathered the sculls of all 952 dead Serbian men from the battlefield and made a tower from them as a warning to any possible rebellions in the future. After Serbia gained its independence most of the skulls were buried, a little over 50 remaining in the tower nowadays. Later on a chapel was built over the remnants ot the tower.
Written February 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jean-Pierre Popieul
4 contributions
Bleak but instructive
Jun 2020 • Couples
Skull tower was the second attraction we visited (First was the nazi camp) only a few hours after our flight landed from Brooklyn.
Being able to figure the faces of these Jewish victims despite the decay of their skulls was extremely moving and my boyfriend couldn’t stand the vision of the atrocities committed by the nazis and vomited on the premises soon after exiting the tower.
The only positive touch is only 5% of the spots carved by the nazis to exhibit the skulls were occupied as US Army liberated Serbia soon enough to avoid mass killings.
Written June 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ivana V
Belgrade, Serbia24 contributions
Powerful, painful and beautiful
May 2020 • Couples
A small museum which holds the remaining of this important piece of Serbian history. A great hostess will tell you the story (speaks English too) that literary made my body chills. For me, one of the bedt thing to see in Serbia.
Written May 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AlbertSalichs
Manresa, Spain8,327 contributions
Very curious and interesting tower
Nov 2019 • Friends
Skull Tower is really a tower with a lot of skulls inside the walls and it is located in the surroundings of Nis, the most important city in Southern Serbia. It has a macabre tower in the entrance of Nis: in a upraising of Serbs, when they were defeated, they decided blew themselves with Ottoman Army, so Ottoman ruler decided put the skills of the courageous in the walls of this building. Nowadays , you can enter and yet see these skills. Very macabre, very curious.
Written April 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Johannesve
Munich, Germany18 contributions
What counts is inside
Mar 2020
The skull tower is a big piece of history - although it does not look as impressive as it used to (only 60 of 900 skulls are left) you can still get a glimpse into the culture centuries ago.
And it is a unique place, at least I have never seen anything similar.
Must see if in Nis
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nikoll M
Bratislava, Slovakia98 contributions
Place to visit for sure
Jan 2020 • Couples
It’s a piece of serbian history, as i read the story. You can see the skull tower inside a ‘chapel’ and then you can go to the bulding nearby where you’ll be informed a bit more about the whole story of skull tower. Worth visiting while you’re in Nis.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Miomir Z
8 contributions
Nis Skull Tower
Apr 2019
This Skull Tower was made Otomans after the battle of Cegar near by Niš against Otoman Empire, 1809, from the skulls of Serbian uprisings. Today the remains of the tower are subsequently made in the building.
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AG P
Canberra, Australia101 contributions
A reminder of the sacrifice the Serbian people made for Europe
Nov 2019 • Family
Although a small monument, it still serves as a reminder history and the sacrifices made by the people of Serbia to overthrow 500 years of Turkish oppression.
Written November 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Skull Tower

Skull Tower is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM
  • Tue - Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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