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“Ćele kula”
Review of Skull Tower

Skull Tower
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Nis Day Tour from Sofia
Ranked #2 of 22 things to do in Nis
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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.
Nis, Serbia
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Ćele kula”
Reviewed 26 January 2013

Another historic sight of Niš.Ćele kula is literally Skull Tower.There are skulls of Serbian people which Turks killed and builded a wall from them.Turks wanted to intimidate other Serbs to be loyal to themwith this act.One of the most popular monuments in Serbia who represents time of suffering under Turkish siege.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank puschke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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183 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Unusual but boring”
Reviewed 24 October 2012

Nis would be a very boring place but for the Skull Tower and the Fortress. However the tower is the more boring one if you choose between two. Anyway, visit it if in Nis, the polyglot guide is a very nice girl.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank MarokkAnja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Howey in the Hills, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“The Skull Tower”
Reviewed 16 October 2012

Although I have been to Cel Kula before, I always find it emotional and moving. Basically, after the battle of Ceger, the Turkish commandant of the Nis garrison ordered that the heads of the Serbian soldiers killed in the uprising against the Turks, be beheaded and the skin be peeled from the heads and the skulls sent to Istanbul. The remaining skulls were used to build a ten meter tall tower that stood on the road between Nis and Istanbul as an example of the fate that would befall anyone who dared rebel against Turkish rule. We had an excellent English speaking guide and although there is not much left of the original tower, you can't help but think that these men were someone's husbands and fathers, brothers and sons, many of them mere boys. On the road out of town toward the Bulgarian border, it is in a rather nondescript part of town inside a chapel built to commemorate the event and to protect what remains of the tower.

Visited October 2012
8 Thank ockergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Definitely should see if in Nis!”
Reviewed 2 September 2012

We only heard about the Cele Kula because our host lives right by it, and decided to stop by before leaving town. Wow - it is incredibly affecting.
Based on the other reviews, I think a lot depends on who is working that day (if you're not overly familiar with Serbian history, which we weren't). Our guide was a really knowledgable woman who illuminated the story, and answered our questions in a very thorough way. Seeing these concrete reminders of the past is a great way to help fully appreciate the area - which is so beautiful that it's hard to imagine the conflicts that took place there.

Visited April 2012
3 Thank Spoonfeeding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nis, Serbia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Cele Kula / The Skull Tower”
Reviewed 3 August 2012

This monument, unique in the world, was built after the Battle of Cegar. This horrific monument was built along the road to Constantinople, as a warning to anyone rising against the Ottoman Empire. A mid 19th century written document reads that the tower was rectangular, 4.5 meters wide and 4 meters long, that on all four sides there was a total of 56 rows, with 17 skulls in each row, totaling 952 skulls. In time most skulls were taken or missing, so that today the tower has only 58 skulls.

4 Thank Turisticka o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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