The Skull Tower (Serbian: Ћеле Кула, Ćele Kula, Turkish: Kelle Kulesi) is a monument to 19th century Serbian rebels. It is situated in Niš, on the old Constantinople Road leading to Sofia. The monument was built using the skulls of the Serbs killed by order of Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II during the 1809 Battle of Čegar.
On May 31, 1809 on Čegar Hill a few kilometers northeast of Niš, Serbian insurrectionists suffered their greatest defeat in the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire (1804-1813). The insurrectionists' advance towards Niš was stopped here and, when the far stronger Turkish forces attacked, the battle was ended by the Serbian commander Stevan Sinđelić, who sacrificially fired at his gunpowder depot in order to avoid surrendering to the Turks, killing himself, the rest of his men, and the advancing Turks.
After the retreat of the Serbian rebel army, the Turkish commander of Niš, Hursid Pasha, ordered that the heads of the killed Serbs were to be mounted on a tower to serve as a warning to whoever opposed the Ottoman Empire. In all, 952 skulls were included, with the skull of Sinđelić placed at the top. The scalps from the skulls were stuffed with cotton and sent to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) as proof for Sultan Mahmud II.
The tower stood in the open air until the liberation of Niš in 1878. By that time, much of the tower had deteriorated from weather conditions or from the removal of skulls for burial by relatives of killed rebels. In 1892, with donations gathered from all over Serbia, a chapel designed by the Belgrade architect Dimitrije T. Leko was built to enclose what was left of the tower. Today, only 58 skulls remain, including that of Sinđelić.
In front of the chapel stands the monument to Sinđelić, and a small relief depicting the battle, both from 1937. The monument commemorating the battle in the form of a guard tower was built in 1927 on Čegar Hill by Julian Djupon. The lower part is made out of stone from the Niš fortress.
Similar towers fe. were raised on the Island of Djerba after the Battle of Djerba (1560), in India by the Mughal Akbar after the battle of Panipat (1565) and in Spain after the Battle of Sagrajas (1086).
In popular culture 
|“||My eyes and my heart greeted the remains of those brave men whose cut-off heads made the cornerstone of the independence of their homeland. May the Serbs keep this monument! It will always teach their children the value of the independence of a people, showing them the real price their fathers had to pay for it.||”|
- Alphonse de Lamartine, Journey to the East, 1833
See also 
Skull that is said to belong to Stevan Sinđelić