Cegar Monument


In the vicinity of Nis, on Cegar hill, the location of the famous First Serbian Uprising battle, there is a monument put up in memory of the courageous soldiers and their commander Stevan Sindjelic. After the battle on Cegar the Ottomans built a Skull Tower from skulls of a parished soldiers.

LOCATION:  Cegar hill, 6 km from the city centre



After more than four hundred years under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Serbian people began to gather and organize an uprising (1804-1813). The liberation of Niš, as a strategically important location, was one of the main goals of the uprising. In spring 1809, around 16.000 Serbian soldiers approached Niš and prepared tactics for the attack. Voivoda Stevan Sinđelić with his 4.000 rebels chose the most prominent point at the Čegar hill.

Ottomans attacked the positions at the Čegar hill on May 31, 1809. The battle lasted the entire day, and the twice as many and better armed Ottomans did not succeed to crush the resistance of the Serbs until dusk. At the end of the day, military commander Hurshid Pasha sent new 4.000 soldiers to Cegar. The Ottoman soldiers were so densely packed that the Serbian soldiers could not use either flintlocks or swords – the only weapons were their teeth.


Realizing that they stood no chance against such a large power, Sinđelić gave the order for the gunpowder magazine to be prepared. He gathered his fellow soldiers and released them from the rebels vow, giving them choice to leave Čegar. Not a single insurgent left him, they remained with him to defend the Serbian honor together. Before the sunset, Sinđelić performs a heroic deed – he let as many Ottoman soldiers as possible to gather around him took out his flintlock, fired in the gunpowder magazine and the entire fort, a large number of enemy soldiers, his fellow soldiers and he were blown to pieces. The explosion marked the end of the unequal fight.


At the place where the trench of Stevan Sinđelić and his soldiers was located, a monument was erected in the shape of a tower – a symbol of the military fortification (1927). The designer of the monument was Đulijan Đupon, a Russian immigrant from Niš, and a bronze bust of Stevan Sinđelić, which is placed in the tower, was made by Yugoslavian sculptor Slavko Miletić. Today, this monument symbolizes the heroism of Stevan Sinđelić and evokes the memory of the fearless fight for freedom.