National Geographic : 1908 Nov
SERVIA AMD MONTENEGRO 7-79 THE TOWER OF SKULLS, NISCH, SERVIA "The Tower of Skulls, for which Nisch is famous, is now a mere name for a column of bricks and clay about twelve feet high, where niches once occupied by the heads are the only traces left of this Turkish trophy, gruesome enough when seen by Lamartine, early in the last century. The sight was then a sickening one, for many of the skulls were furnished with hair and hundreds of grinning rows of teeth added to the horror of the spectacle. The story connected with the place is a romantic one, and goes to prove that Servian warriors of olden days were anything but the poltroons they are said to have become in modern warfare. One Stefan Sidielitch, commander of a brave little band, after stoutly defending an outpost near Nisch, was defeated by overwhelming odds, and sooner than surrender exploded the powder magazine, killing himself, his gallant followers, and an even greater number of the enemy. The Pasha, infuriated at the loss of his men, resolved to punish the Christian population by collecting the heads of their vanquished ones, and erecting this ghastly monument-now barely visible for the wreaths which have been placed on it. A few years ago a pretty chapel was erected over this spot by order of the late King Alexander, and the collection of grin ning skulls which once formed the tower have now been burned."-H. DE WINDT in "The Balkan Trail." times severely, away from the railway, and some of the country roads are not over-safe at night-time. "Servia is an agricultural El Dorado, and if the untutored peasant can now make a living by antediluvian methods, what might not be accomplished with capital and machinery? I doubt whether there is at present a steam plough throughout the whole country, and yet I met at least half a dozen farmers at Kragujevatz with incomes ranging from 300 pounds to 500 pounds a year. Every season there are two crops of hay, wheat, and barley; while maize, oats, hemp, and tobacco grow like weeds. In pig-breeding alone there are millions to be made, and the rearing of horses and cattle on a large scale would be equally lucrative." H. DE WINDT.