Protected cultural monument, list as SK 835 with the Republic Institute for the protection of monuments of cultural heritage.
Ivan’s tower is a small medieval fortress with a high keep. It was built on top of a volcanic cone dominating the surrounding area in the village of Ivan Kula, on the western slopes of Radan mountain. Its distance from Kuršumlija, the center of the municipality, is 33 km. The Tower is reached by the road that diverges from the highway Niš-Priština near Sastavak, and then near the village Vuče turns towards north-east as a dirt road leading to the center of the village and then turns to a steep path up to the keep itself. On the access road to the tower is the village of Ivan Kula, and to the south of the tower is the village of Zagrađe, founded behind the tower.
IIvan’s tower was built on a small plateau, at 1076 meters above sea level, where one can see the road leading to Kosovo, as well as the road to Kuršumlija, across the river Kosanica valley. The plateau has steep notches on all sides and is an excellent viewpoint. The tower itself has a rectangular base, measuring 7.78 x 5.80 m, with a preserved height of 14 meters. The walls of the tower are 1.40 meters thick, the same thickness as the rampart of the upper town. The tower was built using quilted stone bound with quicklime. The remains of the rampart of oval shape are visible at the northern side, with the length of 56 meters, following the configuration of the terrain. People believe that the remains of an old church are located on the plateau below the tower, on the north side, at the site of today’s village cemetery.
The folk tradition connects the small tower with Ivan Kosančić, a member of the Knights’ order of the Dragon, one of the heroes of the Kosovo battle. The spring under Ivan’s tower is called Ivan’s water. The legend also says that Ivan had a sister named Jana who was kidnapped by the Ottomans in one of their raids. They dragged her, while she was fighting back, all the way to the village of Vuče, where she finally passed away. That place is marked by a small, single-nave church, whose foundations still stand near the village cemetery in Vuče.
Ivan’s tower has been resisting the ravages of time for centuries. The walls near the top are damaged, and a greater damage to the corners of the tower was remediated thanks to the efforts of the Kuršumlija municipality and the Institute for the protection of cultural monuments from Niš.
The first description and drawing of Ivan’s tower was left by the Austrian painter Felix Kanic, who noticed the tower on a dominant hill during his travels around Serbia. He wrote that the tower was built on Roman foundations, which has not been confirmed to date, since there has been no research of this keep.
A detailed plan of the tower and the keep was made by Aleksandar Deroko, who, in the mid XX century made inventories of fortresses and remains of ancient towns on the territory of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.
Today, Ivan’s tower still dominates the surrounding area and reminisces a heroic time and its heroes. In recent years, efforts have been made to build a better access to the tower itself and allow visitors to reach it. The area south of the tower represents a beautiful viewpoint providing view to all four sides of the world.
Archaeologist Julka Kuzmanović Cvetković,museum advisor