Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia, on the Nišava river. Niš is an administrative, economic and cultural centre. The city stands on the site of the Roman settlement of Naissus, the birthplace of Emperor Constantine the Great. A number of the ancient monuments in the city testify about its stormy history. Niš is known as the greatest gate between East and West, because it is the meeting point for several roads. The main rail line from Belgrade and the north divides at Niš for Thessaloníki, Greece, and Sofia, Bulgaria.

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Main square in Niš

The ancient Roman city, Naissus, which probably succeeded a Celticsettlement, was mentioned as an important place in the 2nd century CEby Ptolemy, in his Guide to Geography. The old fortress on the right bank of the river is believed to have been built on this site. Under its walls in 269 CE the emperor Claudius II defeated an army of the Goths. Niš is the birthplace of Constantine the Great (c. 280). During migrations of the Huns in the 5th century, the town was destroyed, and the Bulgarians conquered it in the 9th century but ceded it in the 11th century to the Hungarians, from whom the Byzantine emperor took it in 1173. Toward the end of the 12th century, the town came under the Serbian Nemanjić dynasty, but in 1375 the Turks captured it from the Serbs.

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Beautiful historical monuments in the vicinity of Nis says about his turbulent past

Niš was recovered briefly several times, but Turkish domination lasted for 500 years, and the town became an important station on the route from Istanbul to Hungary. In the first Serbian uprising (1809), the Serbs fired their powder magazine and destroyed themselves and a large number of the enemy; in the ruins of the Turkish-built Ćele Kula (Tower of Skulls) are embedded the skulls of more than 900 of the Serbs who fell at the Battle of Čegar. The Serbian army liberated Niš in 1877, and the town was ceded to them by the Treaty of Berlin (1878). In World War I Niš was for a period the capital of Serbia. Heavy bomb damage from World War II and consequent postwar construction erased much of the town’s Turko-Byzantine style. Historical buildings include a 5th-century Byzantine crypt.

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Monument to the great battle against the Turks in 1809. on the Čegar place, Niš 

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Nis Fortress is a fortress in the Nis city, on the right coast of Nisava river, which has a continuity of about two millennia of continuous existence, as evidenced by numerous archaeological findings

Industries include mechanical engineering, tobacco products, and electronics. Niš is the well-known university centre in Serbia and Europe as well. Niš features a national museum, a museum of public health, and the Mediana Museum, which displays and preserves archaeological finds from the area. The city’s National Theatre was established in 1887. The NiskaBanje spa, just east of the city, treats patients with cardiovascular diseases.

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Niš is the well-known university centre in Serbia and Europe as well (Left – University of Nis building, Right – Faculty of Electronic Engineering building)

Niš offers a number of restaurants and taverns where you can taste traditional Serbian cuisine. Sausage, grilled meats, bread, and locally made cheeses all play important parts in traditional Serbian cuisine. Cabbage, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers, all of which are usually grown organically, are the main ingredients in Serbian salads. Oily stuffed breads called burek, and pljeskavica burgers served with sour cream-like sauce kajmak are Serbia’s main ‘fast foods.’ More formal Serbian meals include charcoal-grilled minced meat known as cevapcici, stuffed vine or cabbage leaves known as japrak or sarma, meat patties called pljeskavica, and skewered meats known as raznjici. Serbia’s signature drink is a fruit flavored spirit called rakija and a strong plum brandy named slivovica. In restaurants and taverns in the Nis city you can enjoy the beautiful music that reflects the folklore of southern Serbia.

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Pobedina street – tourist promenade and the main shopping area in the Niš

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Niš offers a number of restaurants and taverns where you can taste traditional Serbian cuisine

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City of Niš night

USEFUL LINKS

http://www.visitnis.com/

Travel Guide to Nis, Serbia: What to See and Do