Must see in Nis
MUST SEE IN NIS
Built during the reign of Constantine the Great (4th Century), Mediana is now a protected archeological site. The inhabitants of Roman Naissus apparently settled not only in the core of the city but also its surroundings. Thus it has become clear that Mediana represented an important epicentre of distribution, supplying goods and basic food products for the empire.
Located on what was then 'Via militaris' (military road), now the Niš - Sofia road, the estate occupies
40 hectares and exhibits the remnants of a granary, craft centre, villas, thermae, and the remains of an ancient villa with rich mosaics, most of which depict geometrical or floral motifs. The museum contains sculptures and portraits of Roman gods and goddesses, utensils for daily use (bowls, pitchers, lamps) and lead pipes used to provide healing hot water from the nearby Niška Banja (Niš Spa).
This is the location of a famous battle that would become the first of many Serbian Uprisings against
the Turks. Symbolising a military fortification, the monument that was built to commemorate the
battle. It is a picturesque tower, inside there is a spiral staircase which can be climbed to a narrow
terrace encompassing the top. Views of the city and surrounding countryside are a long way from the
bloody scenes of yesteryear.
CELE KULA (THE SKULL TOWER)
A fearsome monument to the tyrannous wrath of the Turks, the skull tower represents an important
part of the story of Turkish rule here. After 400 years of turbulent governance, and many bloody battles, the Turks were getting a little sick of the Serbs' unrepentant resistance. Following the massacre at Čegar, the Turkish (emperor) ordered the Serbian dead decapitated. Then, as a gory and graphic deterrent the skulls were built into a tower, a few kilometres from the centre of Niš. Starting with 952 heads, only 58 remain - the tower having been plundered by desperate relatives trying to find their loved ones for burial. The errie remnants of the tower remain spooky and mysterious. As history tells it, the tower was built in vain; Niš was liberated less than a generation later, in 1878.
KING ALEKSANDAR MONUMENT
Standing tall in his own square, one the biggest in Niš, King Aleksandar gallantly looks on from his
mighty horse. Made by the Belgrade sculptor Rade Stanković in 1939, it was removed and desroyed in 1946 by the comunists and in 2004, the citizens of Niš built a new monument .
The fortress represents the most prominent sight and symbol of Niš, positioned near the core of the city on the banks of the rapidly flowing Nišava river. The current fortifications being Turkish and dating from the 18th Century, it's one of the best preserved in the central Balkans. The Fortress covers 22 hectares, its walls are 2,100 meters long, 8 meters high, and, on average, 3 meters wide.
Niš Cathedral, dedicated to the descent of the Holy Spirit – The Holy Trinity Church was built in the period 1856-1872. The church was constructed as a basilica with three naves, with a rectangular basis, above which there are five domes. Particularly valued in this church are the relics of St. Artemije the Martyr, which are preserved with due care. Another valuable artifact is the shroud from the beginning of the 20th century, made in traditional white ornamental thread and gold strings, embroidered with lace. On the bell tower there is a big clock and also five huge bells molten in
Vršac from 1877 to 1881.
This is one of the few preserved fascist prisoner camps in Europe. In its unique and authentic way, it
testifies to the suffering of the people of Niš and southeast Serbia in World War Two.
THE CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS
Today’s Church of St. Nicholas was built in 1863/4. Originally it was a Turkish mosque. Upon the
liberation of Niš from the Turks, on the town patron saint day, St. Emperor Constantine and Empress Helen in 1879, adapted the mosque to serve the needs of Orthodox believers . At that time, the iconostasis was incorporated, while in 1926 a bell tower was added to the entrance. Six times converted by that year, sequentially used by the Muslims and the Orthodox Christians, to the present day it has remained an Orthodox temple.