Niš is the third-largest city in Serbia and the capital of southern Serbia (after Belgrade and Novi Sad). It serves as the administrative hub of the Nišava District. According to the 2011 census, the city has a population of 183,164, while the Niš urban area (including the nearby urban community of Niška Banja) has a population of 187,544; the administrative area has a population of 260,237.
It is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and Europe, and has long been regarded as a crossroads between the East and the West. It was built in 279 BC by the Scordisci during a Balkan invasion. The city was one of several taken in the Roman conquest in 75 BC; in the first century, the Romans built the Via Militaris, with Naissus being one of its key towns; it is also the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor and founder of Constantinople, as well as Constantius III and Justin I. It is home to one of Serbia’s oldest churches, which dates back to the 4th century and is situated in the Mediana area. The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire ruled over the Balkans. Slavs began inhabiting the Balkans in the sixth century, and the town was controlled by the Byzantines until the ninth century, when it fell under Bulgar control. The town was passed between the two until being granted to the Serbs by the Byzantines in the 12th century. Stefan Nemanja’s capital was Niš. It was taken by the Ottomans in the 15th century, and it became the seat of a sanjak, first in Rumelia Eyalet (1385-1443, 1448-1846), then in Niš Eyalet (1846-1864), and ultimately in Danube Vilayet (1864-1878). During the Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78), the Serbian Army liberated it in 1878.
Niš is one of Serbia’s most major industrial hubs, home to the electronics, mechanical engineering, textile, and tobacco industries. Its international airport is Constantine the Great Airport. In 2013, the city hosted the 1700th anniversary of Constantine’s Edict of Milan.
Niš – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• City Increase 183,164|
• Urban Increase 260,237
• Metro Increase 373,404
|FOUNDED :||First mention 2nd century AD|
Liberation from Ottomans 11 January 1878
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|RELIGION :||Serbian Orthodox 85%, Catholic 5.5%, Protestant 1.1%, Muslim 3.2%, unspecified 2.6%, other, unknown, or atheist 2.6%|
|AREA :||• City 597 km2 (231 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||195 m (640 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||43°19′09″N 21°53′46″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.88%|
• Female: 51.12%
|ETHNIC :||Serbs 243,381|
|AREA CODE :||018|
|POSTAL CODE :||18000|
|DIALING CODE :||(+381) 18|
Tourism in Niš
- Čegar – The site of the Battle of Čegar Hill on May 19, 1809.
- Crveni Krst concentration camp – One of Europe’s few remaining Nazi concentration camps. It could be seen at ’12 February Boulevard.’
- Memorial to Constantine the Great – On the anniversary of the Edict of Milan, a memorial to Constantine the Great was created in the city center in 2013, to commemorate Constantine the Great, who was born in the city.
- Bubanj – Three clinched fists constitute a memorial to fallen Yugoslav World War II warriors. The location where German Nazis ruthlessly slaughtered 10,000 civilian captives from Niš and south Serbia.
- Kalča, City passage and Gorča – Milana Obrenovića Street is home to a number of commercial establishments.
- Memorial Chapel in the memory of NATO bombing victims – The chapel was constructed by local authorities, whilst the monument was constructed by the State government in 1999. They are located on Sumatovacka street, next to the Niš Fortress.
- Niš Fortress – The Turks erected the surviving fortress, which dates from the early decades of the 18th century (1719–1723). It is located in the heart of the city.
- The fortress-cafes – They are located near the Stambol gate (the main gate of the fortress).
- Mediana – An Imperial mansion from the late Roman era was discovered on the route going to Sofia close to EI Nis.
- Niška Banja (Niš spa) – During the summer, this is a highly popular spa. It lies 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the city center, on the route going to Sofia, at the foot of Suva Planina Mountain.
- Tinkers Alley – An historic urban downtown zone erected in the early part of the 18th century on today’s Kopitareva Street. It used to be a street filled with tinkers and other craftspeople, but now it’s full of cafés and restaurants.
- Skull Tower (Ćele Kula) – A memorial to the Serbian revolutionaries who lived from 1804 to 1813. A tower formed of the skulls of Serbian uprising leaders who were slain and beheaded by the Ottomans. It is located on Zoran Đinđić Boulevard, which is the historic Constantinople route that leads to Sofia.
- Topilo Spa
The Niš Tourist Organization has two tourist information centers and a website. Tourist information centers in Ni provide tourists with tourism-related information. Maps, brochures, souvenirs, and postcards are also available. The webpage is extensive and thorough (available in both English and Serbian).
- Tourist information centre “The Fortress”, Tvrdjava
- Tourist information centre Niska Banja Spa, Sindjeliceva 3b, Niska Banja
- Tourist Organization of Nis.
Climate of Niš
The average annual temperature in Niš is 11.9 °C (53.4 °F). July is the hottest month of the year, with an average temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius (72.5 degrees Fahrenheit). The coldest month is January, with temperatures averaging 0.6 °C (33.1 °F). The yearly rainfall average is 580.3 mm (22.85 in). The average value of the barometer is 992.74 mb. On average, there are 134 days of rain every year, with snow cover lasting 41 days.
Geography of Niš
Niš is located in the Nišava valley, at the point where it meets the South Morava, at 43°19′ north latitude and 21°54′ east longitude. The main city plaza, located in the city’s center, is 194 meters (636 feet) above sea level. The city’s highest point is “Sokolov kamen” (Falcon’s rock) on the Suva Planina (Dry Mountain) (1,523 m (4,997 ft)), while the lowest point is Trupale, at the mouth of the Nišava (173 m (568 ft)). The city encompasses five municipalities totaling 596.71 square kilometers (230 square miles).
Economy of Niš
Niš is the administrative, industrial, economic, financial, and cultural hub of the Republic of Serbia’s south-eastern region. Niš is strategically significant since it is positioned at the crossroads of European highway and railway networks that link Europe to Asia. Niš is readily accessible, since it has an airport – Niš Constantine the Great Airport – and is a junction of various train and highway routes.
The trunk road that runs from the north down the Morava River valley splits into two main routes in Niš:
- the southern one, which runs down the Vardar River valley to Thessalonica and Athens,
- and the east one, which runs down the Nisava and the Marica and leads to Sofia, Istanbul, and the Near East.
These roads were well-known since ancient times because they symbolized the worn paths that people, commodities, and armies used. These highways, known as the ‘Via Militaris’ in the Roman and Byzantine eras, and the ‘Constantinople road’ in the Middle Ages, are still key European transportation corridors. As a result, Nis is located at the crossroads of the highways that link Asia Minor to Europe and the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.
Nis was always a reasonably developed city in former Yugoslavia. In 1981, its GDP per capita was 110 percent that of Yugoslavia.