— City —
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The Emperor's city Coordinates: Country Serbia District Nišava Municipalities 5 Government - Mayor of Niš Miloš Simonović (DS) - Ruling parties DS/G17+/SPS Area - Total 597 km2 (230.5 sq mi) Elevation 195 m (640 ft) Population (2011) - Total 257,867 - Density 431.9/km2 (1,118.6/sq mi) Time zone CET (UTC+1) - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) Postal code 18000 Area code(s) (+381) 18 Car plates NI Website www.ni.rs
Niš (Serbian: Ниш, pronounced [nîːʃ] ( listen)) is the largest city of southern Serbia and third-largest city in Serbia (after Belgrade and Novi Sad). According to the data from 2011, the city area of Niš has 257,867 inhabitants. while the city proper has 221,633. The city covers an area of about 597 km2, including the urban area, Niš spa town and 69 suburbs. Niš is the administrative center of the Nišava District.
It is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and Europe, and has from ancient times been considered a gateway between the East and the West. The Paleo-Balkan Thracians were formed in the Iron Age, the Triballi tribe would dwell here prior to the Celtic invasion in 279 BC which established the Scordisci as masters of the region. Naissus was among the cities taken in the Roman conquest in 75 BC. The Romans built the Via Militaris in the 1st century, with Naissus being one of the key towns. Niš is also notable as the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor and the founder of Constantinople, as well as two other Roman emperors, Constantius III and Justin I. It is home to one of Serbia's oldest Christian churches dating to the 4th century in the suburb of Mediana.
There are about 30,000 students at the University of Niš, which comprises 13 faculties. Niš is also one of the most important industrial centres in Serbia, a center of electronics industry (see Elektronska Industrija Niš), industry of mechanical engineering, textile- and tobacco industry. Constantine the Great Airport is its international airport. In 2013 the city will host the Ecumenical Assembly of Christian Churches, to mark 1700 years of Constantine's Edict of Milan.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Population through history
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Administrative divisions
- 8 Famous or notable citizens
- 9 Culture
- 10 International relations
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Niš is situated at the 43°19' latitude north and 21°54' longitude east in the Nišava valley, near the spot where it joins the South Morava. The central city area is at 194m altitude above sea level (the Main City Square). The highest point in the city area is Sokolov kamen (Falcon's rock) on Suva Planina (1523m) while the lowest spot is at Trupale, near the mouth of the Nišava (173m). The city covers 596.71 km².
The climate of the Niš area is moderate continental, with an average temperature of 11.2 °C (52 °F). July is the warmest month of the year, with the average of 21.2 °C (70 °F). The coldest month is January, averaging at 0.2 °C (32 °F). The average of the annual rainfall is 567.25 mm. The average barometer value is 992.74 mb. There are 123 days with rain and 43 days with snow. On the average, the wind force is just below 3 Beaufort.
Niš Climate chart (explanation) J F M A M J J A S O N D414−4407−145122511866723107026134428154329144425113419757122545−1 Average max. and min. temperatures in °C Precipitation totals in mm Source: Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia Imperial conversion J F M A M J J A S O N D1.639261.645301.85435264432.673512.779561.782581.783581.777521.366442.253362.14229 Average max. and min. temperatures in °F Precipitation totals in inches
The city's early name under the Roman Empire remained Naissus, which is the Latin name derived from its original name Naissos.
The etymology of the original name Naissos ("city of the nymphs") was derived from a mythical creature of Greek mythology - Naiad (from the Greek νάειν, "to flow," and νᾶμα, "running water") which was the nymph of freshwater streams rivers and lakes. Niš is a possible location of Nysa, a mythical place in Greek mythology where the young god Dionysus was raised.
Prehistoric and ancient times
Archaeological evidence shows neolithic settlements in the city and area dating from 5,000 to 2,000 BCE, notable archeological site is Humska Čuka.
The ethnogenesis of the Thracians started in the Iron Age, one of the chief towns were Aiadava, the future Roman Remesiana. The Triballi dwelled in this region, mentioned as early as 424 BC. In 279 BC, during the Gallic invasion of the Balkans, the Scordisci tribe defeats the Triballi and settles the lands.
At the time of the conquest of the Balkans by Rome in 168-75 BC, Naissos was used as a base for operations. Naissus was first mentioned in Roman documents near the beginning of 2nd century CE, and was considered a place worthy of note in the Geography of Ptolemy of Alexandria.
The Romans occupied the town in the period of the "Dardanian War" (75-73 BC), and set up a legionary camp. The city (called refugia and vici in pre-Roman relation), because of its strategic position (Thracians were based to the south) developed as an important garrison and market town of the province of Moesia Superior.
The Romans built the Via Militaris in the early 1st century AD, with Naissus being one of the key towns. Five roads met at Naissus, from Lissus, Serdica, Singidunum, Ratiaria and Thessalonica (through Scupi).
A tombstone of a Cretan soldier under either Claudius (41-54) or Nero (54-68) stands in Naissus, pointing that auxiliary units were stationed here at that time. Legia IIII Scythica and VII Claudia may have briefly been stationed here. An auxiliary fort was based to the north, at present-day Ravna, called Timacum minus. Marcus Aurelius (161–180) promoted the city to municipia. Overall, several family tombstones point that this was an important military region and by the 3rd century a social class of peasants and soldiers emerged.
Cohort I Aurelia Dardanorum was based in the city.
In 268, during the "Crisis of the third century" when the Empire almost collapsed, the greatest Gothic invasion seen to date came pouring into the Balkans. The Goths' seaborne allies, the Heruli, supplied a fleet, carrying vast armies down the coast of the Black Sea where they ravaged coastal territories in Thrace and Macedonia. Other huge forces crossed the Danube in Moesia. An invasion of Goths into the province of Pannonia was leading to disaster. In 268, Emperor Gallienus won some important initial victories at land and sea, but it was his successor Claudius II who finally defeated the invaders at the Battle of Naissus in 268, one of the bloodiest battles of the 3rd century. Invaders allegedly left thirty to fifty thousand dead on the field.
Four years later in 272, the son of military commander Constantius Chlorus and an innkeeper's daughter called Flavia Iulia Helena was born in Naissus and destined to rule as Emperor Constantine the Great.
Constantine created the Dacia mediterranea province of which Naissus was capital, which also had Naissus and Remesiana of the Via militaris and the towns of Pautalia and Germania. He lived at Naissus in short periods from 316-322.
A fabricae that produced ingots (Gold bars) was active in Naissus at the time of Theodosius I (378-395) as findings with the marking of NAISI at the order of the Emperor have been found in Romania, dating to 379.
The 4th century Imperial villa at Mediana is an important archaeological site located close to Niš. Mosaic floors and other traces of luxury are preserved in the archaeological museum on the site. Other aristocratic suburban villas are clustered nearby.Historians think that city of Naissus could have 150,000 citizens. Here in Mediana, in 364, emperors Valentinian and Valens divided the Roman empire and ruled as co-emperors.
In the castle, or palace, of Mediana, only three miles from Naissus, they executed the solemn and final division of the Roman empire. Valentinian bestowed on his brother the rich praefecture of the East, from the Lower Danube to the confines of Persia; whilst he reserved for his immediate government the warlike praefectures of Illyricum, Italy, and Gaul, from the extremity of Greece to the Caledonian rampart, and from the rampart of Caledonia to the foot of Mount Atlas. (Edward Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" , Vol. 2,Chapter XXV)
The 4th century Christian basilica in Niš is one of the oldest Christian monuments. The Roman Emperor Constantius III (421) who was the power behind the throne during much of the 410's was born in Naissus.
Though the emperor Julian strengthened the walls, the very prosperity of Naissus made it a target and it was destroyed by Attila in 443. Attila the Hun conquered Naissus with battering rams and rolling towers—military sophistication that was new in the Hun repertory. After the Huns captured the city of Naissus they massacred the inhabitants of the city. Years later, river banks outside the city were still covered with human bones as a reminder of the devastation the Huns had inflicted. The founder of the Justinian Dynasty, Justin I, was born in Naissus in 450, and his nephew Justinian I did his best to restore the city, but Naissus never recovered its 4th century urbanity. The Roman fort at Balajnac with a well-preserved cistern produced coins to Justinian I.
The latter half of the 6th century AD saw the first major migrations of Slavs and Avars. During the 6th and 7th century, Slavic tribes made eight attempts to take Niš. In 551, the Slavs crossed Niš initially headed for Thessalonica, but ended up in Dalmatia. By the 580s the Slavs had conquered Serbia to much of northern Greece. During the final attack in 615 the invaders took the city, and most of the Roman and Romanized Daco-Thracian population fled, perished, or became assimilated.
Prince Constantine Bodin was crowned Emperor of Bulgaria in 1072, amid the Bulgarian revolts in Macedonia against the Byzantine Empire. Bodin conquered Niš, but was later captured. During the People's Crusade, on July 3, 1096, Peter the Hermit clashes with Byzantine forces at Niš, losing a quarter of his men, but manages to march on to Constantinople.
In 1155, Prince Desa receives Dendra (Niš) as an appanage. In 1162, Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos meets with Stefan Nemanja at Niš, he is also given the region of Dubočica (Leskovac and Niš). By 1188, Niš had become Nemanja's capital. On 27 July 1189, Nemanja receives German emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his 100,000 crusaders at Niš. When describing Serbia during the rule of Vukan II in 1202, the mentioning of Niš shows its special status. In 1203, Kaloyan of Bulgaria annexes Niš. Stefan Nemanjić later regains the region.
In 1375, the Ottoman Turks captured Niš for the first time. After a 25-day long siege, the city fell to the Turks. The fall of the Serbian state decided the fate of Niš as well. After the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, even though Serbia existed much weakened as a semi-independent state for another 70 years, the Constantinople-Vienna road grew deserted.
In 1443, Niš fell into the hands of Ludanjin. The town itself was given back to the Serbs, while Branković gave it over to Đorđe Mrnjavčević. In the so-called Long Campaign, Christian armies, led by the Hungarian military leader Janos Hunyadi (known as Sibinjanin Janko in Serbian folk poetry) together with Serbian Despot Đurađ Branković, defeated the Turks and repelled them to Sofia. An important battle was fought near Niš, which remained a free city for a whole year after that. It was during this battle that an Ottoman commander named Gjerg Kastrioti, aka Skanderbeg, deserted the Ottoman ranks with a strong following. Escaping to Albania, he mounted a semi-successful guerilla war against the Ottomans that lasted his remaining lifetime.
Early Modern and Modern periods
Niš succumbed to Ottoman rule again in 1448 and remained thus for the following 241 years. In the period of Ottoman rule, Niš was a seat of the Sanjak of Niš and Niš Eyalet. Niš Fortress, built in that period, still represents one of the most beautiful and best preserved edifices in the Balkans. The extant fortification is of Turkish origin, dating from the first decades of the 18th century (1719–1723). It is well known as one of the most significant and best preserved monuments of this kind in the Mid-Balkans. The Fortress was erected on the site of earlier fortifications - the ancient Roman, Byzantine, and later yet Medieval forts. The Fortress has a polygonal ground plan, eight bastion terraces and four massive gates. It stretches over 22 ha of land. The rampart walls are 2,100 m long, 8 m high and 3 m thick on the average. The building stone, brought from the nearby quarries, was hewn into rather evenly-shaped blocks. The inside of the rampart wall was additionally fortified by a wooden construction, 'santrač', and an additional bulwark, 'trpanac'. On the outside, the Fortress was surrounded by a wide moat, whose northern part has been preserved to our days. Beside the massive stone rampart walls, the southern Stambol gate and the western Belgrade gate are pretty well preserved. Partly preserved are the water gates, while the northern Vidin gate and the south-east Jagodina gate are preserved only in remains. With a complete reconstruction of all the gates, Niš Fortress would once again become, architecturally and functionally, a closed fortification system. On September 24, 1689, the Austrian army took the city after defeating the Turks at the Battle of Niš, but the Ottomans retook it the next year. In 1737, it was seized again by the Austrian army, in their campaign against the Turks. The war ended in 1739.
At the beginning of the 19th century the crucial thing for the renewal of the Serbian state was the liberation of Niš from the Turks. The Serbian leader Karađorđe, in his talks with the representatives of Russia, as well as in his talks with Napoleon and the Turks, pointed out that Niš had to belong to Serbia. The Serbian insurrection army headed towards Niš in order to take it and go ahead towards Old Serbia and Kosovo. Karađorđe's suggestion was to use the whole army to liberate Niš, while the rest of the commanders demanded to attack Niš from four different points. The latter was accepted. On April 27, 1809, the Serbian insurrection army with its 16,000 soldiers approached the villages of Kamenica, Gornji and Donji Matejevac, near the town of Niš with Miloje Petrović as Commander-in-chief. The Serbian soldiers made six trenches. The first and biggest was on Čegar Hill with voivoda Stevan Sinđelić at the head. The second one was in the village Gornji Matejevac (near the newly rebuilt Latin Church) with Petar Dobrnjac as the commander. The third trench was north-east to Kamenica, with voivoda Ilija Barjaktarević. The fourth trench was in Kamenica with Miloje Petrović as the chief commander. The fifth trench was in the mountain above Kamenica and under the control of voivoda Pauljo Matejić, while the sixth one was made in Donji Matejevac. Miloje Petrović's request to attack Niš directly was not accepted. The demand was to wait and to besiege the town.
Meanwhile, the Turkish army was reinforced with 20,000 soldiers from Adrianople, Thessalonica, Vranje and Leskovac. The Turks attacked the trench of Petar Dobrnjac on 30 May The following day, on May 31, 1809, the most prominent trench on Čegar Hill, under the command of Stevan Sinđelić, was attacked. The battle lasted all day. As Milovan Kukić witnessed, "the Turks attacked five times, and the Serbs managed to repulse them five times. Each time their losses were great. Some of the Turks attacked, and some of them went ahead, and thus when they attacked for the sixth time they filled the trenches with their dead so that the alive went over their dead bodies and they began to fight against the Serbs with their rifles, cutting and sticking in their enemies with their sabers and knives. The Serbian soldiers from other trenches cried out to help Stevan. But there was no help, either because they could not help without their cavalry, or because Miloje Petrović did not allow it.
When Stevan Sinđelić saw that the Turks had taken over the trench, he ran to the powder cave, took out his gun and fired at the powder magazine. The explosion was so strong that all the surrounding was shaken, and the whole trench caught in a cloud of dense smoke. Stevan Sinđelić, who up to that moment had reached everywhere, helping and encouraging everybody, went into the air." Three thousand Serbian soldiers and more than twice as many on the Turkish side were killed on Čegar Hill. An important monument from early 19th century Serbian uprisings against Turkish reign is the Skull Tower (Ćele kula), a tower which incorporates human skulls (those of dead Serbian "rebels") in its construction, a monument likely unique in its design.
The city was incorporated in Serbia as a consequence of the Treaty of San Stefano. Following the route of the Serbian army by the Austrians, Bulgarians and Germans in World War I, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria welcomed the German Kaiser Wilhelm II at Niš in January 1916.
During the time of German occupation in World War II, the first Nazi concentration camp in Yugoslavia was located near Niš. In 1942 an armed revolt led to an escape. The escapees were guerrillas from Josip Broz Tito's movement who was captured by German forces during the Battle of Kozara. This escape is featured in Miomir Stamenković's film Lager Niš, 1987. The city was heavily bombed by the Allies in 1944 along with other cities in Axis Serbia. In 1996, Niš was the first city in Serbia to stand against the government of Slobodan Milošević. A coalition of democratic opposition parties called Zajedno (Together) won the local elections in Niš in 1996. The first democratic mayor of City of Niš was Zoran Živković, who later became the Prime Minister of Serbia in 2003. On May 7, 1999 it was the site of the NATO Cluster bombing of Niš that resulted in many civilian casualties and no military losses. During the local elections held in September 2004, Smiljko Kostic of Nova Srbija won the mayor office. The democratic party provoked referendum to recall Kostic in November 2005. The majority voted against recall. In the local elections held in May 2008, the Democratic Party, G17+ and coalition assembled around the Socialist Party of Serbia won and Miloš Simonović from the Democratic party became elected mayor.
- Skull Tower - A tower made out of Serb skulls decapitated by Turks in 19th century.
- Niš Fortress - Turkish fortress in the city center.
- Mediana - Archaeological site, Roman imperial villa.
- Tinkers Alley - Example of original architecture from Ottoman period.
- Crveni Krst concentration camp - Built by occupying German forces during WWII.
- Bubanj - Monument to the fallen Yugoslav WWII fighters.
Three Roman emperors were born in this city
- Constantine I, the great, (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus) – ruled 306 to 337
- Constantius III, (Flavius Constantius) – ruled 421
- Justin I, (Flavius Iustinus) – ruled 518 to 527
Population through history
- 1900: 24,573
- 1905: 21,946
- 1910: 24,949
- 1921: 28,625
- 1931: 35,465
- 1941: 44,800 (estimate)
- 1948: 49,332 (109,280)*
- 1953: 58,656 (122,100)*
- 1961: 81,250 (148,354)*
- 1971: 127,654 (195,362)*
- 1981: 161,376 (232,563)*
- 1991: 173,250 (245,182)*
- 2002: 173,724 (250,518)*
- 2008: 182,209 (252,000)
()* - population according to the present-day boundaries of the city
According to the last census from 2011, the whole municipal area of the city of Niš (including both, urban and rural parts of municipality) has a population of 251,867, while population of urban Niš was 221,633. It should be noted that territory of urban part of Niš was redefined since 2002, after the formation of new urban municipalities, thus number of 221,633 might not correspond with the current urban area. There is still much dispute about the true number of its population, since there are several thousand Kosovo refugees who officially don't live in the city, but are living there with local family members.
Ethnic Groups in the Municipal Area (2002 Census) Ethnic group Population Serbs 235,657 Roma 5,687 Montenegrins 846 Bulgarians 799 Yugoslavs 664 Croats 417 Others 5,733 TOTAL 250,518 Ethnic Groups in the Urban Area (2002 Census) Ethnic group Population Serbs 162,380 Roma 4,461 Montenegrins 747 Bulgarians 679 Yugoslavs 601 Croats 379 Others 3,872 TOTAL 173,724
The city of Niš is the administrative, industrial, commercial, financial and cultural center of the south-eastern part of Republic of Serbia. The position of Niš is strategically important, located at the intersection of European highway and railway networks connecting Europe with Asia. Niš is easily accessible, having an airport - Niš Constantine the Great Airport and being a point of intersection of numerous railroad and highway lines. It is in Niš that the trunk road running from the north down the Morava River valley forks into two major lines:
- the south one, leading to Thessalonica and Athens, along the Vardar River valley,
- and the east one, running along the Nisava and the Marica, leading towards Sofia and Istanbul, and further on, towards the Near East.
These roads have been widely known from ancient times, because they represented the beaten tracks along which peoples, goods and armies moved. Known as 'Via Militaris' in Roman and Byzantine periods, or 'Constantinople road' in Middle Ages, these roads still represent major European traffic arteries. Niš thus stands at a point of intersection of the roads connecting Asia Minor to Europe, and the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.
Nis had always been a relatively developed city in the former Yugoslavia. In 1981 its GDP per capita was 110% of the Yugoslav average.
Niš is one of the most important industrial centers in Serbia, well known for its tobacco industry, industry of electronics, construction industry, industry of mechanical engineering, textile industry, color metal industry, food processing industry, industry of rubber goods.
- Niš Tobacco Factory - was built and opened in 1930 at the present location at Crveni Krst. Its basic production is that of tobacco, cigarettes, filters, the elements of the tobacco machinery and equipment, adhesives etc. In 1995 a scientific - research institute was built. The Institute selects, produces and protects tobacco, and creates and designs new products. In August 2003, The Philip Morris Corporation purchased the Niš Tobacco Factory (DIN) through the privatization process. Philip Morris' total investment of EUR 580 million makes it the single largest foreign investor in Serbia of the Year 2003.
- Gradjevinar, stock company - originated from the construction firm of Niš County called Grapon in 1961. Gradjevinar has built large structural complexes as shopping centers, department buildings, entire campuses, sections of cities which can be found in Niš, Belgrade, East Serbia, Russia, Bulgaria, Israel, Jordan, United Arabic Emirates. The company has built:
- more than 30,000 apartments, of approximately 180,000 square meters,
- clinics, health facilities and hospitals, of approximately 80,000 square meters,
- department stores, malls of approximately 50,000 square meters,
- hotels, tourist sites, banks, schools, theaters, sports facilities of approximately 50,000 square meters,
- various warehouses, factories, farms and cold storage buildings of approximately 150,000 square meters.
- Electronics Industry - Holding Corporation, stock corporation - originated from the foundation of the Institute for the Production of Radio Sets and Roentgen Machines, "RR Niš", in 1948. The basic production encompasses acoustic equipment, electronic tubes, specific installations, printed plates, electronic machine elements, hydraulics, pneumatics, appliances, air-conditioners, medical equipment, X-ray machines.
Industry of rubber goods
- Vulkan, stock company was built and opened in 1937. Its production is large in scope and it comprises various rubber-technical articles with numerous applications in mining and construction industry (transporters and cranes).
Colour metal industry
- NISSAL - Stock corporation for aluminum produces tools, metal reproductive materials, metal, wooden and other material constructions, collects and treats for industrial refuse.
- The Pump Factory "Jastrebac" founded in 1910., produces more than 1,000 of different types and sizes of mechanical pumps.
- MIN (Machinery Industry of Niš) Holding, stock corporation founded in 1884, produces various machines, various types of equipment: chemical, petrol-chemical, mining, metallurgic, railway-transport, diesel-locomotive, pump, hydro-thermo-nuclear, water and gas treatment. In 1993 MIN got transformed into a holding company of 37 joint-stock units, 24 of which deal with the basic production, 6 of which deal with services, and 7 with specialized business.
- Nitex - Niš Textile Industry produces fabrics, knitted material, continuous embroidery, clothes.. The company was founded 1897. by Niš capitalist Mita Ristić with his sons (Dušan and Dragoljub). In 2006. Nitex - Niš was acquired by the businessman of Montenegrin origin - Đorđije Nicović.
Food processing industry
- Žitopek, stock company for the production and trade of bakery goods was established on March 3, 1947 when 14 bakers formally signed a contract by which they were supposed to join their workshops into "Žitopek".
- The Brewery of Niš, stock company produces beer and non-alcohol drinks. The brewery was founded 1884. by Jovan Apel.
- Skull Tower (Serbian: Ћеле Кула, Ćele Kula) - A monument to 19th century Serbian rebels. It is situated on Zoran Đinđić Boulevard, on the old Constantinople road leading to Sofia.
- Čegar - The place where Battle on Čegar Hill had happened on May 19, 1809.
- Concentration camp - One rare saved German Nazis prisoner camps in Europe. It is situated on 12.February Boulevard.
- Bubanj - A place where 10 000 civilian hostages from Niš and south Serbia were brutally murdered by German Nazis during World War II. Monument is in the shape of three clenched fists.
- Memorial Chapel in the memory of NATO bombing victims - The chapel was built by City government of Niš (led by DS/SPO, two democratic parties) while monument was built by the State government (led by conservative SPS/SRS parties) in 1999. They are situated in Sumatovacka street near Nis Fortress.
- Niš Fortress - The extant fortification of Turkish origin, dating from the first decades of the 18th century (1719–1723). It is situated in the city center.
- The fortress-cafes - They are situated near Stambol gate (main gate of fortress).
- Mediana - Archeological site from the late Roman period located on the road leading to Sofia near EI Nis.
- Tinkers Alley - An old urban downtown in today Kopitareva Street, built in the first half of 18th century. It was a street full of tinkers but today it is full with cafes and restaurants.
- Kalča, City passage and Gorča - Trade centers situated in Milana Obrenovića Street.
- Niška Banja - It is a very popular spa in the summer season. It is located at 10 km from city center on the road leading to Sofia, in the bottom of Suva Planina Mountain.
- Spa of Topilo
Buildings in Niš are constantly being built. Niš is the second largest city after Belgrade for number of high-rises. The Ambassador Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Niš, but there are also other buildings like TV5 Tower.
- Nis Tourist Organization have two tourist information centers available, one in Nis in Vozda Karađorđa 7 street, and the other in Niska Banja whose address is Sinđelićeva 3b.
Niš is strategically located between the Morava river valley in North and Vardar river valley in the south, on the main route between Greece and Central Europe. In the Niš area, this major transportation and communication route is linked with the natural corridor formed by the Nišava river valley, which runs towards East in the direction of Sofia and Istanbul.
Historically, because of its location, the city had always great importance in the region. The first to take advantage of it was the Roman Empire that built the important road Via Militaris, linking the city with Singidunum (current Belgrade) to the North and Constantinople (current Istanbul) to the South-East.
Nowadays, the city is connected by the highway E75 with Belgrade and Central Europe in north, and Skopje, Thessaloniki and Athens in south. The road E80 connects Niš with Sofia, Istanbul towards the Middle East, and Pristina, Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea to the West. The road E771 connects the city with Zaječar, Kladovo and Drobeta-Turnu Severin in Romania.
The city is also the major regional railway junction.
The Niš Constantine the Great airport is the second most important airport in Serbia. The first airfield was built in 1910.
The city public transportation consists nowadays by 13 bus lines. Tram system existed in Niš between 1930 and 1958.
The city of Niš consists of five municipalities. The first four municipalities are located in the urban area of Niš, while Niška Banja is a suburban municipality. Before 2002, the city of Niš had only two municipalities, one of them named "Niš" and another named "Niška Banja".
Municipalities of Niš include further neighborhoods:
Medijana Palilula, Niš Pantelej Crveni Krst Niška Banja Center Palilula Pantelej Crveni Krst Niška Banja Marger Staro Groblje Jagodin Mala (partly) Beograd Mala nas. Nikola Tesla (broj 6) Trg Kralja Aleksandra Crni Put Durlan Jagodin Mala (partly) Jelašnica Kičevo Bubanj Komren (partly) Komren (mostly) Sićevo Čair Ledena Stena Čalije Šljaka Ostrovica Bulevar Nemanjica Suvi Do Somborska Medosevac Prva Kutina Bulevar Djindjica Apelovac Vrežina Radikina Bara Medijana Kovanluk Prosek Trošarina Tutunović Podrum Čukljenik Duvanište Kalač Brdo Donja i gornja Studena Brzi Brod Gabrovačka reka
Famous or notable citizens
The people listed below were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with the city of Niš, and its surrounding metropolitan area.
- Constantine the Great, a Roman Emperor, born 272/3 in Naissus.
- Justin I, Byzantine emperor, born c. 450 in Naissus.
- Stevan Sinđelić, war leader (vojvoda), died in 1809 in the Battle of Čegar.
- Stevan Sremac (1855–1906), writer, came to Niš shortly after its liberation from the Turkish rule; wrote about life in old Niš (Ivkova slava, Zona Zamfirova).
- Dragiša Cvetković (1893–1969), prime minister of Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1939 to 1941.
- Dušan Radović (1922–1984), journalist and writer.
- Predrag Antonijević, (b. 1959), film director.
- Branko Miljković (1934–1961), poet.
- Šaban Bajramović (1936–2008), Romani singer and composer.
- Kornelije Kovač (b. 1942), rock musician and composer.
- Tanasije Uzunović (b. 1942), actor.
- Goran Paskaljević (b. 1947), movie director; raised by his grandparents in Niš 1949-1963, after the divorce of his parents.
- Dragan Pantelić (b. 1951), former football goalkeeper, president of Radnički Niš.
- Predrag Miletić (b. 1952), actor.
- Zoran Živković (b. 1954), handball player and coach.
- Aki Rahimovski (b. 1954), rock musician.
- Nenad Milosavljević (b. 1954), rock musician.
- Biljana Krstić (b. 1959), rock and traditional music singer and songwriter.
- Zoran Živković (b. 1960), politician, a former Prime Minister of Serbia.
- Zoran Ćirić (b. 1962), writer.
- Aleksandar Šoštar (b. 1964), water polo goalkeeper.
- Dragan Stojković (b. 1965), football player.
- Lidija Mihajlović (b. 1968), shooting champion.
- Kokan Mladenović (b. 1970), theater director.
- Ivan Miljković (b. 1979), volleyball player.
- Nikola Karabatić (b. 1984), handball player.
- Nemanja Radulović (b. 1985), violinist.
- Goran Šepa, rock musician.
Niš is a home of National Theatre in Niš, that was founded as "Sinđelić" Theatre in 1889.
Galija and Kerber are considered the most notable rock bands to have originated from Niš. Other notable Niš rock acts include Daltoni, Dobri Isak, Lutajuća Srca, Mama Rock, Hazari, Novembar, Trivalia and others.
The city of Niš is home to numerous sport clubs including the following:
- "Prvi srpski piloti" Aero-Club
- "Železničar" Athletics Club
- "Čair" Automobile And Motor-Racing Club
- "Železničar" Cycling Club
- "Radnički" Boxing Club
- Niš Bridge Club
- "Niš" Gymnastiscs Club
- "Student" University Go Club
- City Recreation Association
- "Niš" Weight-Lifting Club
- "Zoran Radosavljević" Sailing Club
- "Gusar" Kayak-Canoe Club
- "Khi" Karate Club
- "Omladinac" Karate Club
- "Samuraj" Karate Club
- "Čegar" Horse Riding Club
- "Alfa" Youth Basketball Club
- "Gimnazijalac" Ladies' Youth Basketball Club
- "Ergonom" Basketball Club
- "Student" Ladies' University Basketball Club
- "Student" University Basketball Club
- "Niš-Put" Bowling Club
- "Gromig - Puršok" Small-Grounds Football Club
- "Ekonomist" Small-Grounds Football Club
- "Koska" Small-Grounds Football Club
- "Naisus" Small-Grounds Football Club
- "Palilula" Small-Grounds Football Club
- "Niš" Volleyball Club
- "Radnički" Volleyball Club
- "Student" Ladies' Volleyball Club
- "Albatros" Paragliding Club External link
- "Grunf" Paragliding Club
- "Niš" Mountaineers' Association
- "Železničar" Mountaineers' Association
- "Step" Dancing Club
- "Niš" Swimming And Water-Polo Club
- "Naissus" Handball Club
- "Železničar" Handball Club
- "Niš" Youth Handball Club
- "Niš" Safari Club
- "Niš" Skiing Club
- Niš Sports Association Of The Disabled
- Sports Association "Niški maraton"
- "Niš" Table Tennis Club
- "Niš" Archery Club - External link
- "Niš 1881" Shooting Club
- "Ramin-Niš" Taekwondo Club
- "Gimnazijalac" Tennis Club
- "Kostić" Tennis Club
- "Radnički" Tennis Club
- "Niš" Triathlon Club
- Fishing Sports Association
- "Železničar Niš" Football Club
- "Mašinac" Ladies' Football Club
- "OFK Niš" Football Club
- "Jastrebac Proleter" Football Club
- "Palilulac" Football Club
- "Sinđelić Niš" Football Club
- "Radnički Niš" Football Club
- "Železničar" Judo Club
- "Kinezis" Judo Club
- "92" Judo club
- "Niš" Judo Club
- "Niš" Chess Club
- "Swing" Dance club
- "Cekica" Rugby League Club
- "Naissus" Archery Club
- Fitness centar 2M 
- "Niš" Kudo Club
- "Junior" Youth Basketball Club
- Baltazar radio (90.5)
- Banker radio(98.3)
- City radio (104.9) - LIVE(AAC+)
- Radio 5(105.5)
- Radio Nišava(104.0))
- Radio Belle Amie(95.6)
- Radio Belle Amie Folk Kanal (98.7/100.7)
- Radio Seven (88.8)
- Banker TV
- TV 5
- BelleAmie TV
- TV Nais
- RTV Nišava(in Romany)
- Čair (in Romany)
- Art TV
- Puls TV
- Jumbo TV
- Narodne Novine (BUL)
Twin towns — Sister cities
Other forms of cooperation and city friendship
- ^ City of Nis, www.ni.rs
- ^ a b Popis stanovništva, domaćinstava i Stanova 2002. Knjiga 1: Nacionalna ili etnička pripadnost po naseljima. Republički zavod za statistiku, Beograd, Srbija, 2003. ISBN 86-84443-00-09
- ^ "Municipalities Of Serbia 2011". Statistical Office Of Republic Of Serbia. 2005. http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/axd/Zip/SN31.pdf. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- ^ http://www.metimes.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20070515-082637-6667r
- ^ New Advent Catholic encyclopedia: Constantine the Great
- ^ "Moderate Patriarch Sets New Course for Serb Church". IPS News. 2010-02-01. http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50174.
- ^ Nis,Britanica
- ^ Stone Pages, 002763
- ^ a b c The provincial at Rome: and, Rome and the Balkans 80BC-AD14
- ^ a b http://www.balkaninstitut.com/pdf/izdanja/balcanica/Balcanica%20XXXVII%20(2006).pdf
- ^ a b c Pannonia and Upper Moesia: a history of the middle Danube provinces, p. 51-
- ^ Julian the Apostate, p.
- ^ p. 50
- ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/gibbon/02/daf02049.htm
- ^ http://books.google.com/?id=mnSq1VNloGsC
- ^ p. 238
- ^ BG III 40
- ^ http://www.rastko.rs/arheologija/delo/13047
- ^ The New Cambridge Medieval History: c. 500-c. 700, p. 539
- ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica: a new survey of universal knowledge, Volume 20, p. 341: "the eastern provinces (Branichevo, Morava, Timok, Vardar, Podrimlye) were occupied by the Bulgars."
- ^ Byzantium's Balkan frontier, p. 142
- ^ The great migrations in the East and South East of Europe from the ninth to the thirteenth century, p. 146, Google Books link
- ^ a b The Late Medieval Balkans, p. 4
- ^ The Late Medieval Balkans, p. 7
- ^ The Late Medieval Balkans, p. 24
- ^ The Late Medieval Balkans, p. 48
- ^ The Late Medieval Balkans, p. 54
- ^ Godišnjak grada Beograda. Museum of the Belgrade. 1977. p. 116. http://books.google.com/books?id=OE_jAAAAMAAJ&q=%22%D0%9D%D0%B8%D1%88%D0%BA%D0%B8+%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%9F%D0%B0%D0%BA%22&dq=%22%D0%9D%D0%B8%D1%88%D0%BA%D0%B8+%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%9F%D0%B0%D0%BA%22&hl=en&ei=6MgaTq6QF8_2sgbnv_S4Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCcQ6AEwADgK. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- ^ Serbs were not specially chosen as targets, Danas
- ^ Radovinović, Radovan; Bertić, Ivan, eds (1984) (in Croatian). Atlas svijeta: Novi pogled na Zemlju (3rd ed.). Zagreb: Sveučilišna naklada Liber.
- ^ arhivnis.co.rs
- ^ http://www.bankerinter.net/media/banker_radio_live.php
- ^ City Radio
- ^ http://radiocity.dyndns.info:8000
- ^ a b RTV5 - Niš
- ^ a b RTV Nisava - The first Roma Radio & TV station in Serbia
- ^ a b RTV Belle Amie
- ^ Banker TV - Osnovna strana
- ^ Untitled Document
- ^ Narodne novine
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Twinnings". Niš City Hall. http://www.ni.rs/news/brat-e.html. Retrieved 2008-04-17. [dead link]
- ^ "Partnership towns of the City of Košice" (in Slovak). © 2007-2009 City of Košice Magistrát mesta Košice, Tr. SNP 48/A, 040 11 Košice. http://www.kosice.sk/clanok.asp?file=gov_s_c-00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- City of Niš Official Website
- Regional Chamber of Economy Niš Official Website
- Nis travel guide from Wikitravel
Historical capitals of Serbia since 1841 Belgrade
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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