03 May Nis Fortress (Nis)
Head south and explore the mighty Nis Fortress, one of the best-preserved military fortifications of its kind on the entire Balkan Peninsula. With over 2,100 m of stone walls, four gates, and eight bastion terraces, this structure is nothing short of monumental. Did we mention that the walls average about 3 meters in thickness?
Watching over the city’s proceedings from the right bank of the Nisava river, the 18th-century former military fortification stands affirmatively within walking distance of the city center. It’s also nearby other outstanding attractions, such as the Skull Tower, the local bohemian quarter, Kazandzijsko Sokace, and the majestic Sicevo Gorge is not too far off either!
Sitting where fortifications of years past once stood and boasting a history stretching back two millenniums, Nis Fortress is home to history that predates itself. One of the oldest parts of this attraction, the Octagonal Palace dates back to the 4th century. Thought to once be the residence of Constantine the Great, the now well-preserved ruins of this former palace stood 60 m tall.
Make your way into the fortress through the Stambol gate, one of the best-preserved parts of the fort and its main entrance. Walk along paths leading throughout the 26-hectare fortress grounds to find a plethora of centuries-old attractions.
Things to keep your eyes peeled for:
- The Bali-Baye Mosque
- Lapidarium – a collection of graves dating between the 1st and 4th century.
- Others gates – Belgrade (west), Jagodina (south east), Vidin (north)
- Barutane – a former depository for weapons and ammunition.
- Hammam – a Turkish bath
Travel Tips & Essentials:
- Nis Fortress is well worth visiting during August. This is the month of the “Nisville” jazz festival, a four-day cultural spectacle that’s been around since 2005.
How to get to the Nis Fortress:
If you’re already in Nis, then it’s within walking distance of pretty much all things under the sun.
If you find yourself in another part of Serbia, don’t worry, getting here is easy from any corner of the country. Nis is Serbia’s third-largest city and there’s no shortage of roads leading toward it.