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"Nis" Nis Favorite Tip by miman

Nis General: 22 reviews and 23 photos

  Niš Fortress
by miman

Favorite thing: The city's early name under the Roman Empire remained Naissus ("city of the nymphs"), which is the Latin name derived from its original name Naissos, a Greek colony founded in antiquity. At the time of the conquest of the Greeks by Rome, Naissos was used as a base for operations. Niš is a possible location of Nysa, a mythical place in Greek mythology where the young god Dionysus was raised. Naissus was first mentioned in Roman documents near the beginning of 2nd century CE. In the zenith of its growth and flourishing, Naissus was one of the most important crossroads of the Moesian, Trachian and Dardanian road-network, because it was the point of intersection of the roads from Ljes (at the Adriatic coast), Thessalonica, Constantinople, and Singidunum (Belgrade). In ancient times, Naissus was an important stronghold and an invincible castrum. Its extraordinary geographic position made Naissus an important strategic spot, mentioned in many records on military affairs in the Balkans from the 2nd century on. It was near Niš that Claudius II gained a victory over the Goths in 269 AD, and saved the Roman Empire from a great danger. Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337), Diocletianus' successor to the throne born in Naissus in 274, richly endowed his birthplace. He built majestic edifices here, and made Niš an important economic, military and administrative centre.

Fondest memory: Niš Fortress represents one of the most beautiful and best preserved edifices in the Balkans. The Fortress was erected on the site of earlier fortifications - the ancient Roman, Byzantine, and later yet Mediaeval 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.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 3, 2006
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