Five Centuries of the Ottoman Reign
In 1386 Nis was conquered by the Turks. With short interruptions (the Austrian conquer in the 17th century), they held on to Nis by 1878. During the five centuries of the Ottoman rule, Nis was the seat of the military and administrative authorities in this part of the Balkans. Nis Fortress, built between 1719 and 1723, is one of the most beautiful and best preserved Turkish constructions in the Balkans.
When the Serbian population decided it could not put up with the subjugation any longer, in 1804, an uprising broke out, led by Karadjordje Petrovic. One of the famous battles in the First Serbian Uprising took place on Cegar, a hill near Nis, on 31 May 1809. On that day, duke Stevan Sindjelic, failing to defeat the numerous Turkish army, fired a shot into a powder magazine and died a dignified death, along with his fellow soldiers. This story of magnificent heroism is remembered today by The Skull Tower and the Cegar Monument.
After heavy fighting, the army of prince Milan Obrenovic entered Nis Fortress and liberated the city on 11 January 1878.
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