Prehistory and name of the City

As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Nis is a rich source of historical treasures, some of which are dating from the very beginnings of civilization. The prehistoric finds Bubanj, Velika Humska Cuka and Mediana testify that early settlements around Nis emerged in the Neolithic, Eneolithic and the Bronze Age. Apart from houses found on the site, whose location and construction type confirm that residents of the area were rather advanced for their times, numerous utensils were also found, now considered typical for this prehistorical period.


The etymology of the city's name remains unknown, although there are stories of the Celtic myth according to which the town was named “the city of fairies” after “the fairy river”, since, even though it was often ruined, fairies from the river kept restoring it. The name Naissus was first mentioned in mid 2nd century AD by Claudius Ptolemy, who stated, in his book Geography, that this was the biggest city in Dardania.