Nis Fortress is located in the core of the city, on the bank of the Nisava river. It is one of the best preserved and most beautiful medieval fortresses in central Balkans. It was pulled down and restored a number of times, by the Romans, over the Byzantines, Slavs, Bulgarians, and Serbs. Its assumed its final shape in 1723, when the Turks built it, facing the end of their reign in this area.
The Fortress covers 22 hectares, its walls are 2,100 meters long, 8 meters high, and, on average, 3 meters wide. Apart from the well preserved stone walls and gates, the Fortress exhibits numerous remains from the turbulent history of Nis. It is also a park, green oasis in the centre of the city , with a lot of caffes and children playgrounds.
LOCATION: Djuke Dinic street
WALK THROUGH THE FORTRESS:
STAMBOL GATE represents a symbol of the Fortress and the city of Nis. It was built in the period between 1719. and 1723. according to the fortress constructor’s project - Muhamed-aga and Mustafa-aga from Sofia.
HAMAM, the gorgeous Turkish steam bath, is the oldest preserved facility from the period of Ottoman reign in Nis. The bath was made near the Stambol Gate in 1498, the endowment of Mehmet Bey.
THE ARSENAL, a weapons and ammunition depot, located to the right of the Stambol Gate was used for the storage, repair and manufacture of military materials. Since its restoration in 1972, this building has been used as an art gallery.
ROMAN THERMAE. Located at the very entrance of former Naissus, thermae used to play a role in a procedure demanding everyone to bathe before entering the city. This building dates from the 4th century.
PRINCE MILAN OBRENOVIC AND NIS LIBERATORS MONUMENT is located to the left of the main entrance, on a lot surrounded by chained columns. This monument - a rifle bullet – was made by an Italian craftsman Vicenco Kaliterna in 1902.
BALI-BEY MOSQUE (1521.) is located in the central part of the Fortress, to the right of the main path from the entrance. The mosque was the endowment of Bali-Bey from Edirne, a high ranking Turkish civil servant. The facility is today used as the “Salon 77” art gallery.
LAPIDARIUM One of the oldest remains in the Fortress is the collection of 41 tombstones (1st - 4th century).
ANTIQUE STREET An antique street near Lapidarium and the remains of thermae to the left of the entrance plateau as well as early-Byzantine streets in the Fortress (next to Bali-Bey Mosque) originate from the Byzantine restoration of 5th and 6th centuries.
THE HISTORICAL ARCHIVES BUILDING, located in the northwestern part of the Fortress, is the only military facility there made after the liberation from the Turks (in 1890).
POWDER MAGAZINES are military facilities used for the storage of gunpowder and ammunition. Five remain preserved, 4 located along the northern rampart, while another small one is situated in the eastern part of the Fortress.
PALACE WITH AN OCTAGON. The Palace is certainly the most lavish building from the 4th century. Because of the construction style, decorations and objects found in it, it is believed that it belonged to some influential person of ancient Naissus, maybe even to Emperor Constantine himself. The examined part is 11 x 30 meters large, but the entire building was much larger.
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