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Nis Day Tour from Sofia
"Our guide will pick you up at 8:30am from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia. Only 45 minutes of driving will take you to the border between Bulgaria and Serbia. After another hour and a half drive crossing the wonderful Sicevo gorge you will reach Nis. Your first stop is Mediana - an ancient luxurious residence. Here you will learn about the history of the city during the Antiquity and how important was Naissos for the Romans while admiring lovely mosaics on the floor of the atrium in one of the houses of the noble people lived here.NOTE: Mediana is still closed for renovation so visitors are currently not allowed.Your next stop for the day is Cele kula or the Skull tower. Built here in 1809 after the battle of Cegar hill between the Serbians and the Ottomans
From EUR57.00
 
Nis Day Tour from Sofia
"Our guide will pick you up at 8:30am from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia. Only 45 minutes of driving will take you to the border between Bulgaria and Serbia. After another hour and a half drive crossing the wonderful Sicevo gorge you will reach Nis. Your first stop is Mediana - an ancient luxurious residence. Here you will learn about the history of the city during the Antiquity and how important was Naissos for the Romans while admiring lovely mosaics on the floor of the atrium in one of the houses of the noble people lived here.NOTE: Mediana is still closed for renovation so visitors are currently not allowed.Your next stop for the day is Cele kula or the Skull tower. Built here in 1809 after the battle of Cegar hill between the Serbians and the Ottomans
From EUR57.00
 
Belogradchik Full-day Tour from Sofia
"Belogradchik tour starts at 8.30 am from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia. You are going to cross the Balkan range via the picturesque Petrohan pass. After 3 hours you will reach the beautiful town of Belogradchik. Here you will spend hour and a half as well the old fortress in front. Using your imagination you will see “The Rabbit” “The Cobra” the Twins and many more. You will reach the highest point from where you will see the whole valley and the beautiful rock formations learn about the legends which the people from the region are telling about them.From here you have two options : stop at nice traditional Bulgarian restaurant in the nearby village of Falkovets
From EUR59.00

The Fortress Tips (23)

Nis Fortress

Probably the main sight in Nis, is the fortress (Tvrdava). The current fortifications are of Turkish origin and were built in the early 18th century, although the history of a fortress on this site dates back to Roman times.

The rampart walls are more than 2 km long and include four gates, with the Istanbul Gate (Stambol kapija) being the best preserved.

The Istanbul Gate can even be climbed for views of the fortress and the city.

Among other sights inside the fortress an old Turkish Hamam, the Bali-Beg Mosque and a collection of Roman sculptures can be found.

Nowadays the Nis Fortress is mainly used as a recreation area with many restaurants, cafes and galleries.

Directions:
The Nis Fortress dominates the right bank of the river Nisava. The main entrance is the Istanbul gate which can be reached by crossing the bridge from the square Trg Kralja Milana.

HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
HORSCHECK
Nov 14, 2009

Fortress

A large park area enclosed by the fortress walls. Plenty to do here from sitting on a shady bench and watching the world pass to childrens rides and several bars for refreshments.
Spent a couple of hours relaxing here on a warm day.

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bonio
Jun 10, 2009

Art Gallery

At the entrance to the Fortress from the city centre (there's actually a second entrance on the opposite side of the Fortress from the suburbs) there's a large building with one room labelled "Serbian Souvenirs". Although the souvenirs are nice, and its pretty difficult to find a similar shop somewhere else in town, the real artwork is in the large room beside the shop. You'll notice the beautiful Ottoman seal that has been carved above the door and the surly looking man who sits out front. There is no entrance fee and the artwork itself is primarily contemporary works that are by Serbian artists. Its a great way to get a feeling for what contemporary culture is like in Nis, as the town can sometimes feel rather sleepy.

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mikey_e
Jul 06, 2007

Grave Stelae

In the centre of the Fortress you'll find a collection of grave stelae that clearly predate the end of Ottoman rule, although it is unclear whether or not the pre-date Ottoman rule entirely (I'm not an expert on these things). They are Christian relics - they have pictures of people on them, which would have been haram under sharia - and are arranged nicely in a circle for your viewing pleasure. The markers have some quite interesting traits and are very much reminiscent of Roman or Hellenic style stelae that you see in the museums at Thessaloniki or Athens. Some of them are quite large and, as such, we can probably assume they once belonged to the wealthy classes of this very ancient city.

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mikey_e
Jul 06, 2007
 
 
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Buildings

The Fortress has a number of interesting buildings, none of which is really adequately explained for them to be big tourist draws. Nevertheless, it is easy to see how the grounds were used and re-used, as there is a collection of both Ottoman structures and later works that are obviously of Balkan origin. One of my favourite was a building that appeared to have some sort of hammam attached to it, although there was no minaret (which made me believe that it wasn't in fact a mosque). There are others, including some ramshackle Serbian-style bungalows, and the only way to discover them is to simply wander throughout the park.

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mikey_e
Jul 06, 2007

Hammam

Sadly, the Hammam at the Fortress of Nis is not a tourist site and you cannot simply enter and take pictures. Rather, it is now a café that is frequented by families (there are many cafés at the entrance to the Fortress from the centre of town). Nevertheless it is still possible to admire the architecture from afar.

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mikey_e
Jul 06, 2007

The main structure

The Fortress is the most prominent tourist site in Nis and it is likely the one that draws the most visitors. The former Turkish military site is now a large park with restaurants and activities for children with little to no explanation about the historical significance. Nevertheless, the ruins of the Ottoman buildings is fairly well maintained and it provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to walk around a green and beautiful area while still feeling like their doing something educational.

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mikey_e
Jul 06, 2007

NIS FORTRESS

The Fortress rises on the right bank of the Nisava River, overlooking the area inhabited for longer than two milleniums.The extant fortification is of Turkish origin, dating from the first decades of the 18th century (1719-1723). It is well-known as one of the most significant and best preserved monuments of this kind in the Mid-Balkans. The Fortress was erected on the site of earlier fortifications - the ancient Roman, Byzantine, and later yet Mediaeval forts.

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manchi
Mar 18, 2006
Aurorae's Profile Photo

Aurorae

"N I Š"
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HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

HORSCHECK

"Nis - Serbian metropolis on the Balkan trade roads"
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anna-m

"Home is where the heart is"
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mikey_e

"A Foray into Serbia"
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Drphoto

"GRAD NIS"
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An oasis of peace

Almost everyone who has been to Nis chose the fortress as a "must see" recomendation, and for a good reason: it has historical significance, as well as the best view on the town :) Still, it is something even more than that- it is a place where you can be in the midst of the town and yet so far away from all the hustle. How many cities can boast with THAT? :)

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anna-m
Dec 11, 2004

Monument to liberators

inside the fortress there is a monument to Milan Obrenovic, liberator of from the Turkish rule. it was errected in the late 1870's. It's too small and ordinary in my opinion, I think ti should be more pomopous!

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Aurorae
May 29, 2004

Stambol kapija (Istanbul gate)

The main entrance to the Nis fortress is called Stambol kapija, Stambol means Istanbul in old Serbian language. The gate is right after the main bridge over Nisava river, and inside there is a museum and old arms arsenal.

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Aurorae
May 29, 2004

fortress-cafes

Inside the fortress, on the left when you enter through the Stambol gate (main gate), there are plently of lovely cafes, whichever you choose you won't regret! They are a bit posh, but very nice actually. In the summer it's a bliss!

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Aurorae
May 29, 2004

Things to Do Near The Fortress

Things to Do

Nis Market

There is a large market in Nis between the bus station and the fortress. Different sections sell different products. One part is devoted to fruit, vegetables and flowers, another section specializes...
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Things to Do

King Aleksander Monument

The monument to King Aleksander is located in King Aleksander Square. He is depicted sitting on a charging horse. King Aleksander tried to unite Serbs, Croats and Slovenes into a single state. He was...
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Things to Do

The Monument to Stevan Sremac

Stevan Sremac was a Serbian writer who lived in Nis from 1879 to 1892. One of Sremac's characters was a hunter called Kalca. In stories Kalca came to Nis and stayed as a guest of local man Ivko. He...
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Things to Do

Nis Fortress

This fortress is located on the banks of the Nisava River. The current fortress was built by the Ottomans and dates from the eighteenth century. It was built on the site of earlier Roman, Byzantine...
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Things to Do

The Church of the Emperor Constantine

This church is located near to the Skull tower. It is situated in a very pleasant park which was filled with people enoying the slightly cooler evening temperatures when we visited. This building is...
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Things to Do

The Skull Tower

Serbia was under Ottoman rule for around four hundred years and the Serbs rose up against the Ottomans to try and gain their independence on several occasions. At the Battle of Cegar in 1809 the Serbs...
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