A Living Museum

The Fortress in Niš is one of the best preserved and most beautiful medieval fortresses in the central Balkans. It was build by the Romans and restored a number of times, by the Byzantines, ancient Slavs, Turks and Serbs. The Fortress covers 22 hectares and originally was surrounded by a water-filled ditch. It rises on the right bank of the Nišava River and  overlooks an area that has been habited for longer than two millenniums. Apart from the well preserved stone walls and gates, the Fortress today still exhibits numerous reminders of  the turbulent history of Niš. Most of it still remains underground. Some of the tombstones that are found in the fortress date back to the Roman era. They are now exposed in an open air lapidarium inside the fortress.

Today the access to the Fortress is free of charge. It is a big park with restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. Tourists usually don’t explore the whole Fortress because of its size and there are no guided tours. I studied civil engineering in Niš and the fastest way to go from downtown to the college on foot was right through the Fortress. It was my route to the college for years.

No comments: