|City of Ni?|
"The Emperor's City"
|Region||Southern and Eastern|
|First mention||2nd century AD|
|Liberation from Ottomans||11 January 1878|
|o Mayor||Marija Grahovac (SNS)|
|o Ruling parties||SNS/SPS/SRS|
|o Legislature||City Assembly of Ni?|
|o City||420.69 km2 (162.43 sq mi)|
|o Urban||266.77 km2 (103.00 sq mi)|
|o Metro||2,729 km2 (1,054 sq mi)|
|Area rank||51st in Serbia|
|Elevation||195 m (640 ft)|
|o Rank||3rd in Serbia|
|o Density||420.69/km2 (1,089.6/sq mi)|
|o City Proper||183,164|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||SRB|
|Patron Saint||Procopius of Scythopolis|
Ni? (; Serbian Cyrillic: , pronounced [nî:?] ; names in other languages) is the third largest city in Serbia and the administrative center of the Ni?ava District. According to the 2011 census , the city proper has a population of 183,164, while its administrative area (City of Ni?) has a population of 260,237 inhabitants.
Several Roman emperors were born in Ni? or used it as a residence: Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor and the founder of Constantinople, Constantius III, Constans, Vetranio, Julian, Valentinian I, Valens; and Justin I. Emperor Claudius Gothicus decisively defeated the Goths at the Battle of Naissus (present-day Ni?). Later playing a prominent role in the history of the Byzantine Empire, the city's past would earn it the nickname The Emperor's City.
After about 400 years of Ottoman rule, the city was liberated in 1878 and became part of the Principality of Serbia, though not without great bloodshed--remnants of which can be found throughout the city. Today, Ni? is one of the most important economic centers in Serbia, especially in the electronics, mechanical engineering, textile, and tobacco industries. Constantine the Great Airport is Ni?'s international airport. The city is also the seat of the University of Ni?, the Eparchy of Ni? and the Command of Serbian Army.
In 2013, the city was host to the celebration of 1700 years of Constantine's Edict of Milan.
The town was named after the Ni?ava River, which flows through the city. It was first named Navissos by Celtic tribes in the 3rd century BC. From this term comes the Latin Naissus, the Greek Nysos and the Slavic Ni?. Other variations include, ? (Naissos), Naessus, urbs Naisitana, Navissus, Navissum, (Naissoupolis). In Old Serbian, the town was known as Ni? (written ? and ?). The name is historically rendered as Nish or Nissa in English.
Archaeological evidence shows Neolithic settlements in the city and its surroundings dating from 5,000 to 2,000 BC.[better source needed] A notable archaeological site is Humska ?uka, in the nearby settlement of Hum. In the Iron Age, the Thracians dominated the region, with one of their chief settlements being the nearby Aiadava; specifically, the Triballi are mentioned as inhabiting this region as early as 424 BC. In 279 BC, during the Gallic invasion of the Balkans, the Celtic Scordisci defeated the Triballi and founded the city as Navissos. Such assumptions, however, do not seem to be sufficiently supported by archaeological data. During the Roman conquest of the Balkans between 168 and 75 BC, the city, known as Naissus in Latin, was used as a base of operations. Naissus was first mentioned in Roman documents near the beginning of the 2nd century CE, and was considered a place worthy of note in the Geography of Ptolemy of Alexandria.
The Romans occupied the town during the Dardanian campaign (75-73 BC), and set up a legionary camp in the city. The city, called refugia and vici in pre-Roman relation, as a result of its strategic position (the Thracians were based to the south) developed as an important garrison and market town in the province of Moesia Superior. In 272 AD, the future Emperor Constantine the Great was born in Naissus. Constantine created the Dacia Mediterranea province, of which Naissus was the capital, which also included Remesiana on the Via Militaris and the towns of Pautalia and Germania. He lived in Naissus briefly from 316 to 322.
It was besieged by the Huns in 441 and devastated in 448, and again in 480 when the partially-rebuilt town was demolished by the Barbarians. Byzantine Emperor Justinian I restored the town but it was destroyed by the Avars once again. The Slavs, in their campaign against Byzantium, conquered Ni? and settled here in 540.
During the People's Crusade, on July 3, 1096, Peter the Hermit clashed with Byzantine forces at Naissus. Manuel I fortified the town, but under his successor Andronikos I it was seized by the Hungarian king Béla III. Byzantine control was eventually reestablished, but in 1185 it fell under Serbian control. By 1188, Ni? became the capital of Serbian king Stefan Nemanja. On July 27, 1189, Nemanja received German emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his 100,000 crusaders at Ni?. Ni? is mentioned in descriptions of Serbia under Vukan in 1202, highlighting its special status. In 1203, Kaloyan of Bulgaria annexed Ni?.Stefan Nemanji? later regained the region.
The fall of the Serbian Empire, which was conquered by Ottoman Sultan Murad I in 1385, decided the fate of Ni? as well. After a 25-day-long siege the city fell to the Ottomans. It was returned to Serbian rule in 1443. Ni? again fell under Ottoman rule in 1448, and remained thusly for 241 years. During Ottoman rule Ni? was a seat of the empire's military and civil administration. A Silesian traveler stated in 1596 that the route from Sofia to Ni? was littered with corpses and described the gates of Ni? as bedecked with the freshly-severed heads of poor Bulgarian peasants. In 1689, Ni? was seized by the Austrian army during the Great Turkish War, but the Ottomans regained it in 1690. In 1737, Ni? was again seized by the Austrians, who attempted to rebuild the fortifications around the city. The same year, the Ottomans reclaimed the city without resistance.
During the First Serbian Uprising in 1809, Serbian revolutionaries attempted to liberate Ni? in the Battle of ?egar. After the defeat of the Serbian forces, the Ottoman commander of Ni? ordered the heads of the slain Serbs mounted on a tower to serve as a warning. The structure became known as Skull Tower (Serbian: ?ele Kula). In 1821, the Ottomans arrested the Bishop of Ni?, Milentija, as well as 200 Serbian patriots, on charges of preparing an uprising in the Ni? area in support of the Greek War of Independence. On June 13 of that year, Bishop Milentija and other Serbian leaders were hanged in public.
In the 19th century Ni? was an important town, but populated by Bulgarians in the 19th century, when the Ni? rebellion broke out in 1841. According to Ottoman statistics during the Tanzimat the population of Sanjak of Ni? was treated as Bulgarian, and according to French travelers such as Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui and Ami Boue in 1837/1841. According to all authors between 1840-72 the delineation between Bulgarians and Serbs is undisputed and ran north of Nis, although one author Cyprien Robert claims that half of the population of the town was made up by Serbians. Serbian cartographers of the time (such as Dimitrije Davidovi? in 1828 and Milan Savi? in 1878) also accepted South Morava river as such delineation and added Ni? outside the borders of the Serbian people. The urban Muslim population of Ni? consisted mainly of Turks, of which a part were of Albanian origin, and the rest were Muslim Albanians and Muslim Romani.
In 1870, Ni? was included in the Bulgarian Exarchate. Before the area had been under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Serbian Patriarchate of Pe?. The city was also stipulated the area to be ceded to Bulgaria according to the Constantinople Conference in 1876. Ni? was finally liberated during the Serbo-Ottoman War of 1876-1878. The battle for the liberation of Ni? started on 29 December 1877 and the Serbian Army entered Ni? on 11 January 1878 and it became a part of Serbia. The Albanian quarter was burned and some of the town's Muslim population fled to the Ottoman vilayet of Kosovo, resettling in Pristina, while others went to Skopje. The number of remaining Muslims counted were 1,168, with many being Muslim Romani, out of the pre-war ca. 8,500. The demographics of Ni? underwent change whereby Serbs who formed half the urban population prior to 1878 became 80 percent in 1884.
In the following years, the city saw rapid development. The city library was founded in 1879, and its first clerk was Stevan Sremac. The first hotel, Europe, was built in 1879; shortly after a hospital and the first bank started operating in 1881. In 1878, the first Grammar School (Gimnazija), in 1882 the Teacher Training College, and in 1894, the Girls' College were founded in Ni?. In 1895, Ni? had one girls' and three boys' primary schools. The City Hall was built from 1882-87.
In 1883, Kosta ?enda? established the first printing house. In 1884, the first newspaper in the city Ni?ki Vesnik was started. In 1884, Jovan Apel built a brewery. A railway line to Ni? was built in 1884, as well as the city's railway station; on 8 August 1884, the first train arrived from Belgrade. In 1885, Ni? became the last station of the Orient Express, until the railroad was built between Ni? and Sofia in 1888. In 1887, Mihailo Dimi? founded the "Ni? Theatre Sin?eli?."
In 1897 Mita Risti? founded the Nitex textile factory. In 1905 the female painter Nade?da Petrovi? established the Si?evo art colony. The first film was screened in 1897, and the first permanent cinema started operating in 1906. The hydroelectric dam in Si?evo Gorge on the Ni?ava was built in 1908; at the time, it was the largest in Serbia. The airfield was built in 1912 on the Trupale field, and the first aeroplane arrived on 29 December 1912. City Museum was founded in 1913, hosting archaeological, ethnographic and art collections.
During the First Balkan War, Ni? was the seat of The Main Headquarters of the Serbian Army, which led military operations against the Ottoman Empire. In World War I, Ni? was the wartime capital of Serbia, hosting the Government and the National Assembly, until Central Powers conquered Serbia in November 1915, when the city was ceded to Bulgaria. After the breakthrough of the Salonika Front, the First Serbian Army commanded by general Petar Bojovi? liberated Ni? on 12 October 1918.
In the first few years after the war, Ni? was recovering from the damage. In 1921, Ni? became the centre of the Region (oblast), governed by a grand-?upan, appointed by royal decree. From 1929-41, Ni? was the capital of the Morava Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The tram system in Ni? started to run in November 1930. The national airline Aeroput included Ni? as a regular destination for the route Belgrade--Ni?--Skopje--Thessaloniki in 1930. During the time of German occupation in World War II, the first Nazi concentration camp in Yugoslavia was in Ni?. About 30,000 people passed through this camp, of whom over 10,000 were shot on nearby Bubanj hill. On 12 February 1942, 147 prisoners staged a mass escape. In 1944, the city was heavily bombed by the Allies.
On 14 October 1944, after a long and exhausting battle, the 7th German SS Division 'Prinz Eugen' was defeated and Ni? was liberated by Bulgarian Army, and Partisans. The city was also the site of a unique and accidental friendly fire air war on November 7, 1944 between the air forces of the United States and Soviet Union. On June 23, 1948, Ni? was the site of a catastrophic flood during which the Ni?ava river's water level raised by an unprecedented 5.5 meters.
After World War II, the University of Ni? was founded on 15 June 1965.
Over the course of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Ni? was subject to airstrikes on 40 occasions. On May 7, 1999, the city was the site of a NATO cluster bomb raid which killed up to 16 civilians. By the end of the NATO bombing campaign, a total of 56 people in Ni? had been killed from airstrikes.
In April 2012, the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center was established in the city of Ni?. In December 2017, a new building of Clinical Centre of Ni? spreading over 45,000 square meters was opened.
The road running from the North, from Western and Central Europe and Belgrade down to the Morava River valley, forks into two major lines at Ni?: the southern line, leading to Thessalonica and Athens, and the eastern one leading towards Sofia and Istanbul.
Ni? is situated at the 43°19' latitude north and 21°54' longitude east, in the Ni?ava valley, near the spot where it joins the South Morava. The main city square, the city's central part, is at 194 m (636 ft) above sea level. The highest point in the city area is "Sokolov kamen" (Falcon's rock) on the Suva Planina (Dry Mountain) (1,523 m (4,997 ft)) while the lowest spot is at Trupale, near the mouth of the Ni?ava (173 m (568 ft)). The city covers 596.71 square kilometres (230 sq mi) of five municipalities. Below Niska Banja and Nis, under the ground is a natural source of hot water, unique potential of clean and renewable geothermal energy at the surface of up to 65 square kilometers. The natural reservoir is at a depth of 500 to 800 meters, and the estimated capacity is about 400 million cubic meters of thermal mineral water.
Ni? has a humid subtropical climate, but with continental influences. Average annual temperature in the area of Ni? is 11.9 °C (53.4 °F). July is the warmest month of the year, with an average of 22.5 °C (72.5 °F). The coldest month is January, averaging at 0.6 °C (33.1 °F). The average of the annual rainfall is 580.3 mm (22.85 in). The average barometer value is 992.74 mb. On average, there are 134 days with rain and snow cover lasts for 41 days.
|Climate data for Ni? (1981-2010, extremes 1940-present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.7
|Average high °C (°F)||5.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.6
|Average low °C (°F)||-2.2
|Record low °C (°F)||-23.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||38.8
|Average precipitation days||13||13||12||13||12||11||9||8||9||9||11||14||134|
|Average snowy days||10||9||5||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||37|
|Average relative humidity (%)||80||74||66||63||65||65||61||61||69||73||77||81||70|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||64.5||93.3||147.8||171.5||220.9||251.2||286.7||274.3||201.9||150.5||85.9||49.4||1,997.7|
|Source 1: Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia|
|Source 2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)|
The city of Ni? has 87,975 households with 2,96 members on average, while the number of homes is 119,196.
Religion structure in the city of Ni? is predominantly Serbian Orthodox (240,765), with minorities like Muslims (2,486), Catholics (809), Protestants (258), Atheists (109) and others. Most of the population speaks Serbian language (249,949).
The composition of population by sex and average age:
A total of 120,562 citizens (older than 15 years) have secondary education (53.81%), while the 51,471 citizens have higher education (23.0%). Of those with higher education, 34,409 (15.4%) have university education.
The ethnic composition of the city of Ni?:
|Demographics of Ni?|
The city of Ni? consists of five municipalities. The first four municipalities are in the urban area of Ni?, while Ni?ka Banja is a suburban municipality. Before 2002, the city of Ni? had only two municipalities, one of them named "Ni?" and another named "Ni?ka Banja".
The city of Ni? includes further neighborhoods:
|Medijana||Palilula||Pantelej||Crveni Krst||Ni?ka Banja|
|Center||Palilula||Pantelej||Crveni Krst||Ni?ka Banja|
|Marger||Staro Groblje||Jagodin Mala (partly)||Beograd Mala||Nikola Tesla (broj 6)|
|Trg Kralja Aleksandra||Crni put||Durlan||Jagodin Mala (partly)||Jela?nica|
|Ki?evo||Bubanj||Komren (partly)||Komren (mostly)||Si?evo|
|Bulevar Nemanji?a||Suvi Do||Somborski bulevar||Medo?evac||Prva Kutina|
|Bulevar Djindjica||Apelovac||Vre?ina||Ratko Jovi?||Radikina Bara|
|Medijana||Kovanluk||Branko Bjegovi?||Stevan Sindjeli?||Prosek|
|Duvani?te||Kala? Brdo||Beverli Hils||Donja and Gornja Studena|
|Brzi Brod||Gabrova?ka reka|
The city of Ni? is the administrative, industrial, commercial, financial and cultural center of the south-eastern part of Republic of Serbia. The position of Ni? is strategically important, at the intersection of European highway and railway networks connecting Europe with Asia. Ni? is easily accessible, having an airport - Ni? Constantine the Great Airport and being a point of intersection of numerous railroad and highway lines.
It is in Ni? that the trunk road running from the north down the Morava River valley forks into two major lines:
These roads have been widely known from ancient times, because they represented the beaten tracks along which peoples, goods and armies moved. Known as 'Via Militaris' in Roman and Byzantine periods, or 'Constantinople road' in Middle Ages, these roads still represent major European traffic arteries. Ni? thus stands at a point of intersection of the roads connecting Asia Minor to Europe, and the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Nis had been a relatively developed city in the former Yugoslavia. In 1981, its GDP per capita was 110% of the Yugoslav average.
The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2019):
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||187|
|Mining and quarrying||140|
|Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply||806|
|Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities||1,941|
|Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles||13,577|
|Transportation and storage||5,408|
|Accommodation and food services||3,541|
|Information and communication||3,077|
|Financial and insurance activities||1,446|
|Real estate activities||130|
|Professional, scientific and technical activities||3,559|
|Administrative and support service activities||2,159|
|Public administration and defense; compulsory social security||4,139|
|Human health and social work activities||7,542|
|Arts, entertainment and recreation||1,256|
|Other service activities||1,677|
|Individual agricultural workers||89|
Ni? is one of the most important industrial centers in Serbia, well known for its tobacco, electronics, construction, mechanical-engineering, textile, nonferrous-metal, food-processing and rubber-goods industries.
Among the manufacturing companies which had a huge impact during the second half of the 20th century on Ni?'s development are: EI Ni? (electronics industry), Mechanical Industry Ni?, "Gra?evinar" (construction company), Ni? Tobacco Factory, "Nitex - Ni?" (textile industry), "Ni? Brewery" (beverages) and "?itopek" (bakery). Other prominent companies which went bankrupt during the 1990s and 2000s are: "Vulkan" (rubber-goods manufacturer), "NISSAL" (nonferrous-metal industry).
Prominent tobacco manufacturer "Ni? Tobacco Factory" was sold to Philip Morris in August 2003 for 518 million euros, while Nitex was sold to Benetton Group. In recent years, Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc., Yura Corporation, Zumtobel Group, Johnson Electric and Shinwon opened their plants in Ni?. Currently, Chinese manufacturer, Xingyu automotive systems, is building its factory.
In former Electronic and Mechanical Industry complexes, many smaller manufacturers opened their plants.
Ni? is strategically between the Morava river valley in North and the Vardar river valley in the south, on the main route between Greece and Central Europe. In the Ni? area, this major transportation and communication route is linked with the natural corridor formed by the Ni?ava river valley, which runs Eastwards in the direction of Sofia and Istanbul. The city has been a passing station for the Orient Express.
The first highways date back to the 1950s when Ni? was linked with capital Belgrade through the Brotherhood and Unity Highway, the first in Central-Eastern Europe.
Historically, because of its location, the city had always great importance in the region. The first to take advantage of it was the Roman Empire that built the important road Via Militaris, linking the city with Singidunum (current Belgrade) to the North and Constantinople (current Istanbul) to the southeast. Nowadays, the city is connected by the highway E75 with Belgrade and Central Europe in north, and Skopje, Thessaloniki and Athens in the south. The road E80 connects Ni? with Sofia, Istanbul towards the Middle East, and Pristina, Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea to the West. The road E771 connects the city with Zaje?ar, Kladovo and Drobeta-Turnu Severin in Romania.
The city is also a major regional railway junction linking Serbia to Sofia and Istanbul.
The Ni? Constantine the Great airport is the second most important airport in Serbia. The first airfield serving the city of Ni? was established in 1910, near the village of Donje Me?urovo. In the 1930s then-national airline company Aeroput used the airport for civil service. In 1935 Aeroput included a stop in Ni? in its route linking Belgrade with Skoplje.
The city public transportation consists nowadays of 13 bus lines. A tram system existed in Ni? between 1930 and 1958.Ni? Bus Station is the city's largest and main bus station which offers both local urban and intercity transport to international destinations. The largest intercity bus carrier based in the city is Ni?-Ekspres, which operates to various cities and villages in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
From 1981 Ni? is the host of Ni?ville International Jazz music festival which begins in mid-August and lasts for 4 days. Galija, Kerber and Eyot are considered the most notable music bands to have originated from Ni?. Other notable Ni? music acts include Daltoni, Dobri Isak, Lutaju?a Srca, Mama Rock, Hazari, Novembar, Trivalia and others.
Buildings in Ni? are constantly being built. Ni? is the second largest city after Belgrade for number of high-rises. The Ambassador Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Ni?, but there are also other buildings like TV5 Tower.
The biggest stadium in Ni? is the Stadion ?air, with a total seating-capacity of 18,151 after renovations. The stadium is part of the ?air Sports Complex that also includes an indoor swimming pool and an indoor arena. Ni? was one of four towns which hosting the 2012 European Men's Handball Championship.
The people listed below were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with the city of Ni?, and its surrounding metropolitan area.
The city of Ni?, after Belgrade, has the largest diplomatic corps in Serbia. Bulgaria has General Consulate in Ni?. Until 2010, there was also a Consulate General of Greece. Diplomatic agreements were given to five prominent citizens of Ni?, who acquired the title of honorary consul. The United Kingdom, Hungary, France, Slovakia and Austria have chosen Nis as their honorary consuls, appreciating their commitment and contribution to strengthening ties and cooperation in various fields with these countries.
Before the war, there were about 8 500 Muslims in Ni?. 1 168 of them were listed in the first Serbian inventory in 1879. 797 Gypsy Muslims were probably included in that number95. According to the stated data, approximately 7 332 Muslims moved out from Ni?.