Constantine's Birthplace

Trip Start May 19, 2006
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Trip End Sep 26, 2006


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Flag of Serbia and Montenegro  ,
Saturday, August 12, 2006

To begin a short history lesson for those who dont know who Constantine the Great was. Basically he was the 2nd most famous Roman of all time (after Ceaser of course), he made Christianity the offical religion of the empire, and also founded a little city you may have heard of called Constantinople, which i will arrive at in a week and am getting rather excited about (Constaninople is a much nicer name then Istanbul in my opinion so i use it instead). So he was born and lived in a palace just outside of town, which i havent had a chance to look at yet, but will do so tomorrow morning before catching the train to Sofia.

Nis gets the award of least tourist friendly so far. There are no maps, no information booth (only one in the city nowhere near the train station, and it closes at 12), no signs in English, nothing. Also only about 1 in 5 people speak English. It was a real hassle trying to find my hotel (yes, im staying in a hotel here, there are no hostels unfortunately), and then to try and find all the sights. I was only able to figure things out by reading a Serbian travel guide (in Serbian) in a bookstore, and going from there.

Not that there is much to see here, and if Nis hadnt happened to be directly on the Belgrade - Sofia train line i wouldnt have come here at all, but since it is i felt i had to stop for at least for a day. The other sights in town except the old Roman palace are a fortress in the centre of the city, and a tower a little way out of it. The tower is called the Skull Tower and is literaly made out of human skulls. The Turks scalped about 5000 Serbs and a made a tower out of their skulls, after putting down a rebellion, as a warning. There is only about 60 odd left now in tower but you can see where all the others used to be, and its pretty macarbe as you could imagine.

But thats about it for Nis, theres not much here as i said, i dont think most tourists bother with the place, but thats fine. Am going to spend a rather dull evening watching satellite tv in my room just because i can. Oh well.
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