National museum Nis

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Audio guides on Archaeological Park Medijana, Archaeological Hall and Memorial complex “February 12”

About museum exhibitions – virtual tour:


Free admission:

  • Children up to 7 years of age
  • Members of ICOM, the museum society of Serbia, and the archaeological society of Serbia
  • Group visits for Army of Serbia and Serbian Ministry of Interior
  • Members of the association of people with disabilities and their companions

Admission fees:

  • Archeological park Mediana

Individual – 4.26e
Elementary school students, high school students, students, senior citizens, group visits (over 10) – 3.41e

  • Scull tower, Memorial complex “february 12”, Archaeological hall

Individual – 2.56e
Elementary school students, high school students, students, senior citizens, group visits (over 10)  – 2.13

  • Stevan Sremac and Branko Miljkovic literary memorial exhibition, Exhibition synagogue gallery


  • All museum complex objectsIndividual – 10.24e

Elementary school students, high school students, students, senior citizens, group visits (over 10) – 8.53e

History of the National Museum Niš

Began in the 20th century with a beautiful find – the bronze portrait of Constantine the Great was found during the construction of the fortress bridge. This valuable accidental finding had to be placed somewhere and that is when the awareness of the need to establish a museum was created.

The National Museum in Niš was founded on April 1, 1933

The museum objects were classified into seven collections (Prehistory, Classical Antiquity, Middle Ages, numismatics, collection of artistic paintings, and collection of weapons).

Enormous damage was caused by the bombing of Niš by Allies on September 2, 1944, when the museum building was hit by a direct bomb, and a large number of collected objects were destroyed with it.

After the Second World War, the People’s Committee of the Municipality of Niš restored the Museum under the name of National Museum (1947).

Today the Museum has over 40,000 objects in its collections from the fields of archaeology, numismatics, epigraphy, history, art history, and ethnology, and it also has two memorial collections dedicated to Stevan Sremac and Branko Miljkovic.

Skull tower monument
adresa: Bulevar dr Zorana Đinđića 129
radno vreme: Thu-Fri 09-19, Sat-Sun 09-15

Skull Tower was built from human skulls. Hurshid Pasha, the Turkish commander of Nis from 1809 to 1812, ordered Serbian furrier to skin the heads of the fallen rebels and stuff their skins with cotton. He paid them 25 coins each. The skins filled with cotton were sent to the sultan in Constantinople as a sign of victory. The main tower is quadrangular in shape, about 4 meters high. The skulls were facing outwards and were fortified with lime and sand. There were 952 skulls in 14 rows on each side.

By erecting Skull Tower in Nis, in the city that connects Central with South-Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the Turks wanted the monument to be a warning to the Balkan peoples — that they would suffer a horrible death if they tried to rise up against Turkish rule. The monument, however, did not play that role. On the contrary, it was the impetus for definitive liberation.

adresa: Bulevar sv. cara Konstantina bb
radno vreme: Thu-Fri 09-16, Sat-Sun 09-15

Mediana was an imperial villa built for pleasure and state affairs, but also as an agricultural estate. In Mediana, taxes were collected and further distributed as food to support the imperial, military and clerical apparatus. In 364, the emperors Valens and Valentinian I divided the imperial retinue and army in Mediana. The importance of Mediana can be seen through its residential-administrative, economic and religious functions. The residential part consists of buildings with richly decorated architectural ornaments, mosaics, frescoes and sculptures. The economic part consists of a large number of workshops and warehouses for storing goods. The sacral part consists of two early Christian churches.

The ancient settlement Mediana is located in the central part of Serbia, at a distance of 5 km from Nis”, and it represents the endowment of Constantine the Great (306 — 337) and his sons. Long-term archaeological research indicates the existence of three basic construction phases that span over the period from the end of 3rd /beginning of 4th century to the middle of the 5th century. Intense life in Mediana lasted from 330 to 361, during the time of Constantine and his successors Constans and Constantius II, as well as during the short-lived reign of Julian the Apostate. During the research the existence of about twenty buildings was recorded, most of which were explored: a villa with a peristyle, thermal baths, a warehouse/wine cellar, a villa with an octagonal tower and large halls, two early Christian churches and a necropolis. The settlement was destroyed in the invasion of the Huns in 441-443, and the area of Mediana was repopulated, but on a much smaller scale, only in the Middle Ages.

Memorial Complex „February 12“
 adresa: Bulevar 12 februar bb
radno vreme:Thu-Fri 09-17, Sat-Sun 09-15

Torture, abuse, shootings, unbearable living conditions, cold, and hunger, were systematically and sadistically used against ordinary people whose most common fault was that they were Serbs, Jews, or Roma. That is why they had no other choice but to try to escape. It was the first successful escape from a camp in enslaved Europe. The concentration camp in the part of Nis known as Crveni Krst was formed by the Germans in September 1941. Patriots, regardless of their political orientation, were imprisoned in the camp, as well as a large number of Jews and Roma. Out of 30,000 people imprisoned in the camp, more than 10,000 were executed on Bubanj Hill, and a large number were interned in Austria, Germany, Poland, and Norway, where they were forced to do slave labor. On February 12, 1942, a group of 147 bare-handed prisoners attacked the guards and tried to break out of the camp. 105 of them succeeded in this and 42 died on the camp wires. The Germans intensified the terror in the camp even more until September 14, 1944, when, a month before the liberation of Nis”, they left the camp.

Synagogue Gallery
 adresa: Davidova 2
radno vreme: Thu-Fri 10-17, Sat-Sun 10-15

The synagogue in Davidova Street was built in 1925 on the site of the old synagogue that burnt down in a fire on August 15, 1879. The synagogue was used as a religious object until World War II when about 400 Jews lived in Nis. After the war, in which most of the Jews died, it was not used for a long time. One of the few surviving Jews, Majo Mevorah, cleaned and maintained the synagogue until 1948, and after his departure for Israel, the building was closed and left to the ravages of time. Later, the Jewish Municipality sold it to the city authorities, so it was used as a gallery space, and after an extensive restoration in 2009, it was turned into an exhibition space of the National Museum. Due to its architectural and historical values the synagogue was placed under state protection in 1986.

Archaeological Hall
 adresa: Aleksandra Nenadovića 2
radno vreme: Thu-Fri 10-17, Sat-Sun 10-15
National Museum in Nis would like to present to the public through the exhibition Archaeological Treasure of Nis from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages the most beautiful and most important objects, which it treasures in its collections. They originate from the most ancient periods of the history of Nis town whose past the Museum follows and studies. The exhibition includes long period from around 6000 BC to the end of 15th century.

Within this long period of time life was going on continuously in this area as it is confirmed by many objects discovered in the course of archaeological investigations or as chance finds: tools, weapon, ceramics and glassware, figurines, jewelry, sculptures, epigraphic monuments, frescoes, mosaics, coins, etc.

Stevan Sremac/Branko Miljković
adresa: Aleksandra Nenadovića 2a
radno vreme: Thu-Fri 10-17, Sat-Sun 10-15

After many years, during which the permanent exhibitions of the memorial rooms of Stevan Sremac and Branko Miljković were denied to the public due to lack of space, in April 2018, they were opened to the public.

The legacy of Stevan Sremac has been in the Museum since 1951 thanks to two people from Nis).  The legacy contains personal items, manuscripts, the writer’s library, and some manuscripts of Sremac’s uncle Jovan Đorđević. With it in 1971, the family of Branko Miljković donated the poet’s legacy to Niš National Museum, with the note:

Dear citizens of Niš, Branko did not manage to return to you, but his work and his study did. Take care of his things, because from today it is yours (mother Marija, father Gligorije, brother Dragiša Miljković).

Country: Serbia

Address: Generala Milojka Lesjanina 14

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