Not far from Niš is Mediana, the most famous and prestigious suburb of the classical city of Naissus. It was built near the river and the thermal springs, over an area of more than 40 hectares. Mediana was built in the early 4th century AD, during the time of Constantine the Great, as a residence for use by Roman emperors when visiting Naissus.
Archaeological excavation has revealed the size and splendour of the residence at Mediana. The central area was occupied by a villa extending over 6000 m2. The lavish structures, built using columns and hard materials, are decorated with mosaics and frescoes. So far some 80 structures have been uncovered in ancient Mediana, most of which boast rich and well-preserved mosaics that testify to the wealth of the citizens of Naissus. The central structure of the residence is a peristyle decorated with floor mosaics. Also found, as part of this structure, are thermae and a granary, as well as a complete water supply system with an aqueduct and water-tower and crypts with frescoes.
Towards the end of the 4th century, Mediana was severely damaged in a fire and then completely destroyed during the Hunnish invasion in 441. The settlement was quickly restored, but never to its former glory. A considerable number of buildings was raised in the second half of the 5th and the 6th century, but these were modest in size and of poor-quality materials. At the beginning of the 8th century, as the Avars and Slavs made inroads, Mediana was finally abandoned.
Today the remains of its foundations, mosaics and marble figures can be seen, while archaeological finds are kept in the National Museum in Niš and the Mediana Museum in Brzi Brod, a village some 6 km southeast of Niš.
Opening hours of the site are from 9am to 4pm, Tuesday to Friday, Sundays from 10am to 2pm (closed on Mondays), from April to November.
INFORMATIONNiš National Museum Mediana archaeological site Bulevar sv. Cara Konstantina bb, 18000 Niš tel: +381 (0)18 550-433