Nis, Serbia, located 150 mi/240 km by road southeast of Belgrade, is one of the oldest Balkan cities. It features the odd and ghoulish Cele Kula (Tower of Skulls), which was erected in the early 19th century by the Turks and is composed in part from the skulls of dead Serbians who fought against the Turks. Nis is also home to the ruins of a Roman palace (Mediana), which still has some mosaics on site as well as some artifacts.

Not far from Nis is Gamizigrad (near Zajecar). This was the site of ancient Romuliana, and there are well-preserved remains of the palace of the emperor Valerius, who was notorious for his persecution of Christians. Near Nis is the pretty Sicevo Gorge and Niska Banja, with its locally touted healing waters. Plan to spend a day in the city.

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