Among Servian cities, Nish is only surpassed by Belgrade in commercial and strategic importance; for it lies at the point where several of the chief Balkan highroads converge, and where the branch railway to Salonica leaves the main line between Belgrade and Constantinople.
The administration of the Servian railways has its factory for repairing engines and principal store of materials in the city, which also possesses an iron foundry.
Towards the end of the 12th century the town was in the hands of the Servian prince Stephen Nemanya, who there received hospitably the German emperor Frederic Barbarossa and his Crusaders.
In the RussoTurkish War the Servian army, under the personal command of King Milan, besieged Nish, and forced it to capitulate on the 10th January 1878.
Servian settlements exist in various parts of northern Albania; there is a strong Bulgarian colony in the neighbourhood of Dibra and Ochrida; farther south, Mount Zygos and the Pindus range - the "Great Walachia" of the middle ages - are inhabited by Vlachs or Tzintzars, who possibly number 70,000.