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.
The large number of Slavonic local names in Albania, even in districts where no trace of a Slavonic population exists, bears witness to the extensive Servian and Bulgarian immigrations in the early middle ages, but the original inhabitants gradually ousted or assimilated the invaders.