About ten kilometres away from Niš, at the foot of the wood – covered Koritnik, a slope of Mt. Suva, 248 metres above sea level lies Niška Banja, one of the oldest spas in Europe.
The healing properties of its waters were well-known as early as in times of the Ancient Rome, over 2000 years ago. The Spa is located directly above a thermal water spring, in the vicinity of the Constantinople Road’, spanning the East and the West.
Niška Banja is natural sanatorium rich in thermal mineral water springs and natural mineral mud. It is protected from the winds, surrounded by greenery and pure nature. Its climate is moderately continental, with pleasant summer and mild winter. The healing water springs at four main locations, where the temperature ranges from 36 to 38 degrees C.
Beneficial effects of Niška Banja have been verified in the treatment of and recuperation from:
• locomotor system diseases,
• cardiovascular diseases,
• recovery period after the insertion of a hip and knee endoprosthesis,
• posttraumatic disorders,
• conditions following damage to central and peripheral motor neurons.
The main healthcare institution in the spa is the Institute for Prevention, Treatment of and Rehabilitation from Rheumatic and Cardiovascular Diseases Niška Banja.
The institute offers three dispensaries: Radon, Terme and Zelengora, with total capacity of 560 beds.
Apart from the accommodation facilities with single and double rooms and suites, each dispensary hosts a full range of facilities for hydro – , pelo – , kinesi – , and electro – therapy; a caf – bar, a fitness centre, a swimming pool, a sauna, a modern beauty parlour, etc. The dispensary Radon has an amphitheatre and a large conference room, offering 50 seats and additional technical accessories.
According to archeological findings, Niška Banja was inhabited in Bronze Age. Its growth began in the Roman times. As 2nd century and the reign of Emperor Constantine, a native of Naissus, the settlement grew even more rapidly. At this time, the healing water was conducted through lead pipes to the royal palace in the nearby summer house of Mediana.
The early Christian tomb was discovered in 1972, during the construction of Radon dispensary. Its architecture suggests it was intended as a sacral object, dating from 4th – 6th century.
Niška Banja is growingly getting famous as a venue for training and competition in numerous sports. The most attractive sport events take place in the hippodrome, tennis courts, courts for outdoor and indoor soccer, handball, volleyball, and the rifle range.
In recent years, the Spa has become a venue of international paragliding competitions. The contestants start from the slopes of the gorgeous Koritnik, circle around Niška Banja, and then land in the feet of the Spa.
Niška Banja also hosts an art gallery and the summer stage. In the summer season, it offers an outdoor amphitheatre, a fountain plateau and a park arbour as the gathering spots for numerous art groups and cultural events. The most famous two are The Sage Days and Days of Ethno Culture. They represent the most attractive parts of the summer of sport and culture, which starts mid June and ends in September.
The Day of St. Elijah, 2n August, is particularly lively. This is the date of the famous Convocation of St. Elijah.