Niš (Serbian Cyrillic: Ниш, pronounced [nîːʃ] (listen); names in other languages) is the third largest city in Serbia and the administrative center of the Nišava District. According to the 2011 census, the urban area has a population of 187,544, while its administrative area has a population of 260,237 inhabitants.
Niš has long been a crossroads between East and West. Founded by the Celtic Scordisci in 279 BC, the city would serve as the birthplace of three Roman emperors: Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor and the founder of Constantinople; Constantius III; and Justin I. Later playing a prominent role in the history of the Byzantine Empire, the city's past would earn it the nickname The Emperor's City. After about 400 years of Ottoman rule, the city was liberated in 1878 and became part of the Principality of Serbia, though not without great bloodshed—remnants of which can be found throughout the city. Today, Niš is one of the most important economic centers in Serbia, especially in the electronics, mechanical engineering, textile, and tobacco industries. Constantine the Great Airport is Niš's international airport. In 2013, the city was host to the celebration of 1700 years of Constantine's Edict of Milan. The town was named after the Nišava River, which flows through the city.