National Museum Niš

Archeological Park Mediana

The ancient settlement Mediana is located in the central part of Serbia, at a distance of 5 km from Niš, and it represents the endowment of Constantine the Great (306 – 337) and his sons. Long-term archaeological research indicates the existence of three basic construction phases that span over the period from the end of 3rd /beginning of 4th century to the middle of the 5th century. Intense life in Mediana lasted from 330 to 361, during the time of Constantine and his successors Constans and Constantius II, as well as during the short-lived reign of Julian the Apostate. During the research the existence of about twenty buildings was recorded, most of which were explored: a villa with a peristyle, thermal baths, a warehouse/wine cellar, a villa with an octagonal tower and large halls, two early Christian churches and a necropolis. The settlement was destroyed in the invasion of the Huns in 441-443, and the area of Mediana was repopulated, but on a much smaller scale, only in the Middle Ages.

Mediana was an imperial villa built for pleasure and state affairs, but also as an agricultural estate. In Mediana, taxes were collected and further distributed as food to support the imperial, military and clerical apparatus. In 364, the emperors Valens and Valentinian I divided the imperial retinue and army in Mediana. The importance of Mediana can be seen through its residential-administrative, economic and religious functions. The residential part consists of buildings with richly decorated architectural ornaments, mosaics, frescoes and sculptures. The economic part consists of a large number of workshops and warehouses for storing goods. The sacral part consists of two early Christian churches.