The city of beer, steel and rock 'n roll!
The central part of Montenegro is mostly known by our capital city Podgorica. But there is so much more to explore in this part of our country. For example, there's a town known as a birthplace of a lot of Montenegrin heroes, a town that was really valuable for King Nikola I, the town that was the industrial centre of ex Yugoslavia. People call it 'the city of beer, steel and rock and roll', and we bring you this story about the city of Niksic.
Niksic is the second largest town in Montenegro, right after Podgorica. It's important cultural, industrial and educational centre. There's a lot of things to be said about this town, so we are going to start from the beginning. We are starting with a bit of Niksic's history.
From Romans to Ottomans, Niksic was a part of a lot of different rulers. Firstly the Romans built the Military Camp here in the fourth century. The camp was called Anderba with the Ostrogothic fortress known as Anagastum.
Slavs showed up a bit later, in the 6th and 7th century and changed its name to Onogost (now the name of the famous hotel in the city centre and one of the symbols of Niksic's society). After that Niksic was part of Duklja, the old Montenegrin country, and was a part of Vojislavljevic dynasty. And last but not the least, Niksic was a part of Kingdom of Bosnia until the kingdom was taken down by the Ottoman Empire in 1448.
After a long, long time with the Ottomans, Niksic was conquered by the Montenegrin army again in 1877. Niksic got a full makeover under King Nikola, mainly with the influence of Croatian architect Josip Slade.
Because of its position, Niksic was really important in World Wars. The city changed a lot of leaders and empires but everyone knew how valuable this town was.
Now, we won't write that long about history, it's just some basics you need to know if you choose this town as your next destination. So let's say something about the advantages that this city has.
GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION AND OTHER POTENTIALS
Located in north-central Montenegro, in the place called Niksic field and at the foot of the Trebjesa hill, Niksic has a lot of potentials. With Zeta river running through Niksic it was possible to construct the Hydroelectric power plant Perucica and give many of Niksic citizens a job they needed. With Perucica construction the result was two artificial lakes that became symbols of this town.
Krupac is known as Niksic's sea. Many Niksic citizens choose this lake as their main refreshment on hot summer days. Through the years Krupac was one of the favourite places in the city, and that just improved when the city got its own festival guess where – at the Krupac Lake.
With Lake fest establishment, the second Niksic festival called Bedem Fest got more popularity too. Located on the Ottoman's fortress called Bedem (one of the most beautiful places in town), Niksic was back on track with tourists that started to love these two festivals. Tourists started coming, rock and roll and alternative music was in the centre of the attention, so that is the explanation of that Rock and Roll thing in Niksic's nickname 'the city of beer, steel and RnR.'
The Lake is the favourite place to bring your friends to BBQ, chill out and recharge your batteries so they need to be on your mind if you ever visit this town.
Now, we need to explain that 'Beer and steel' thing. Niksic was always the industrial centre of ex Yugoslavia. One of the main industries is the making of one of Montenegro's best-known products – Niksicko Pivo ('pivo' means beer in Montenegrin language).
Niksicko Pivo is the largest company from Niksic, with the tradition over the 100 years long, it's the brand that is much larger than the town itself. Long story short you can find more about it on our site. That explains the 'beer' thing.
Niksic was the home of one of the largest steel producers in Ex-Yugoslavia. That factory called Zeljezara back then was the bright spot of this city, employing over 6000 people back in ex Yugoslavia. But then things went wrong, not only for Zeljezara but for many heavy-industry factories in Montenegro. The industry stopped being the main orientation of our country when we turned to capitalism and switched our vessels to greenfield industries. The factory of steel is still running, but with much lower production and it's run by Turkish Tosyali Holding.
We explained the nickname behind Niksic, industrial side of the town too, now we will go to the cultural side of this city.
CULTURAL SIDE OF THE TOWN
We will start with one short list:
1. County Museum (The old King Nikola's Royal Palace)
2. Niksic Art Gallery
3. Public Library and Public Archive
4. Niksic Theatre
5. Zahumlje Folklore Ensemble
6. Old town Anderba Art Society
This list is a list of must-visit places when you find yourself in Niksic.
Niksic has a lot of manifestations, we already mentioned the festivals, but also September's Culture Days, Poets on the Promenade, International's Actors Festival, International Guitar Festival and the new Festival of the Street Performers. Niksic really offers a lot, you just need to be informed, so we recommend you to follow the Events section of our website.
We can't talk about Niksic if we don't say something about sports. Niksic always had amazing sportsmen and women. A popular gathering place for sportsmen in Niksic is the promenade at the foot of the Trebjesa hill, known for amazing nature and street workout equipment.
The most popular sports in Niksic are football and basketball, so as the clubs that belong to the same society called Sutjeska.
Football club Sutjeska plays its games at the city stadium, and basketball club plays its games in Sports Centre Hall. Sports' centre is always open as there is an Olympic size pool that you can use for your training or if you want to swim and relax. With the reconstruction of the pool, Niksic got the opportunity to have it's own Waterpolo club and gave Montenegrin water polo national team some extra strength in depths.
In the winter season, there is a ski centre too, so you can go to Vucje and enjoy snow sports.
ACCOMMODATION AND NIGHTLIFE
Niksic is a pretty big city for Montenegrin standards, so you can find hotels, motels, apartments for your stay while you are in the city. As we earlier said, one of the Niksic's symbols is Hotel Onogost, which was recently renovated and started shining again like in good old times.
The hotel re-opened the old restaurant too, known amongst fellow-citizens as 'Mlijecni' (literally in English this means dairy, but people were referring to the patisserie, as this was the place with best cakes and cookies) or as it is now called Onogost Lounge Bar. It can be the place you wish to go out at night if you are for a little bit relaxed atmosphere and if you are not in a party mood.
But if you are in a party mood we honestly think that you can't find a better city for that in Montenegro than Niksic. A little bit of everything that's how we'd call it. Every music genre, the town has really a lot to offer. From NK pub that turns from a quiet place to drink your coffee during the day to party club at night, to modern day disco's and old-fashioned bars if you want only something for your soul.
Montenegrins love to make visitors feel like home, so that's what Niksic's citizens will do too. People of Niksic are people with an amazing sense of humour, that sometimes only them understand. They really show you the bohemian life that you thought it maybe disappeared.
This town is a bit of unfairly forgotten by the tourists because it has so much to offer, so should definitely be on your to-do list while in Montenegro.