The municipality of Pirot is surrounded with the Stara Mountain from the north and northeast (the highest is peak Midzor, 2169 m above sea level). The southern and south-western edge of the Pirot basin consists of Vlaska (1442 m above sea level.) and Suva mountain (1809 m above sea level), and on the northwest it is surrounded by branches of Svrljiske mountains (1334 m above sea level).
An old ancient road known as Via Militaris (military road), later called Constantinople road, passed through this area.
The city, passing through different periods of time, got different names, but in the time of the Roman Empire, in the III and IV century, it had the name Turres (tower). Through the time, Pirot has received names such as: Pyrgos, Momčilo city, Kale Fortress (now the name of the fortified town is Kale). During the archaeological research in the middle part of the city it has been found that a settlement already existed here 5000 years ago. Other traces from Eneolithic and Iron age, as well as from the period of Antiquity, early Byzantium and the Middle Ages were found during the further research in the area of the old town.
Natural and cultural attractions of Pirot and its surroundings are certainly a reason enough to visit the city. There is a large number of churches and monasteries in the surrounding areas, and some records state that after the liberation from the Turks there was a total of 13 monasteries and 72 churches. The beauty of the Pirot region includes areas of unspoiled nature and numerous crystal-clear springs, waterfalls, rivers, mountain slopes.
Pirot is certainly best known for carpets, ironed sausage and Kashkaval cheese.
Pirot carpet attracts with its beauty, ornamentation and color, and because of its great value and rich ornaments, the carpets have adorned the buildings and homes for centuries. The greatest value of Pirot's carpets are the patterns and ornamentation that are weaved on them. The colors are vivid and stable, and the beauty of a carpet is reflected in its compliance and the combination of patterns.
Kashkaval cheese is one of the symbols of Pirot and its surroundings. The oldest written documents about making kashkaval cheese on Stara mountain date back to the XVIII century. Because of its specific aroma, it became known around the world.
Pirot ironed sausage is a specialty produced from high quality goat, sheep and beef meat, mixed with spices. The sausage must be spicy or discreetly spicy, because her magic is exactly in its spiciness. After filling, the sausage is tied in the form of a horseshoe and dried in a draft. During the period of drying, sausages are being ironed every two to three days (usually with a bottle), after which they take the form of a horseshoe.
Today, the city of Pirot has the same importance which it had in the past, and one of the largest municipalities by area in Serbia, with 67.552 inhabitants. At the same time, Pirot is the seat of Pirot district, which includes four municipalities.
Photos: D. Bosnić i D. Jovanović