The hometown of the Pirot rugs, it is located in the very centre of the Balkan Peninsula, half way from both Nišа and Sophia, on a busy road connecting Europe and Asia. In the south-eastern Serbia, in the Nišаva river valley, the Pirot municipality covers one of the largest areas in Serbia. The Pirot area is the border region in its true sense. It is the junction of the Nišаvariver flatlands and the mountainous regions of the Balkans. The Pirot dialect shows influences of Bulgarian, as the region is the border area between Serbia and Bulgaria. Also, the region was once under various influences – the old Thracian and Illyrian tribes, Byzantium and Rome, Greek and Latin languages, Turkish and European architecture. Pirоt was invaded by various armies – the Roman, the Byzantine, the Serbian, the Turkish, but also by the Cumаns and Pechenegs from Asia. As early as in the 12th century, Pirоt was a part of the Stеfаn Nеmаnja’s state. In 1877 it was finally liberated from the five centuries long Turkish servitude.
Pirоt was first recorded on a 4th century Roman map with a name Turres, the towers in Latin. It was a small fortification built to defend the main road to the east and where travellers could stay overnight and changes their horses. In the 15th century it appears with a Greek name Pyrgоs, of the same meaning – the towers. The name Pirot comes from Pyrgоs.
The Hristić Family House, dating from 1848, one of the most beautiful 19th century Balkan town cottages, houses the Nišаva Region Museum, exhibiting a rich collection of national costumes and Pirot rugs
Besides its rugs and cheese (kаčkаvаlј), Pirоt has a car tyre factory “Tigar”.
At the entrance to the town there is a mediaeval fortress, called Grаdić (Town) or Моmčilо’sTown. The assumption that Pirot is actually the Lord Моmčilo’s town of Pirlitоr, mentioned in the epic song, has not been confirmed historically.