A long hiking distance part of the road from Niš to Sofia
Sultanstrail is named after sultan Süleyman Kanuni, also called Suleiman the Magnificent, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, who led Ottoman armies to conquer Belgrade and most of Hungary, then marched on Vienna, where his invasion was checked at the Siege of Vienna. He started out from Istanbul on 10 May 1529 and arrived at the gates of Vienna after 141 days on 23 September 1529. It was to be the Ottoman Empire’s most ambitious expedition to the west, but the Austrian garrison inflicted upon Suleiman his first defeat. A second attempt by the sultan to conquer Vienna failed in 1532. In 1566, at the age of 60, the sultan led his army towards Vienna for the last time but he died close to Szigetvár in Hungary, before reaching his goal. The Sultanstrail roughly follows the route of sultan Suleiman on his way to Vienna.
In contrast to its past the Sultanstrail nowadays forms a path of peace, a meeting place for people of all faiths and cultures. The trail starts at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the centre of Vienna; the bells of this church were ever casted of the metal of captured Ottoman cannons. The trail ends at the tomb of Sultan Süleiman in Istanbul. The Sultanstrail is developed by volunteers from the Netherlands-based NGO Sultans Trail – A European Cultural Route.