THE TOWN OF RICE IS CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE BEST ARRANGED TOWNS IN THE STATE
Kochani is situated in the Eastern part of Macedonia. It spreads across the northern side of Kochani Valley, along the banks of the Kochani River. The town has a relatively good transport position. It lies on the transport artery Shtip-Kochani-Delchevo, and there is a branch towards Vinica and Berovo. The railroad in Kochani by the railroad track via Shtip and Veles is connected to the main railroad route in the Republic of Macedonia.
Due to its favorable geographic position and excellent natural characteristics, the territory of the present Kochani has been inhabited since the ancient times, first the Payons then the Meds and the Tracks, and the Slays began to inhabit in the 80s of the 6th century. Brothers Cyril and Methodius, the founders of the Slav literacy since 845-855, were staying in Bregalnica Region (Morodvis), they started spreading Christianity in Slav language.
Very little is known about the growth of the town in the first centuries of the Ottoman rule. In the year 1662, Evliya Chelebi travelling from Shtip to Sofia via Kochani, described it as a settlement with 600 houses and 15 stores. Along with the population increase, Kochani also strengthened its function economically, therefore, it be-came a famous rice and poppy market in the late 19th century. There was stagnation as a result of the Balkan Wars and the First World Wan.
Lake Gratche is a small artificial accumulation in the vicinity of Kochani, it was built on Kochani River in 1959, at the foothill of Osogovo Mountains. There are modern tourist and catering objects by the lake. Gratche is located in an extraordinary picturesque ravine and it is a very popular locality for recreational and picnic tourism.
one of the most famous winter resorts and weekend settlements in Macedonia
Ponikva is situated in vicinity of Kochani at altitude of 1560 meters in area with dense beech forest and various vegetation on Osogovo. The sports-recreational center includes two ski lifts, weekend houses, auto-camps, bungalows, objects of daily supply, multipurpose spaces, fields for sports and recreation, catering facilities and ski equipment services. Besides the weekend settlements and a few motels, in Ponikva there is a children' resort with a capacity of 220 beds.
The natural beauty, environmentally friendly clean environment and climate are excellent prerequisites for the great attendance of Ponikva. Besides the already existing sports fields, it is planned to build pathways for biathlon and Nordic running. Special tourist attraction for fans of hunting, near Ponikva is the game reserves. The commercial hunting place-the game park, in addition to accommodation, offers to the guests a unique opportunity to hunt deer, muffles and wild boars.
Monument of Liberty is a monumental building erected on the hill Lokubija, on the north-western side of Kochani, a complex with open wall constructions.
The Monument of Liberty in Kochani was built in the period from 1975 to 1977. The artistic and architectural solution is the work of Gligor Chemerski and Radovan Ragjenovikj. The monument was completed and officially opened in 1981. It was created in a specific form of architectural plastic and a modified form of an open basilica. The historic struggle of the Macedonian people for freedom from the Ilinden period until the Second World War is crowned and captured in the 335 m mosaic display. In the monument, the names of dead soldiers from Kochani and its surrounding are engraved with particular piety. Besides the historical and artistic value, the monument has practical value as well, by constructing the theatre scene, which is used for celebrations, theatrical performances and other gatherings. Proclaimed as a monument of culture, the Monument of Liberty is registered in the Office for Protection of Cultural Monuments.
Archaeological site Morodvis a real treasure of valuable objects from I different cultures - since the period of Justinian I
Morodvis is a settlement in the Valley of Kochani, where are located several archaeological sites. One of them is the locality Gradishte, which is a fortified settlement dating back to the Late Ancient Period and Middle Ages located onto the plateau to the south from Morodvis. It is a rectangular cistern and the church St. Simeon was constructed under it. The second object is Grobjani Rid, a medieval object and necropolis. Then, Crkvishteto Morobizdon, a complex covering more sites which dates back to the late Ancient Period and Middle Ages, where a representative church with brick fence was discovered. The church centre of Bregalnica was situated here. The oldest of the four churches discovered is Crkvishte dating back to the 5th - 6th century, and the newer one dates back to the 16th century. The other two churches date back to the 11th and 13th centuries.
The construction of the railway in 1926 had a great importance for development of the town. As a terminal, the town gained a role of a collection point for all settlements in its eastern parts. During the Second World War, one part of the town was burnt down and demolished. After the war, Kochani grew into a modern town. There were circa 7.000 inhabitants in the year 1948 and the number of inhabitants reached circa 30.000 in the year 2002, which coincided with development of the economic and non-economic activities in the town as well as the increased attractive-ness of the town as a place for living. Agriculture (especially rice-growing) and industry (metal and metal processing, paper production and timber industry), therefore it has an industrial-agricultural function in the region. Kochani represents an administrative-governing, cultural, healthcare and economic center in the region. At the same time, it is a gravitation centre as well for one part of the settlements of Delchevo and Vinica.
Growing rice and the way of its growing are a special attraction for people who see that for the first time. It is not a common experience, taking into consideration that they are quite few locations for rice growing in South Europe. There are several gastronomic specialties made from Kochani rice, which are typical for the Valley of Kochani.