Veles

 

A CITY OF REFORMERS, REVOLUTIONARIES AND POETS -A CRADLE OF MACEDONIAN CULTURE 

The first school in Macedonian language, the first gymnasium, the first theatre, the first library, the first museum and the first music school were opened in Veles.

Veles is located in the central part of the country, in the middle-course of Vardar. It lies on the major artery of the Balkan Peninsula along the Valley of Morava and Vardar, and the major railway line in the Republic of Macedonia passes through this city. The railway is separated in two branches: one of them leads towards the eastern part of Macedonia (Shtip and Kochani) and the other one leads to the south-western part (Prilep and Veles). Therefore, Veles is the second important railway node in the Republic of Macedonia following Skopje. Veles is an old city. It has changed its name frequently during its existence. In the third century, it is mentioned as Vila Zora which means a bridge-city. Later, it got the name Kjupurli. The present name of the city was given by Slays when they came on Balkans; it originates from Slav veles which means in woods (because the city used to be surrounded by dense woods).

 

Great archaeological capacity and potential - The most significant found objects in Stobi are the northern basilica, the civil basilica, the small spa, the central basilica, the synagogue, the psalm house, Via Axia, the great spa, Via Principalis Inferior, palace Peristerei, Via Theodosia, Theodosia Palace, the house of Partenius, the house of weaver, Via Principalis Superior, Episcopal Residence, the semi-circular square, the Old Episcopal Basilica, the gate Heraclea, the theatre, Eastern City Bulwark, the Graveyard Basilica, the Palicura Basilica, western graveyard, The Extra Muros Basilica and others buildings.

 

Stobi 

Stobi is located at the inflow of the River Crna to the Vardar. It is located on the left river bank covering several terraces. Stobi came under Macedonian rule in 217 BC, during the rule of Macedonian king Philip V. In the Pre-Roman period it was a small town with an area of 2.5 hectares. Its location onto the road between Danube and White Sea in the valley of Vardar contributed to gain strategic importance. Leaving the Old Era and entering the New Era it grew into a Roman province. It became a large and prosperous municipum (a city with an independent government and regulated rights for voting). Its monumental appearance, the city got in the late Roman period and had grown into an important commercial, administrative, military and cultural center.

Welfare of the city is particularly captured through the palaces and basilicas, decorated with frescoes and mosaics, which mostly originate from the 4th and 5th century, the time of highest importance and flourishing of Stobi, the time when it became the capital of the newly formed province of Macedonia Secunda. For a short period of time, the new city would be built on an area eight times larger than the previous settlement. Evidences for the development of Christianity in Stobi date back to 325. During this period, Stobi developed itself into a city with a unique Christian religion in the kingdom and an Episcopal Seat. Stobi's Bishop participated in the first church meeting in Nicaea. The large number of baptistery in cathedrals found testifies about the growth of Christianity. The city suffered great devastation during the Huns and Ostro-goth's attack in the 5th century. In 6th century, it was destroyed by an earthquake and has never been restored. The findings of existence of numerous of artifacts that wait to be explored have increased the importance of Stobi.

 

The Theatre

It had capacity for 7.600 spectators. It was converted into an arena for gladiators' competitions and beasts' fights at the end of the 3rd century. It was deserted in the 5th century. The house of Fullonica (Domus Fullonica) - A family house dates back to the 3rd century, which was restored and built up several times till the 6th century. The first written documents about this Paionian, Macedonian-Hellenistic and Roman city dates back to 197 BC, and some Roman historians even then called it "the ancient city".

 

Lake Mladost (Lake Veles)

The Lake Mladost is located at Otovica River, left tributary of Vardar, eight kilometres north of Veles. The construction of the accumulation was started in 1960, and finished in 1962. It covers 97 km' basin. The Lake is around 2 km long, 0.4 km wide and it covers an area of 0.84 km'. Thin ferroconcrete lacquered weir is established at the lake, having 35 meters height, and elevation of the crown 247 meters. The basic aim of the lake is irrigation of about 1350 ha arable area in the region of Otovica village and, due to the vicinity of Veles and Skopje, it is used for tourist, recreational and sport purposes. Nowadays, both functions have been satisfied. The lake is equipped with the necessary tourist and catering industry object, as well as by specially organized and adjusted boat-restaurant it presents centre of tourism and recreation in this region.

Is located in a recess, southwestern from Veles, a few hundred meters from the last houses. The land is quite steep, especially in the western side, where the hill called Vrshnik rises highly over the church, and on the east there is steep terrain from Veles canyon to River Vardar banks and to the main road towards south. Therefore, foundations of the church were built, and on the east side a carved stone wall was built as a bulwark, the same as the defence fortresses. 

 

Saint Pantelejmon church - Veles

The church was built in 1840 by the master-builder Andreja Damjanov, as it is written above the entrance: "The master-builder Andreja made this church". The frescoes and the icons are work by famous Macedonian icon-painters from Miyak Area, from Papradishte and from Veles. The most of the icons were made by the talented icon-painters Gjorgji Damjanov and George Jakov Zografski. The present church is built on the older one, which existed as a small church, there are some presumptions that it served as a monastery of Old Veles. The church was enabled to perform worship for about four years, from 1837 to 1840. The final work of the church lasted until 1847 and in 1849 the chatterbox was set up. In 1904 and 1905, in the yard of the church, upon the entrance, the bell tower was set, and on the right from it, in the direction of the church, several smaller buildings were constructed for various needs. Its present appearance dates from the period 1837-1940. The construction is a gorgeous three-nave basilica with porches from the both sides that become galleries on the floor, where the women's church is situated. A two floor gallery was built at the western part.

 

Old-city architecture 

Old-city architecture Relief configuration on the area of the old city on both banks of Vardar contributed to development of the specific Veles urban architecture. Ground floors of the houses are built of unprocessed stone which is solid base for founding. The houses have two, three and rarely more floors. Upper floors have balconies and numerous windows, the facades are usually painted white. The major feature of architecture is bay window providing more spacious and emphasized upper floors. All these features are present in Veles. The houses have a scale arrangement - one above the other, and referring to the most eminent houses featured by the old-city architecture should be mentioned the following houses of Paunovi, Trenchovi, Ponarovi, Gjorgovi, Shukarevi.

Veles represented an important city and bishop's seat during the 17th and 18th century. It had a role of a significant crossroad and a famous commercial city with highly developed craftsmanship and pottery in particular. After the Balkan Wars and the First World War, the city lost some of its functions therefore it had an impact on its population growth. After the Second World War, Veles has developed as an industrial, ad-ministrative and cultural centre. Due to this its gravitational and im-migration role has grown therefore from about 20.000 inhabitants in 1953, Veles has grown into a city with approximately 50.000 inhabitants (2002). The major feature of Veles economy is industry: non-ferrous metallurgy, chemical industry, non-metal and construction materials, metal processing, ceramic, textile, food, fur industry etc. Being a developed traffic node, Veles represents a regional center of the Middle-Course Vardar region. It has a major influential gravitation zone, particularly emphasized along the confluences of the Rivers Babuna and Topolka, which spreads towards the areas of Ovchepolie and Tikvesh.

 

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