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HOW MACEDONIAN CITIES RECEIVED THEIR NAMES?

Each city has its own history, tradition, customs, and also a story how the city got its name.



These are the stories behind the naming of our cities:

Skopje

This city throughout the history changed a few names. Its ancient name is Skupi, in Byzantine documents registered as Skopie, and Slavs were calling the city Skopje, Skopie and Skoplje.

Bitola

And Bitola has more stories about the name. The most authentic of them says that the name originates from the Slavic word "Obitel" which denotes a set of monasteries set of priests, community of monarchs. As we all know already, Bitola has always been a city with many monasteries, so from here comes the Greek name for the city - Monastiri. According to Marko Cepenkov however, Bitola "owes" its name to Toljo who had fortress near Bitola. When Turks approached the fort and city, they called Toljo to battle with words "Bi Toljo" from where originates the current name Bitola.

Veles

Throughout history, the city of Veles repeatedly changed its name from Vila Zora and Kjupurli to Titov Veles and Veles. The origin of its name has two legends. One says that the city got its name from the Slavic term "V Les" which means "in forest", which denotes the area with dense forest near this place, and the second legend says that the area around Veles,that was suitable for grazing cattle, was settled by Slavic tribes whose god was the god of cattle Veles.

Prilep

As for other Macedonian cities and for Prilep there are a few stories about the city name. One of them says that when people began to settle in this area, they were "sticking" their houses to Marko’s Towers and then was first formed a settlement, and then a city called Prilep. The second legend says that the people who settled were making much bread, so the place was famous as "prilebno place" (the place where the bread is made). According to the Blaze Koneski name Prilep was created by personal names Prilepa and Prilepka.

Ohrid

According to legend, brothers Miladinovci uring the time when was made the Ohrid fortress, Emperor Justinian climbed to the hills that lie between the city and shouted "oh rid" - from where came the name of the city.

Struga

And for Struga there are two legends. One says that Struga gets its name because of the geographical position of the open city - a place where constantly "struze" (blows wind). The second legend says that once, long ago, the Macedonian Slavs, Brsjaci and Mijaks, in Struga region dealt with livestock and they were taking their sheep to the end of Crn Drim to cut their wool, so from here comes th name of the city.

Kumanovo

For the name of Kumanovo there is only a legend which is quite logical. It is believed that the city was named after the tribe Kumani that in 1094 settled in this area and has long been kept in Kumanovo municipality and beyond.

Strumica

With the migration of the Slavs, in the period of the eighties of the 6th century until the thirties of the 7th century, the city experienced massive destruction. Here settled Slavic tribe Stroumjni, who got the name from river Strumon, that they renamed it the Struma.

Kocani

For the name of Kocani there is a legend that says that long ago a man named Koco went to work in China, from he where brought rice to his homeland. This region was great for the rice  and the settlement was named in honor of Koco, the man who brought this culture in this city.

Gostivar

The origin of the name of this town is Slavic, or more precisely the Czech! Namely, in Prague there is a whole neighborhood called Gostivar – in Czech, Hostivar. Czech word actually means guests - hospitality, welcome, and the like.

Sveti Nikole

It is believed that the city got its name after the church of St. Nikola. In Ottoman times, in this city were about 40 churches, and all were demolished, except the most beautiful - St. Nikola.

Berovo

Residents of the easternmost town in Macedonia tell two stories about the name of Berovo. According to one legend, the name comes from farmer Baro, who owned a meadow – Berovska meadow between villages Robovo and Macevo. The second, and more likely version is that people were "gathering" (berele) from the Maleshevia in the Berovski valley and so came the name Berovo.

Delčevo

The old name of the city is Vasilevo. Vasilevo translated from Greek means King’s village (Carevo selo). In Ottoman times, Delcevo was called Sultanija and after the Second World War, in 1950, the Presidium of the National Assembly of People's Republic of Macedonia adopted a decision Carevo selo to be renamed in Delcevo honor of Goce Delchev.

Kriva Palanka

Understandably, the name of the city comes from the bed curve of river Kriva reka.

Radovish

Radovish gets its name from the beautiful Duchess Rada who lived here, who was in love with this city. Because of her beauty and her honor, the city bears her name.

Gevgelija

According to the legend for this city Gevgelija, a dervish, accidentally wandered into the city. But he liked so much so he did not even want to leave. The locals did not want to accept the foreigner in theirs native place and tried to evict him. He, hurt and sad left the city, cursing the locals. Even then they realized that they should be hospitable and called him back with the words gel- geri (come back) – from which later came the word Gevgelija.

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