Welcome to the town of towers and bridges! Welcome to the town of mining, the town that has the strength of an extinct volcano (crater) upon which it was built and according to which it got its name! Welcome to one of the oldest towns on the Balkan, which dates from Iv century B.C.! Welcome to Kratovo!
Kratovo is situated in the north-eastern part of the republic of Macedonia, at the foot of the Osogovo Mountains. The town is amphitheatrally outspread on the coasts of three smaller rivers on an altitude of 600 to 720 meters.
Visiting Kratovo will make you a retrospection of the past, it will discover its secrets woven through the many towers and bridges, it will take your breath away with its natural and authentic beau- ty, and it will lead you to visit it over and over again.
Throughout the years
Homer`s “Iliad” witnesses about the existence of this town. It was the town where the Thracean tribe called Peoni lived, testified by the found coins on the area of the nowadays town of Kratovo, from the time of the Peonic king audelon (315-285 B.C.). The archaeological researches discovered that Kratovo is rich with historical necropo- lis, which belongs to different historical pe- riods: Thracean, Peonian, antique, roman, Byzantine, ottoman etc. The old coins and archaeological artifacts speak of the age and the importance of the town.
The history of Kratovo has always been connected to the mining. It is assumed that the founders of the town were the old mi- ners, which in the important mining centre on these areas-Kratovo (this name was first encountered in 1213) have been digging up and processing lead, zinc, copper, silver, gold and iron.
The favourable political, military and geo- graphical position of the town created some conditions for economic and cultural deve- lopment of Kratovo throughout the years. Many cultures have passed through Kratovo and left some characteristics being told by the authentic roads and architecture, the archaeological remains and coins, medieval towers and bridges, underground halls, hammams, churches… Welcome to Kratovo – the town Museum that lives!
Witnesses of Culture and History
Even at the first visit of Kratovo you will find something unknown and rarely seen in other cities of Macedonia. The old city architecture witnesses the craftsmanship of the constructors from Kratovo, that in their buildings have shown the practical and aesthetically with the connection of the traditional way of life in this town. as an ancient town, Kratovo is abundant in cultural historic heritage. on the relatively small area on which the town is outspread, you will meet many of the medieval monuments. The fact that will fascinate you are the impressive and characteristic towers, bridges, the houses with typical traditional Ma- cedonian architecture, many town fountains, the archaeological localities around the town such as the fortress “golemo gradishte” and the early Christian basilica – rotonda in the village of Konjuh, the reserve of rock art near the village of trnovac etc. all of them will speak about the antiquity of this town.
Simikj`s, Zlatko`s, Krste`s, eminbeg`s, Hadzi Kosta`s, the Clock tower…The towers are a symbol of this town. In the past, they were thirteen but nowadays only six of them exist. Built in the Middle age, outspread in the middle part of the town, they dominate Kratovo with centuries. Largest of them is the simikj`s tower, built in 1370 by the ruler of that time, Kostadin Dejanov. Climb upon the balcony of this tower and you will experience the most beautiful view of Kratovo. start a small adven- ture throughout the only preserved underground halls in Macedonia, situated in Kratovo. They connect all the towers, but also hide the most beautiful stories about the town and the people who had lived here
Walk through the old bridges of Kratovo, which with its unique building expression (precisely made archivolte and decorative line) fascina- tes everybody’s view. Hear the stories that are still being told on these bridges: Charshiski, grofchanski, Jokchiski, argulichki or radin Bridge.
The churches throughout the town witness about a different dimension of the town. Kra- tovo is the town where the martyr saint Djordji Kratovec was born. In his honour, a church was built, which speaks of his resistance and the battle against the acceptance of the Muslim religion imposed by the ottoman authority. This church hides many of the icons of the well known icon painter Djordji Zografski. Their beauty fascinates everybody’s spirit. The church saint John Pretecha is the central and the largest church in the town renewed in 1836 by a well known Macedonian builder andreja
Damjanov and the church saint nicholas Chu- dotvorec is the oldest church in Kratovo, ruined many times but renewed throughout the years. experience the whole story of the town thro- ugh the craftsman’s shops in ajduchki bazaar. all the roads are being merged here. far he- ard by its beauty throughout the centuries, this town bazaar abounds with old crafts until to- day – pottery, tinsmith’s craft, blacksmith’s craft, tailor’s craft, makers of peasant moccasins, gol- dsmiths, farriers, saddle makers…nowadays, the bazaar is the centre of the largest number of happenings.
Every year on February 24, the town celebrates its patron of Saint Djordji Kratovski. The day begins with the maintenance of the memorial service at the church dedicated to the saint and at the town square a church service for holy water is being held. every year, on this day many cultural and artistic events are being organized. on June 10, every year, a manifestation called “a day of culture” is being held and all of the cultural and educational institutions from the town participate in it with many traditional dances, plays, recitals, exhibitions, poetry etc. also, in the first half of the month of June, the culture club “Lazar sofijanov” organizes an international children’s art colony on the theme “The popular architecture of Kratovo”.
With its specific relief and geographic position, Kratovo abounds with natu ral rarities and beauties that will enable you in peace and relaxation, directly to meet the strength and the beauty of the nature.
The natural rarity “Kameni kukli (stone dolls)” makes a great impression on each visitor. In time, these erosive rocks created some interesting figures. Their dramatic and ambient set creates a unique feeling that can not be told with words. This mystical beauty complements the rock called “Cocev Kamen”, which is presumed to be a prehistoric obser- vatory. This place will leave on you indelible marks of the life unfolded here in the past.
The nature reserve called Ploche Litotelmi near the village of stracin attracts many na- ture lovers because of the presence of the endemic species of Balkan population tany- mastix stagnalis class, order anostraca (en- chanter’s prawns).
Some interesting figures. Their dramatic and ambient set creates a unique feeling that can not be told with words. This mystical beauty complements the rock called “Cocev Kamen”, which is presumed to be a prehistoric obser- vatory. This place will leave on you indelible marks of the life unfolded here in the past.
The nature reserve called Ploche Litotelmi near the village of stracin attracts many nature lovers because of the presence of the endemic species of Balkan population tanymastix stagnalis class, order anostraca (en- chanter’s prawns). In the region called Karshi Bavcha, near the city center, you will have the opportunity to see the old pines of Kratovo, older than 500 years, which are a monument of the nature
When you feel Hungry
Enjoy the authentic food made of natural local products, cultivated in the tame region of Kratovo. try ”pastrmajlija” ,“mantii”, “armchi”, the sour soups, the “mezelk”, the different kinds of cheese, pies, beans with dried meat, the home made wine and rakija. The aromas of these and many more traditional dishes will attract you in every house and restaurant of the town. all this complemented by the sounds of the old music of Kratovo.
Kratovos` Pastramajka Ingredients
for the dough:
300gr. white flour 30gr. yeast
salt, sugar and water
for the filling:
about 250g. dried pork (homemade smoked) optionally may be added one egg
first, we make dough with flour, yeast, salt and sugar and water. We knead the dough well and we left it on side to grow up. after a while, we roll the dough in “pastrmajka” form, we fill it with meat and place it in pre- heated oven at 300 degrees to bake. serve it with red wine from Kratovo vineries
You can arrive at Kratovo through these road con- nections: skopje – Kumanovo – stra cin – Chatal – you turn right towards Kratovo shtip – Krupishte – Probishtip Kratovo Kochani-Krupishte-Probishtip-Kratovo
Important telephone numbers
Municipality of Kratovo: 031/481-202
Museum of the town of Kratovo: 031/482-015
Health centre of Kratovo: 031/481-181 Hotel “Kratis”: 031/481-201
Restaurant “Alexandria”: 031/481-289
Restaurant “Kanu”: 031/483-313
Restaurant “Kula”: 077/988-846
Taxi service “Dzemi”: 071/322-502