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Veles (Municipality, Macedonia)


Last modified: 2006-06-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: veles | titov veles |
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[Flag of Veles]

Municipal flag of Veles - Image by Željko Heimer, 28 January 2004

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Presentation of Veles

Veles is a city build on the two banks of the river Vardar. The municipality of Veles has a population of 56,751 (1994 census), 44,000 living in the city of Veles sensu stricto. The area of the municipality is 1.536 sq. km and its average elevation 110 m a.s.l.

The Slavic names of Veles ("into the woods") appeared in the VIIth century when Slavic tribes settled in the area, but the settlement is much more ancient. The city of Stobi is dated 168 BC, and was successively renamed Vila Zora and Kjupurli. In the Middle Ages, Veles was one of the main cultural centers in the Balkans and was well-known for the Sveti Dimitrija monastery (XIVth century). Veles was later the center of the Macedonian culture. The first Macedonian-speaking school, gymnasium, theater, library, museum and music school were located in Veles. Teacher Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov Dzinot from Veles wrote the first drama in Macedonian.

In 1840, the Ottoman Empire, then ruling Macedonia, set up a religious reform and allowed the building of the Sveti Pantelejmon church in Veles. The church was designed by architect Andreja Damjanov (1813-1878), who also worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, and probably also in Greece, Albania and Bulgaria. The church is a complex basilica surrounded by porches and peristyles. With an area of 810 sq. m and a large volume, it is considered as one of the largest churches from the XIXth century in Macedonia. Christians were granted religious freedom, which allowed the building of a Christian aristocracy and the awakeness of national conscience.

The poet and philosoph Kočo Racin (Kočo Solev, 1908-1943) was born in Veles. He published in 1939 a book of poems entitled Beli mugri (White dawns), of social inspiration. Racin set up the rules of the modern Macedonian poetry, based on the rythms and melodies of folk songs. Racin was a Communist partizan and died in Lopušnik when fighting the German invaders.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 28 January 2004

Until recently, the name of the city was Titov Veles. I think the name was introduced in the 1950s and was official until the early 1990s.

Željko Heimer, 29 January 2004

Municipal flag of Veles

The municipal flag of Veles is horizontally divided red-blue with the municipal shield in the middle. The municipal shield shows the city and the river Vardar, surmonted by the name of the city in Cyrillic letters. The shield seems to be black and white but has some metallic tincture on the flag.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 28 January 2004