Kratovo (Кратово)


Kratovo - a city in northeastern Macedonia, located in the throat of an extinct volcano. It is one of the oldest cities in Macedonia and the Balkans.


Origin of the name

There are several examples of the source of the name of the city Kratovo. The name Kratovo comes from the location of the city, which lies on a volcanic base, ie volcanic crater. According to the legend, the city was named after the words "kirat-ova", after the fortress on the banks of the Kratovska River, demolished by the Ottomans. In Byzantine times, the city was called "Koritos" or "Coriton".



Ancient and medieval history
The area has been inhabited since Roman times. The city was known as the mining town of Kratishkara, which belonged to the Roman province of Dardania. In Byzantine times, Kratovo was known as "Koritos" or "Coriton", which explains its location, "the riverbed in which the city is located". As a testimony to the life and importance of Kratovo in the ancient and medieval period as an important mining center, are the remains of the mines and the large number of underground tunnels and passages that connected them and from which the ore was excavated and transported.

During the reign of Stefan Nemanja, in 1189, Kratovo was annexed to Serbia, under Serbian rule, the city was ruled by Despot Jovan Oliver.

The existence of Kratovo was narrated by Homer's epic "Iliad" in VI BC. Coins from the time of Adolion Paeonian, a king who ruled from 315 to 285 BC, also serve as evidence. At that time, the city traded in gold, silver and copper.

Ottoman period
In the second half of the 14th century, Kratovo fell under the Ottoman Empire. In the 16th and 17th centuries, as part of the newly conquered territories of the Ottomans, the city became a regional center. In the 16th and 17th centuries, silver coins were minted here. The Turkish Sultan Murat also visited the city. According to a census from 1570, one can see the ratio of the ethnic composition of the population to households. The document noted that there were 328 Christian families, 292 Muslim, 37 Jewish, and for the first time ten Roma families. The famous Turkish travelers, Haxhi Kalfa and Evliya Çelebi, in their notes describe Kratovo as a city where coins were minted and that in that period the city had 800 houses, 350 shops, 20 small and large mosques, madrasas, tekkes, hammams, fountains and more. Coins dating back to the Roman period, after the arrival of the Turks, were reactivated at the latest during the reign of Sultan Bayezid I (1481 - 1512) and in the next two centuries coins with the mark "K" were made in them, which means that they are made in Kratovo. From 1689 to 1805 the city was deserted. After the Austro-Hungarian War of 1689-1690 and the Karposh Uprising, the city was devastated and the mining shafts closed. At the beginning of the XIX century Zletovo became a center of mining and in Kratovo the mining activity completely stopped.