Kumanovo (Куманово)


Kumanovo - a city located in the northeastern part of the Republic of Macedonia, in the Kumanovo Valley (Zegligovo), at an altitude of 340 meters, spread on both sides of the rivers Lipkovka and Kumanovka. Kumanovo is the third largest city in Macedonia and has a population of 70,842 inhabitants, of which 42,840 are Macedonians. The city of Kumanovo is the administrative seat of the municipality of the same name.



According to the legend, the name of the settlement originates from the name of the warrior tribe Kumani which in 1094. entered this area and for some time remained on the territory of today's Kumanovo municipality and beyond. There are no other assumptions about the name.



Ottoman period
It is assumed that Kumanovo was founded in the XII century near the village of Zegligovo, in order to protect the crossing between the rivers Vardar and South Morava. The first source data for Kumanovo are the Turkish census books from 1519, in which the settlement is mentioned as a village within the Nagorica nahija, which in turn was part of the Kyustendil Sandzak, with 52 families and about 300 inhabitants. It is mentioned as a city settlement (town) in the second half of the 17th century.

It is assumed that the settlement in this period has a poorly developed economy. This is confirmed by the travel notes of Evliya Çelebi from 1660, according to which the settlement had about 600 houses covered with tiles. He further says that the bazaar consisted of a large number of craft and trade shops and that there is a beautiful mosque in it, and the settlement itself was surrounded by many gardens, vineyards and a large number of mills.

Karposh Uprising 1689
In 1689 During the penetration of the Austrians in the Balkans, the leader of the insurgents from the northern part of Macedonia, Karposh was proclaimed the "king of Kumanovo", which shows that Kumanovo as a settlement had a good reputation. Namely, as a traffic crossroads, it had significant economic importance where trade was significantly developed. Thus, it manages to surpass the competitive centers (Tabanovce, Nagorichane, Strezovce and Klechevce) in its immediate vicinity. Such economic growth was interrupted by the Austrian campaign on the Balkan Peninsula. Like most cities in Macedonia, Kumanovo was in decline, but did not disappear as a settlement. After the turbulent events (Karposh Uprising in 1689) the city stagnated, and until the end of the XVIII century it was a typical Turkish town.

Kumanovo in the XVIII and XIX century
Until the end of the XVIII century it had a predominantly agrarian physiognomy with about 300 houses. Ami Bue noticed in 1836 that about 3,000 people lived in Kumanovo, and it was known as a rich cattle market. The construction of the state jade Skopje-Kumanovo-Vranje in the seventh decade of the XIX century and especially the commissioning of the Moravian-Vardar railway in 1888 had a significant impact on the development of the city. Then Kumanovo became a significant migration center. Greeks from Ioannina and Vlachs from Krushevo settled in it, and one neighborhood is called Veles, because most of the families here came from Veles. Crafts and trade began to develop intensively in the city, so that at the beginning of the XX century the population increased to 14,530 inhabitants. In the period between the two world wars Kumanovo did not make much progress, in 1931 its population numbered 16,984 inhabitants.

During the XVIII century it is mentioned twice (1706 and 1792) in the notes of travelers who spent the night in the city, but without any special data.

In the next, XIX century, Kumanovo manages to separate from the surrounding settlements and to develop intensively. This is a period when Kumanovo is mentioned as an important market for cattle and grain. At the same time, the catering was significantly advanced, which was mainly in the hands of Greeks from Ioannina, and later Bashino villagers. In contrast, during the second half of the 19th century some crafts were not developed at all or their production was far below market demand.

According to the travel writer Jean, there were "20 Christian and as many Turkish houses" in Kumanovo until the middle of the 19th century. The city gradually began to grow after 1865 (then it had 3,000 inhabitants, ie 650 houses of which 350 were Macedonian, 300 Turkish and 30 Roma cottages).

The reasons for this growth of the city are in its role of administrative center and traffic crossroads for the roads that have existed for a long time and the newer ones that were built in the seventies of the XIX century. With the construction of the railway in its immediate vicinity and getting its own railway station, it not only strengthens its dominant position in relation to the surrounding settlements, but also imposes itself on them economically, preventing their more intensive development.


Already in 1876, Kumanovo resembles a large city settlement, with the formation and development of the city bazaar, which consisted of over 250 craft and trade shops, with 34 warehouses for accommodation and sale of grain and 33 acres. Ten years later, there were already 330 shops in the city, as well as a number of magazines and inns. However, Kumanovo experienced a real revival only after 1888, after the connection of the railway line with Thessaloniki, Skopje and Belgrade. During that period, the city experienced an expansion in the economy, trade and crafts. A civic class appears, which is also the bearer of progress. The city market was rich in agricultural products, while traders traded in all parts of Macedonia, with Bulgaria and Serbia, as well as with some other countries.

As a normal reflection of that, Kumanovo is becoming an attractive immigration place for the surrounding population and has a more pronounced population growth. At the same time, Kumanovo grows economically and today is a city with developed activities from the secondary and tertiary sector. The leading place is occupied by industry (metal processing, textile, shoe-leather, food, tobacco), followed by agriculture and trade. With its location and traffic importance, development and shaped city functions, Kumanovo has three contact gravity zones of influence - towards Kriva Palanka, Kratovo and Sveti Nikole. At the same time, it means the functionally imposed power towards these three directions, which is one of the reasons for the strong population and functional growth of Kumanovo at the expense of the growth of the three above-mentioned city settlements.

The city experienced economic development only at the end of the XIX century (agriculture, handicrafts and trade), but in the economic development there was no significant growth of the industry until the end of the Second World War.

Kumanovo in the XX century
Near Kumanovo, on October 23, 1912, the famous Kumanovo battle was held in which the Turkish forces were defeated by the Serbian army and were forced to withdraw from this territory. A monument was erected near the site called Zebrnjak, which would later be partially demolished by the Bulgarian army during World War II.

Kumanovo in the Second World War
On October 11, 1941 in Kumanovo and Prilep, the anti-fascist struggle of the Macedonian population began. After 1945, Kumanovo experienced rapid economic, administrative and cultural development.

Kumanovo in 2015
On 09.05.2015, Divo Naselje in Kumanovo was attacked by UCK terrorists. The action lasted more than 1 day in which 8 police officers from the Macedonian side were killed, 30 wounded police officers and 10 terrorists were killed in the shooting in Kumanovo.

Archaeological sites
On the territory of Kumanovo and Kumanovo region, there are the following archeological sites:
"Pribovce" v. Bedinje - excavations 1978
"Drezga" v. Lopate - 1978, 1979 and 1980
"Kostoperska Karpa" - 1983 and 1987
"On the Shore" - 1986
"Kodra Zulfi" v. Nikushtak - 1991
"Gradishte" v. Pelince - 1989, 1990, 1994