Prilep (Прилеп)


Prilep - a city in Macedonia, located in the northern part of the Pelagonija Valley, in the southwestern part of the Republic of Macedonia. It can be reached via the highway A 3. It has 69,704 inhabitants (2002) and is located 128 km southwest of the capital Skopje.

Prilep is known as the "city under the Marko Towers" because of its proximity to the towers of the legendary hero King Marko (in Prilep called King Marko).

The city was awarded the Order of the People's Hero of Yugoslavia on May 7, 1975 and is one of the eight decorated cities in SFR Yugoslavia with this order. In addition, holders of this order are 14 other people from Prilep and Prilep region.

Prilep is the seat of the Municipality of Prilep of the same name.


Origin of the name
There are several assumptions about the origin of the name of the city of Prilep. According to a legend of Marko Cepenkov, the people who started to move, built their houses attached to Marko's fortress, so because of the attached houses the city was named Prilep. The same legend mentions that the city was a nearby place (a place where bread was produced).

According to some researchers, the name has Old Slavic origin with the meaning of swampy, swampy place, a place by the swamp. According to Blaze Koneski, the name Prilep is formed from the personal names Prilep and Prilepka, which are preserved in Russian anthroponymy.

Prehistory and the ancient period
The city of Prilep and settlements in general in the area of ​​the wider Prilep region, date back to antiquity, such as the archeological site Stibera, near the village Chepigovo. Near the city, traces of a prehistoric settlement have been discovered on the Marko Towers.

In early antiquity, the settlement of Ceramie grew here, restored in late antiquity, which until the end of antiquity remained a rural settlement and did not grow into a city and episcopate.

Medieval history
Today's location of the city of Prilep dates back to the early Middle Ages, when Prilep was a very important commercial and military-strategic city. Exactly in the city of Prilep, after the catastrophic defeat of Samoil's army in the battle of Belasica, in 1014, when he saw his blind soldiers, Tsar Samuel died of a heart attack. After Samuel's death, the city fell under Byzantine rule. In 1041 the Byzantine emperor Michael IV of Paphlagon suppressed the uprising of Petar Deljan, and the local duke Manuil Ivac tried to stop the Byzantine army at Prilep's Pletvar with a wooden palisade, but without success. Dobromir Hrs and his grandfather, Manuil Kamica, captured Prilep, but in 1202 Alexius III conquered the fortress again. The city remained under Byzantine rule until 1204, when Constantinople was conquered by the Crusaders. Throughout the 13th century, Prilep passed constantly into the hands of new masters - twice to the despots of Epirus, twice to Bulgaria, once to the emperor of Nicaea.

In 1334 Prilep together with the whole of Macedonia became part of the Serbian Kingdom, headed by Stefan Dusan. Important sources in that regard are the three Dusan charters - letters given to the monastery Treskavec. It is learned from them that Prilep at that time was a large and important city center and that Tsar Dusan had his own palace here.

In 1371 Prilep became the capital of the medieval Macedonian feudal ruler, Volkashin, who created the Kingdom of Prilep, based in Prilep. After his death in the Battle of Maritsa (1371), he was succeeded by his son, King Marko (in folklore and stories, known for his supernatural powers and powers), who ruled Prilep until the death of the Turks until his death in 1395. and the wider region of western and southwestern Macedonia.

Ottoman period
After the execution of King Marko at the Battle of Rovinj, Romania in 1395, the Turks took the city. Since then, they settled down and with their laws and decrees managed not only the population from Prilep and the Prilep region, but also the whole of Macedonia. This attitude of the Turkish government towards the local population from the Prilep region (to which it was not at all inclined), can be seen from a document issued in December 1565. This document notes the bias of the Prilep court regarding the settlement of the dispute between the villagers and a duke from the Hasas of Vizier Mustafa Pasha. This attitude of the court caused a revolt among the population, which will be the first major revolt of the Macedonian people against the Turkish government, when the dissatisfied Mariovci will make a big protest, followed by riots in front of the court in Prilep.

With the arrival of the Turks, Prilep from a highly developed trading city, reoriented to rural production, especially of tobacco. In the first half of the 16th century, Priille owned 321 houses, 300 of which belonged to Christians and the rest to Muslims. According to the descriptions of the city by the Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi, who visited Prilep in 1670, the settlement consisted of nine neighborhoods with a thousand houses built of solid material, while the city bazaar consisted of 200 shops.


In the XVIII and XIX century the city held a large fair, which was one of the largest in Rumelia and lasted 25 days. Traders from all over the Balkan Peninsula came to the fair, and the most traded were: grain, tobacco, carpets, goods and others. In the 19th century, the city had 2,800 houses, 1,100 shops, 26 inns, 10 mosques and 5 madrasas. In the same period, the great Macedonian revivalist and collector of folklore Dimitar Miladinov taught in Prilep, together with his assistant Rajko Zinzifov and in this period in contact with Miladinov, Marko Cepenkov (born in Prilep) will accept the idea of ​​the revivalist to collect the Macedonian folk art. Other revivalists who taught in Prilep are: Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov-Dzinot, Grigor Prlichev, Kuzman Shapkarev, Josif Kovachev and others. During this period the city was divided into Christian and Turkish parts. There were 17 Christian neighborhoods and 10 Turkish ones. The military and administrative reforms that the Turkish sultans began to implement in the early 19th century met with resistance, especially from the feudal lords of Albania and Bosnia. In 1830 Pasha Mustafa Rashid Bushatlija from Shkodra entered Macedonia in order to conquer Bitola. However, in several battles near Prilep and Mount Babuna, in April and May 1831 he was defeated and retreated to Shkodra. In the middle of the XIX century in Prilep there is a rapid development of handicrafts and trade. During this period in Prilep were developed: the craft of Kazandzi, Kovac, Abadzi and Kurcija, and a little later the tailoring craft began to develop. In this period Prilep has three market days: Monday, Thursday and Saturday. In the central part of the city was the church "Holy Annunciation" or "Old Church", as the population called it. It was built in 1383, probably with the help of guilds, rich merchants and citizens of Prilep. Its master builders, masons were Kosta Lauzo and Riste Taslamiche. The name Costa Lauzo is also associated with the construction of the city clock, the clock tower in 1858.

According to the structure of VMORO, Prilep during the Ilinden period was part of the Prilep district of the Bitola Revolutionary District. The Ilinden Uprising will have a strong echo in the Prilep region, and the battles were led by the famous Prilep dukes Petar Acev and Krsto Germov-Shaqir Vojvoda. On Ilinden, the insurgents in the Prilep region cut the telegraph cables between Prilep and Veles as well as between Prilep and Bitola, and some wooden bridges on the roads to Gradsko, Kicevo, Krushevo and Veles were destroyed.

Many people from Prilep actively participated in the Young Turk Revolution. In September 1910, authorities arrested more than 70 citizens during an operation to disarm the Young Turks.

The Balkan and World Wars
During the First (1912-1913) and the Second Balkan War (1913) fierce battles were fought in and around Prilep. Such is the Battle of Prilep between the armies of the Kingdom of Serbia and the Ottoman Empire, in which the Ottoman army was defeated. The end of the wars was marked by the Bucharest Agreement, by which Macedonia was divided, and Prilep was utterly destroyed and devastated, as part of Vardar Macedonia will enter the Kingdom of Serbia.

The spread of the ideas of the October Revolution in Russia led to the formation of the Socialist Workers' Party (Communists) in Belgrade in 1919, whose first local organization in Prilep was formed the same year, by supporters of socialist ideas.

In April 1941 Prilep fell under fascist occupation. On April 8 of that year, the German fascist army entered the city, and on April 26, the Bulgarian army entered. From the first days of the occupation, there was resistance, and finally on October 11, 1941, with the attack on the Bulgarian police station by the Prilep partisan detachment "Goce Delchev", the anti-fascist popular uprising against the occupying government began. During the war, the population of the town and the surrounding villages became actively involved in the fighting. The Union of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ) and the Women's Anti-Fascist Front (AFZH) also took part in the fighting. The city was liberated on September 9, 1944, and the final liberation is on November 3 of that year. The last battles for the liberation of the city were fought at the place Pesjo Brtce. During the National Liberation War from Prilep and Prilep region of 8000 participants, active fighters with weapons in hand were 2700. Of them 650 were killed, 15 were declared national heroes (10 killed in the National Liberation War) and 154 bearers of the "Partisan Memorial 1941". Due to the large number of fighters and victims that Prilep gave in the Second World War, the city was given the epithet "hero city" after the war. After the war, the city began to develop and prosper in all spheres.