Valandovo (Валандово)

 

Valandovo - a town in the southeastern part of the Republic of Macedonia on the road to Dojran, and the administrative center of the Municipality of Valandovo. From Valandovo there is a road to Strumica.

 

Geography

Today's Valandovo administrative-territorial (municipal) area is located in the southern part of Macedonia, in the area of ​​Bojmija, spread south of the Demir Kapija Gorge, east of the river Vardar and west and north of the mountain branches of Plavush and Belasica. To the north of the Valandovo area extends the Tikvesh area, ie the Negotino municipal territorial area. They are separated by the mountain strait of the river Vardar formed by the ends of Kozuf mountain. Valandovo is located at 170 meters above sea level and is one of the lowest valleys in Macedonia. The city is 23 km southwest of Strumica, 25.5 km northeast of Gevgelija and 18 km north of Nov Dojran.

 

History

Ancient history
In the area of ​​today's Valandovo in ancient times there was a Roman settlement, as evidenced by the discovered Roman mosaics and other archaeological materials in various parts of the city. Forty archeological sites were discovered on the territory of the Municipality of Valandovo, among which the ancient town of Isarot is more important, near the village Marvinci, which is identified with the ancient town of Idomena whose origin was from the end of the 5th century BC. and was located on the road Thessaloniki - Belgrade. The city flourished in Roman times, but in the early 6th century it was destroyed by a strong earthquake.

After the disappearance of the ancient city of Isarot, Valandovo grew into a significant strategic settlement in the Valandovo valley. Some source materials and legends say that the ancient city on the foundations of which today lies Valandovo, in the early Byzantine period was mentioned as Micro Constantinople (Little Constantinople).

Medieval history
The Slavs settled in Valandovo and its surroundings at the end of the 6th century or at the beginning of the 7th century. At that time, great changes were noticed, both in terms of the structure of the population, and in the change of the toponyms of the settlements. In written sources the city is first mentioned in the 10th century as Wallander. But that does not mean that Valandovo as a settlement did not exist before. Confirmation are the archeological findings in the city. The name "Wallander" was derived from "the beautiful location of the city in the valley." Beautiful valley or good valley, in Old Slavic language meant "valjan dol" ("valandol" or Valandovo). Otherwise, the beautiful Valandovo valley had the epithets: "golden valley", "green valley" and the like.

In medieval Valandovo was also mentioned with the name Alavandovo, meaning "flower city" ("city of flowers"). The city was mentioned under this name in a church charter of the Serbian Tsar Dusan from 1349. From the word "Alavandovo", by dropping the first letter "a" and through metathesis of the first syllables, the name Valandovo was obtained.

Ottoman period
In the second half of the 17th century, the famous Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi also visited the city. In his notes on Valandovo, he wrote, among other things: "V'landova is a small town, inhabited mostly by Christians and only a small number of Muslims. The settlement is named after its founder Valandova, who built the monastery "St. George." The town has 150 houses, with 900 inhabitants, and the bazaar consists of 50 shops. There is also a mosque (a small mosque without a minaret), a hammam, two annas, and I do not remember if there were schools, madrassas and tekkes ... It is surrounded by vineyards and gardens ... There is also a beautiful monastery with monks. "I have never seen a more orderly monastery than this."

Contemporary history
Valandovo in its centuries-old history has had many ups and downs. The city has repeatedly suffered from natural cataclysms (earthquakes, fires, floods, epidemics, etc.) as well as military actions of foreign invaders in this area. The 19th century is very important in the history of the city of Valandovo, when thanks to its convenient location it reached great development. According to legend, trade was developed in the city at that time. The following were exported: cattle, hides, trout, oil, wool, silk, pomegranates, grapes and other agricultural products, mainly in Thessaloniki.

In the 19th century Valandovo was a very important transit-traffic place. Traders and tenants traveled daily on the north-south roads, in caravans and carts loaded with merchandise. This greatly contributed to the revival of economic activity in Valandovo, to the development of trade and handicrafts.