Vinica (Виница)


Vinica - a city in the eastern part of Macedonia, located in the southeastern part of the Kocani Valley and the center of the Municipality of Vinica.


Origin of the name

According to the latest research, the name of the city of Vinica has not yet been fully clarified. The records of the terracotta icons, in which the name Vinica was associated with the name Vinea, were misinterpreted by the public.

Radmilo Petrovi во in his paper Armonia Latina gave his interpretations with the problem of localization of the cities of Astibo, Kelendin, Armonia, Zapara and Tranupara. He pays special attention to the location of the city of Armonia, which he considers to be the city of Vinica, above which the Vinica Fortress rises as a fortification. According to him, the name of the city is of Thracian origin, which the Turks changed when they came to this area, because they did not know the true meaning of the name of the city, they associated it with the most similar Turkish word - Aramia (someone who does bad deeds). Later it was directly translated into the local language with the same meaning Vinica - Vina.

Marian Jovanov in his presentation Cultural Heritage gives an interpretation of the name of the city. According to the different interpretations of the direction of the road Stobi - Pautalia, starting from the original version of the map Tabula Putengeriana, which was corrected in 1916 and consistently replaced the locations of Astibo and Tranupara and according to the latest archaeological discoveries in Delchevo, he believes that Early Christian remains should be sought in Tranupara, and at the Vinica fortress in the ancient city of Astibo.

His explanation is argued; if we located Tranupara in Krupishte, the next 20 miles along the Tabula lead us to the location of today's Vinica. Here at the site of Kale are striking finds from a fortified settlement from early antiquity, which covers an area of ​​3.5 hectares (today already 11 hectares). The stone crushers for ore speak of mining-metallurgical activity, as a reason for the erection of an early antique settlement at this site, and the silver tetradrachms of Philip 2 indicate its dating. In the 4th century this settlement received walls built of plaster, and in the 6th century the early Middle Ages gained even more importance, growing into a cultural center as evidenced by the numerous basilicas. Following the distances of the Tabula and the archeological remains on the ground, the Astibo station should be located at this site.

According to local legend, the name originated during a period of several dry years when houses were built with wine instead of water.



The town of Vinica is located at the foot of the mountain Plachkovica, between the mountains Golak and Obozna, in the southeastern part of the Kocanska Valley, on the north bank of the river Bregalnica, at 395 meters above sea level. The city is 11.5 km southeast of the nearest town Kocani, 38 km southwest of Delchevo, 40 km northeast of Stip and 43 km northwest of Berovo. Several smaller rivers flow through the city, including the Vinicka and Gradechka rivers. The city of Vinica is famous for the historical Roman fortressVinica Fortress, which is located on the hill above the city. Famous early Christian terracotta icons have been found in it.



The area of ​​Vinica was inhabited during the Neolithic period (from the 12th to the 6th century BC), according to the found materials from the Vinica Fortress and the surrounding archeological sites. In antiquity, the area was inhabited by the Pejons. The present city originates from the Byzantine fortress, which was a center of wine production. The vineyards on the Vinica hill were abandoned after 1980 when archeological excavations became more active.

In the Ottoman tax registers of the non-Muslim population in the province of Kratovo from 1618 to 1619, it is recorded as the village of Viniche with 55 households. In the list of villages of non-Muslim households in the same vilayet from 1637, 31 households are registered in Viniche.

In the second half of the 17th century, Evliya Çelebi remarked about this small place: “Traveling for four hours through mountains and hills, I arrived in Vinica, a place known for the large market of agricultural and livestock products. The place is called Yeni-pazar (New-pazar). Due to this large and rich market of goods, which was otherwise held every week, Vinica for a long time was named exactly in the notes of Celebija.


It developed as a larger rural settlement in the XIX century when the bazaar was formed and when it became a trade and market center for the villages on the left side of Bregalnica. The rich cattle market and the holding of two fairs a year enabled the settlement to exist in addition to most of the trade and craft shops and 10 inns. As a result of the economic boom in 1858 in Vinica was built a large and beautiful church dedicated to St. Archangel Michael. In 1870, Vinica had 200 houses with about a thousand inhabitants. In the years from 1894 to 1897, Vinica, in the period of the activities of the revolutionary organization of Macedonia, served as the main point and channel of the Secret Macedonian-Odrina Revolutionary Organization (TMORO), but also as a storehouse of weapons and ammunition and archival materials. In Vinica in 1897, people who had no common ideas with the revolutionary work of the organization, entered Vinica, attacked the house of Qazim-aga. This bandit group robbed Agatha's house and killed him. Immediately after this event, the Turks broke into the Organization, while over a hundred inhabitants from Vinica and the surrounding areas were captured, tortured and sent into captivity. This event in the history of Macedonia is known as the "Vinica affair".

The population of Vinica stagnated until the end of the Second World War, and then began to increase, and the largest increase was recorded in the period after 1971 when the settlement was declared a city.