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Skoplje(skôp`əlyə), city (1994 pop. 444,760), capital of North Macedonia, on the Vardar River. It is an important transportation and trade center as well as an industrial hub where chemicals, cement, machinery, and diverse light manufactures are produced. The city is also the see of an Orthodox Eastern archbishop and the seat of a Macedonian university (founded 1949).
There is evidence of inhabitation at Skopje 5,000–6,000 years ago. Known as Scupi under Roman rule, the city was later contested by the Byzantines and Bulgarians before it was captured by the Serbs in 1282. In 1346 it was the scene of Stephen DušanStephen Dušan or Dushan
, c.1308–1355, king (1331–46) and czar (1346–55) of Serbia, son of Stephen Uros III. He is also known as Stephen Uros IV.
..... Click the link for more information. 's coronation as czar of Serbia. It fell to the Turks in 1392 and until the fall of Constantinople (1453) was considered the second city of Turkey. Skopje was taken by the Serbs in the Balkan Wars of 1912–13 and was included in Yugoslavia in 1918. It was occupied by the Germans during World War II. After liberation, it became the capital of the Yugoslavian constituent republic of Macedonia from 1945 until 1991, when Macedonia (North Macedonia from 2019) declared its independence.
Among the many ancient landmarks of the city are the Stone Bridge across the Vardar (said to date from Roman times and rebuilt in the 15th cent.), the Kale, or Skopje Fortress (10th–11th cent., on the site of an earlier fortress), the fine Mosques of Mustafa Pasha and of Sultan Murad (both 15th cent.), and the bazaar. Much of the city had to be rebuilt after a disastrous earthquake in 1963, and a controversial rebuilding project has transformed the city center since 2010.
(also Skoplje), a city in southern Yugoslavia; capital of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. Population, 350,000 (1973). Situated on the Vardar River, Skopje is a transportation junction on the Belgrade-Thessaloniki railroad line. It accounts for one-half of Macedonia’s industrial production. Most of the industry is involved in processing the varied agricultural products of the Vardar River valley. The city is Yugoslavia’s major producer of tobacco goods. Other activities include beer brewing, fruit and vegetable canning, flour milling, meat-packing, and soapmaking. Factories produce leather, shoes, and textiles. Alkaloids are processed from the opium poppy. There is also cottage industry, especially rug weaving. Since the establishment of the people’s power, metallurgy has been developed in Skopje. Aluminum products and agricultural machines are manufactured, as well as chemicals, glass, cement, and furniture.
The Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the University of Skopje are located in the city.
Skopje arose in the sixth century near the classical city of Scupi, which had been destroyed by an earthquake. In the ninth and tenth centuries it was part of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. In the late 13th century it became part of the Serbian State. During the rule of Stefan Dušan (1331-55) it was the capital of the Empire of the Serbs and Greeks. From 1392 to 1912, Skopje was under the power of the Turks. In 1913 it became part of the Kingdom of Serbia, and in 1918 part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia since 1929). In April 1941, Skopje was occupied by fascist troops, and from 1941 to 1944 it was the center of the antifascist struggle in the Vardar region of Macedonia. It was liberated from the fascists in November 1944. Skopje became the capital of the People’s Republic of Macedonia (since 1963, the Socialist Repulbic of Macedonia), part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
In 1963 an earthquake destroyed approximately 80 percent of the buildings in Skopje. The city has been rebuilt with aid from many countries, particulary socialist countries. Before the earthquake, Skopje had an early Byzantine fortress and an aqueduct dating from the sixth century, as well as Turkish mosques, inns, and other buildings dating from the 15 th to the 19th century. Restoration and reconstuction work was begun in 1963. The center of the city is being built according to plans by the Japanese architect Tange Kenzo. New structures include the Archives of Skopje, the Skopje Pedagogical Academy, and the Macedonian People’s Theater. Housing is also being constructed; the city has a housing-construction combine built with the help of the USSR.
Near Skopje are the ruins of the city of Scupi, featuring remains of a theater, thermae, a basilica, and a necropolis. There are several churches with frescoes near Skopje; they include the Church of St. Panteleimon in Nerezi (1164), the church of the Monastery of St. Nikita near Čučer (1307-08), which has frescoes by the masters Mihajlo and Eutihije, and the Church of St. Nikola in Ljuboten (1337). [23–1537–]