Last modified: 2019-09-08 by ivan sache
Keywords: veles |
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Flag of Veles - Image by Mello Luchtenberg & António Martins, 12 April 2007
The municipality of Veles (55,108 inhabitants; 128.92 sq. km; municipal website), located in central North Macedonia, is made of the town of Veles and the 28 villages of Bašilo Selo, Beleštevica, Buzalkovo, Vetersko, Gorno Kalaslari, Gorno Orizari, Dolno Kalasvari, Dolno Orizari, Ivankovci, Karabunjište, Krušje, Kumarino, Luginci, Mamutčevo, Novačani, Novo Selo, Oraovec, Otovica, Raštani, Rlevci, Rudnik, S'lp, Slivnik, Sojaklari, Sopot, Srkvino, Čaloševo and Džidimirci.
The Slavic names of Veles ("into the woods") appeared in the 7th
century when Slavic tribes settled in the area, but the settlement is
much more ancient. The town of Stobi is dated 168 BC, and was
successively renamed Vila Zora and Kjupurli. In the Middle Ages,
Veles was one of the main cultural centers in the Balkans and was
well-known for the Sveti Dimitrija monastery (14th century). Veles
was later the center of the Macedonian culture. The first
Macedonian-speaking school, gymnasium, theater, library, museum and
music school were located in Veles. Teacher Jordan Hadzi
Konstantinov Dzinot from Veles wrote the first drama in Macedonian.
In 1840, the Ottoman Empire, then ruling Macedonia, set up a religious reform and allowed the building of the Sveti Pantelejmon church in Veles. The church was designed by architect Andreja Damjanov (1813-1878), who worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, and probably in Greece, Albania and Bulgaria, too. The church is a complex basilica surrounded by porches and peristyles. With an area of 810 sq. m and a large volume, it is considered as one of the largest churches from the 19th century in Macedonia. Christians were granted religious freedom, which allowed the building of a Christian aristocracy and the awakeness of national conscience.
The poet and philosoph Kočo Racin (Kočo Solev, 1908-1943) was born in Veles. He published in 1939 a book of poems entitled Beli mugri (White dawns), of social inspiration. Racin set up the rules of the modern Macedonian poetry, based on the rythms and melodies of folk songs. Racin was a Communist partizan and died in Lopušnik when fighting the German invaders.
Ivan Sache, 28 January 2004
Until recently, the name of the city was Titov Veles. I think the name was introduced in the 1950s and was official until the early 1990s.
Željko Heimer, 29 January 2004
The flag of Veles, as shown on the municipal website, is horizontally divided red-blue with the municipal coat of arms in the centre, featuring the town and river Vardar, surmounted by the name of the town in Cyrillic letters. The shield seems to be black and white but has some metallic tincture on the flag.
Ivan Sache, 28 January 2004