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working title: The Skin of Prilep environment

About Prilep ...

Prilep lies on the east end of the Prilep plain, as part of Pelagonia - the largest ravine in the Republic of Macedonia. The town is located between King Marko's Castle and Zelenik on the north, Selecka Planina on the south, the terraces of the former Pelagonia Lake on the east and the Prilep plain on the west.

Its altitude is 620-650 meters, to even 680 meters for the higher parts of the town. Its geographical coordinates are 210 35' 7" longitude East and 410 21' 2" latitude North.

Rivers Dabnicka, Orevoecka and Selecka flow through the town and form the Gradska Reka, which flows in Blato, a tributary of the river Crna, which is a tributary of the Vardar.

The relief of the town consists mainly of crystalline shales and magmatic and metamorphic rocks.

The climate in Prilep is Mediterranean to continental.

The mountain area is mainly forestless, except for some parts of Mariovo and Raec. Soil along the river Crna is suitable for production of cereals, and the most suitable plant that can be raised in other parts is tobacco.

Census 2002 showed the following demographic profile of Prilep:76.768 inhabitants, of which 70.878 Macedonians, 4.433 Roma, 917 Turks, 172 Serbs, 86 Bosniaks, 22 Albanians, 17 Vlachs and 243 others. The majority of Macedonians belong to the Orthodox Christian Church.

The first mention of Prilep dates back in 1014. The town and its surroundings presented one of the most important geopolitical and military areas in this part of the Balkans. Some very significant crossroads between the Aegean and the Adriatic Sea met here. The ancient roads Via Egnazia and Via Militaris had their most natural connection with the Balkans via Prilep. Also, the shortest trade and caravan road for the merchants of Venice and Dubrovnik to transport their goods to Salonika passed through Prilep. Over the centuries, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine and Slav cultures met and confronted in this town.

The medieval history of Prilep had its peak at the end of 13th and beginning of the 14th century. There are many important monuments from that period, like the unique Slavic settlement from the 10th century, the church of St Archangel Michael with frescoes from the 11th century and the churches of St Dimitria and St Nicholas, with wall painting from the 13th century.

Prilep's trade centre, with the popular Old bazaar, dates from the 19th century. In the period of Macedonian cultural and national renaissance, Prilep was a significant headquarters of Slavic and Macedonian literacy, culture and literature. Some of the most influential Macedonian revivalists from that period, Jordan Hadzi-Konstantinov Dzinot, Dimitar Miladinov, Rajko Zinzifov and Kuzman Shapkarev, performed their Enlightenment activities in Prilep, as well as the best known Macedonian collector of folk art Marko Cepenko.

In the Ilinden period, Prilep was a headquarter of Macedonian national and liberation movement. Some of the most popular revolutionaries and fighters, like Pere Tosev, Gjorce Petrov, Petre Acev and many others, hailed from this town.

On 11th of October 1941, the attack on the Police Station in Prilep announced the armed uprising of Macedonian people against the fascist occupation, for its national liberation and independence. The Mound of Undefeated is one of the most impressive monuments in which the remains of over 650 deceased soldiers from this area are buried. It represents an important testimony for the massive and devoted participation of people from this region in the Liberation War.

The town had experienced its most successful growth and development in the period after World War II, when it became important political, administrative, cultural, educational, scientific and economic centre of the Republic of Macedonia.

Prilep gave more than 25 writers to Macedonian literature, about twenty painters and sculptors to the arts and many acknowledged research workers to the sciences.

Rubinco Belceski,

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