About Skopje

Skopje

Skopje, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia, with about a third of the Macedonian total population. It is the country’s political, cultural, economic, and academic center. It was known in the Roman period under the name Scupi. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was seized by the Romans and became a military camp.[2][3] When the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395 AD, Scupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople. During much of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire, whose capital it was between 972 and 992. From 1282, the town was part of the Serbian Empire and acted as its capital city from 1346. In 1392, the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks who renamed the town Üsküp. The town stayed under Ottoman control over 500 years, serving as the capital of pashasanjak of Üsküb and later the Vilayet of Kosovo. At that time the city was famous for its oriental architecture. In 1912, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia during the Balkan Wars and after the First World War the city became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia). In the Second World War the city was conquered by the Bulgarian Army, which was part of Axis powers. In 1944, it became the capital city of Democratic Macedonia (later Socialist Republic of Macedonia), which was a federal state, part of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (later Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). The city developed rapidly after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. In 1991, it became the capital city of an independent Macedonia.
Skopje is located on the upper course of the Vardar River, and is located on a major north-south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens. It is a center for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather, and printing industries. Industrial development of the city has been accompanied by development of the trade, logistics, and banking sectors, as well as an emphasis on the fields of culture and sport. According to the last official count from 2002, Skopje has a population of 506,926 inhabitants; according to two unofficial estimates for more recent period, the city has a population of 668,518 or 491,000 inhabitants.
Geography
Skopje is located in the Skopje statistical region of northern Macedonia, in the centre of the Balkans, approximately halfway between Belgrade and Athens. The Vardar River, which originates near Gostivar, flows through the city then flows south passing the border into Greece and eventually flowing into the Aegean Sea. The Vardar valley consists primarily of hills and mountains. The city covers an average length of 23 km from east to west and 9 km from north to south. Skopje is located at an elevation of 225 m above sea level. The city’s land area is 1,854 km2
Climate
The city experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) with an annual average temperature of 13.5 °C (56 °F). Precipitation is relatively low due to the pronounced rain shadow of the mountains to the northwest, being only a quarter of what is received on the Adriatic Sea coast at the same latitude. The summers are long, hot and humid, while the winters are short, relatively cold, and wet. Snowfalls are common in the winter period, but heavy snow accumulation is rare and the snow cover lasts only for few days. In summer, temperatures are usually above 31 °C (88 °F) and sometimes above 40 °C (104 °F). In spring and autumn, the temperatures range from 15 to 24 °C (59 to 75 °F). In winter, the day temperatures are roughly 6 °C (43 °F), but at nights they often fall below 0 °C (32 °F) and sometimes below −10 °C (14 °F). Occurrences of precipitation are evenly distributed throughout the year, being heaviest from October to December and from April to June.