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Kratovo - old architectural and urbanistic settlement



    This old town was known as a mining centre by the Romans, who used to call it Kratiskara. As a town settlement Kratovo continued to leave under the Byzantine empire when it was called Koritos or Korimade. The trade of handmade gold, silver and copper objects was particularly developed of that time. In 1282, Kratovo had become a mining centre, thanks to the experienced miners - Sasi - who came to activate the mine. The importance of that place can be judged through the visit of Sultan Murat who was moving with his army towards Kosovo, but stayed there in order to visit the already famous town of gold and silver. 
The mining exploitation continued, until the Karpos Uprising in 1689, when the town was devastated and the mine closed.

About Karpos Uprising:

The Turks, after their defeat, by the Austrian-Polish troops in Vienna in 1683, were force to retreat. This defeat resulted various risings in the southern parts of the Balkan Peninsula. While the Austrians were spreading terror in the Turkish regions in Serbia and getting more deeply in Turkey, in Macedonia by the way, there were the aggressive troops of the local movement for liberation, that was becoming an local uprising. That uprising in the history sources, is known as the Karpos uprising. The life of the miners of the Kratovo basin was unbearable. Exploitation reached a culmination point and the miners rose under the leadership of the Karpos a peasant miner and from other side and Ajdut (outlaw). The liberated and fortified Kratovo, Kriva Palanka and came far as Veles and Demir Kapija (Iron Door). This is a reason that the Turkish Sultan sent message to the Grand Vizier's of Nis, Leskovac, and Vranje to attack this "outlaw formations". He even mentioned that he  like Karpos to be punished on every possible way, who was already a leader to 15,000 uprisers. It is of great honor to mention that, the Karpos uprising was supported by the Austrian King Leopold 1st. After this event, the uprisers 3,000, tried to take over the control with Skopje and were supported by the Austrian army. Then, the Austrians appeared outside Skopje but were driven away by the Turks who, during that time were defeated on several occasions by the Austrians. The Austrian general Picolomini led his army through Kosovo (then a Turkish province) and Kachanik and penetrated as far as Skopje. The Austrians defeated the Turkish troops and with the help of the rebels entered Skopje which had already been liberated.
Picolomini arrived in Skopje on October 25th, 1689. He didn't intend to go south, but the wanted to go on to Drach through Albania. However first of all, he wished to destroy the Turkish fortification and thus to fill the Turks with terror. But unfortunately, there was an epidemy of illness, and the next day on October 26th, the general Picolomini commanded his soldiers to set fire in Skopje, and like Nero he watched the fire while listening to the music of his military band. He wrote all this to his king Leopold 1st. After the fire, the Austrian army withdrew to Kachanik Pass and Kosovo. But the general Picolomini, had been infected by the plague in Skopje, and he died in the morning of November 9th. The general forces of the uprising that were settled in the liberated towns, Kriva Palanka and Kumanovo. After the massive attacks of the Turkish-Tatar troops this cities fall gain under Turkish rule. The Turks gathered their army and the staff held a counsel at Edrine, where the question of overcoming the uprising of the Macedonian miners under the leadership of Karpos was discussed. The task was carried out by Halil Pasha, who retook all the places that have been liberated by the miners. Skopje was the last to surrender. Karpos was captured in Kumanovo and brought to Skopje where he was hung on a tree near the Stone Bridge, butchered by soldiers and thrown into the muddy waters of the Vardar river. This was the bloody and the tragic end of the Karpos uprising, at the beginning of December 1689.

After Karpos Uprising:

 In 1805 the mine was rented by Ali-Beg Majdemdzija and the work continued. According to the manuscripts of Amu Bue, that town had 1836, with 56,000 inhabitants. Until the end of the 19th century the town rapidly stagnated and the once most beautiful " Carsija " with goldsmith's and silversmith's shops decayed.
























This site has been constructed for development of alternative tourism in Kratovo

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