For other uses, see Prilep (disambiguation).

Panorama of Prilep from Marko's Towers


Nickname(s): "the city under Marko's Towers"

Location in the Republic of Macedonia

Coordinates: 41°20′40″N 21°33′10″E / 41.34444°N 21.55278°E / 41.34444; 21.55278Coordinates: 41°20′40″N 21°33′10″E / 41.34444°N 21.55278°E / 41.34444; 21.55278
Country  Macedonia
Municipality Prilep Municipality
  Mayor Marjan Risteski (VMRO-DPMNE)[1]
  City 1,194.44 km2 (461.18 sq mi)
Elevation +620 m (2,030 ft)
Population (2002)
  City 66,246
  Density 64.27/km2 (166.5/sq mi)
  Metro 79,834
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
Postal codes 7500
Area code(s) (+389) 048
Patron saints Saint Nicholas
Climate Cfb

Prilep (Macedonian: Прилеп [ˈpriːlɛp]) is the fourth largest city in the Republic of Macedonia.[2] It has a population of 66,246 and is known as "the city under Marko's Towers" because of its proximity to the towers of Prince Marko.


View of Prilep and the surrounding mountains

The name of the city comes from the Greek: Πρίλαπος (Prilapos),[3] and in other relevant languages is:


Prilep covers 1,675 km2 (647 sq mi) and is located in the northern Pelagonia plain, in southern Macedonia. Prilep is the seat of the Prilep municipality and access is gained via the M5/E65. It is 128 km (80 mi) (airline) from the capital Skopje, 44 km (27 mi) from Bitola, and 32 km (20 mi) from Kruševo.


Climate data for Prilep
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4
Average low °C (°F) −3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 33
Source: Weatherbase [4]


Prilep is a center for high-quality tobacco and cigarettes and the metal processing, electronics, timber, textiles, and food industries. The city also produces a large quantity of Macedonian Bianco Sivec (pure white marble).

Tobacco is one of Prilep's traditional cash crops and prospers in the Macedonian climate. Many of the world's largest cigarette makers, such as Marlboro, West and Camel use Prilep's tobacco in their cigarettes after it is processed in local factories such as Tutunski kombinat Prilep. A Tobacco Institute is established in the city in order to produce new types of tobacco and it was the first example of applying genetics to agriculture in the Balkans..


The overwhelming majority of the city population is Macedonian; the Macedonian population at the last census counted 64,527. There is also a Romani minority, counting some 4,421 inhabitants, also Serbs (315) and Turks (254).


Celebration welcoming the heads of NOV and POM, at liberation of Prilep. (3 November 1944)
Kingdom of Prilep - Realm of Prince Marko
A postcard of Prilep in 1915
Photo of a panoramic view of Prilep in 1930

Prilep was founded on the ruins of the ancient Macedonian city of Styberra (Ancient Greek: Στύβερρα), first a town in Macedonia and later incorporated into the Roman Empire. Styberra, though razed by the Goths in 268, remained partly inhabited. The town was first mentioned as Prilep in 1014, as the place where Tsar Samuil allegedly had a heart attack upon seeing thousands of his soldiers had been blinded by the Byzantines after the Battle of Kleidion. Byzantium lost it to the Second Bulgarian Empire, but later retook it. Prilep was acquired in 1334 by Serbian King Dušan and after 1365 the town belonged to King Vukašin, co-ruler of Dušan's son, Tzar Stefan Uroš V. After the death of Vukašin in 1371, Prilep was ruled by his son Marko.[5] In 1395 it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, of which it remained a part of until 1913, when it entered into the Kingdom of Serbia. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Prilep was part of the Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. It was occupied by Bulgaria between 17 November 1915 and 25 September 1918 during World War I. In 1918 Prilep became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and from 1929 to 1941 it was part of the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. On 8 April 1941, just two days after the start of the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, Prilep was occupied by the German Army, and on 26 April 1941 by the Bulgarian Army. Together with most of Vardar Macedonia, Prilep was annexed by the Kingdom of Bulgaria from 1941 to 1944. On 9 September 1944 Prilep was liberated for a short time by the Yugoslav Partisans, but the German Army soon seized control of the town again. Prilep was definitively liberated on 3 November 1944. From 1944 to 1991 the town belonged to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as part of its constituent Socialist Republic of Macedonia. Since 1991 the town has been part of the Republic of Macedonia.


The mountain over Prilep -Zlatovrv
Church of the Annunciation in Prilep


The dialect of Prilep, in the heart of the Pelagonian plain, forms the basis for the standard Macedonian language spoken today. When the Socialist Republic of Macedonia was created in Yugoslavia in 1944 and the language nationally recognised the following year, Prilep, together with Veles, was chosen as the centre for the language because of their central position on the Macedonian map.

Art and Architecture

The Clock Tower in Prilep
Prilep railway station

The main square in Prilep is called "Alexandria", in honor of Alexander the Great. The reconstruction of the square began in 2005 and it was completed in 2006. The reconstruction cost 700.000 Euros and its investor was the city of Prilep. During the reconstruction the monument of Alexander the Great was erected, among the other things.[6]

Several ancient sites grace Prilep including one at Markovi Kuli, St. Nicola’s church from the 13th century, St. Uspenie church in Bogorodica, St. Preobrazenie church and the Tomb of the Unconquered, and a memorial in honor of the victims of fascism located in Prilep's central park. A large Roman necropolis is known there and parts of numerous walls have been found; the settlement was probably the ancient Ceramiae[7] mentioned in the Peutinger Table.[8] Roman remains can also be found near the Varosh monastery, built on the steep slopes of the hill, which was later inhabited by a medieval community. A large number of early Roman funeral monuments, some with sculpted reliefs of the deceased or of the Thracian Rider and other inscribed monuments of an official nature, are in the courtyard of the church below the southern slope of Varosh. Some of the larger of those monuments were built into the walls of the church.

The most important ancient monument is the old city of Styberra situated on Bedem hill near Čepigovo, in the central region of Pelagonia. As early as the time of the Roman–Macedonian wars, this city was known as a base from which the Macedonian king Perseus of Macedon set out to conquer the Penestian cities. An important site in the area is Bela Crkva, 6 km (4 mi) west of Styberra, where the town of Alkomenai was probably located. It was a stronghold of the Macedonian kings after it was rebuilt in the early Roman period and was at the Pelagonian entrance to a pass leading to Illyria. Part of the city wall, a gate, and a few buildings of the Roman period were uncovered here in excavations. All recent finds from these sites are in the Museum of the City of Prilep.

The Treskavec monastery, built in the 12th century in the mountains about 10 km (6 mi) north of Prilep under Zlatovrv peak, at the edge of a small upland plain 1100 meters above sea level. Prilep has frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries and is probably the site of the early Roman town of Kolobaise. The name of the early town is recorded on a long inscription on stone which deals with a local cult of Ephesian Artemis.[9] The inscription was reused as a base for a cross on top of one of the church domes. Other inscriptions at Treskavec include several 1st century Roman dedications to Apollo. The old fortress was used by the Romans, and later the Byzantines. After all, even Tsar Samuil came here after the defeat at Belasica in 1014. During the Middle Ages, after 1371, Prince Marko rebuilt the citadel extensively, making it an important military stronghold.


Prilep is the home of several sports teams, the best known are:

Notable people

Statue in Prilep commemorating Alexander the Great.

Twin towns – Sister cities

Prilep is twinned with:

The city also shares a friendship charter with Australia Vincent, Western Australia, Australia.


  1. "Mayor of Prilep". Municipality of Prilep. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  3. Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond, Migrations and Invasions in Greece and Adjacent Areas, Noyes Press, 1976, p.56
  4. "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Prilep, Macedonia". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  5. John Van Antwerp Fine (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. The University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-08260-4. pp. 288, 380–2.
  6. Square "Alexandria" on
  7. Marijiana Ricl, "New Greek Inscriptions from Pelagonia and Derriopos" Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 101 (1994) 151–163
  8. Tabula Peutingeriana-Index
  9. IG X,2 2 233 Northern Greece (IG X), Macedonia, Pelagonia, Kolobaise (Treskavec)
  10. Прилеп се збратими со украински Чернигов (Macedonian)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prilep.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Prilep.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/21/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.