Prilep - city of the most famous tobacco
Municipality of Prilep is located in the central part of the southern region of Macedonia. It covers the Prilep field which constitutes the northern part of the largest valley in Macedonia, Pelagonia. Prilep is located at an altitude of 620-650 meters, and on the hilly slopes up to 680 meters. In Municipality of Prilep, live 76,768 residents of which 73,351 in the city. Most of the residents of the Municipality of Prilep or 70,878 are Macedonians, but also there are 4,433 Roma people, 172 Serbs, 917 Turks, 22 Albanians, 17 Vlachs, 86 Bosniacs as well as 243 inhabitants belonging to other nationalities.
In historical sources Prilep was first mentioned in year 1014. The territory of the city and its surroundings constituted one of the most important strategic, political and military areas of this part of the Balkan. In the Pelagonian part were situated very important crossroads in the direction of the Aegean and the Adriatic Sea. The important ancient roads Via Egnatia and the Via Militaris had its most natural connection through Prilep. Through Prilep had also passed the shortest caravan-trade route, along which from the direction of the Adriatic Sea merchants and couriers from Venice and Dubrovnik seth forth to Thessaloniki. Throughout the centuries, on this area Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine and Slavic culture met and collided.
The most representative monumental complexes from the ancient period are found on the sites "Bedem" in the village Cepigovo, "Bezisten" between villages Prilepec and Volkovo and in the city itself. At several sites were identified remains of the ancient cities Stibera, Alkomena, Keramija and Kolobansa.
Based upon the cultural and historical monuments, no less important is the period of the Middle Age. This includes St. Nikola Church, which dates from the 13th century, St. Uspenie na Bogorodica in the Monastery of Treskavec with representative paintings from 15, 16 and 19th century, as well as the Monastery with the St. Preobrazenie Church located above the village Zrze. The most important complex of cultural and historical monuments is located in the city itself, which was the center of wider political-territorial organization and significant political and military residence of the Macedonian king Samuil. The complex of monuments of medieval Prilep covers the area of the rocky hill Markovi Kuli and surrounding areas with the sites Potkuli, Varos and Zagrad. On the hill Markovi Kuli is located one of the five biggest Balkan forts, and it consists of three defensive zones and many towers and gates.
Prilep experienced its most important progress and growth during the post-war free development when it has grown into a significant political and administrative, cultural, educational, scientific and commercial centre in the Republic of Macedonia. Prilep gave the Macedonian literature more than 25 writers, the fine art twenty painters and sculptors and the Macedonian scientific idea more acknowledged scientists.
Prilep is a famous world centre for production of quality tobacco, of the type "Prilep", which is especially demanded on the World Market. Prilep is a city where there are mines located of one of the finest marble in the world.