Ancient town "Stoby"

The old city of Stobi “…Stobis, vetus urbs…”, as the Roman historian Livy named it, at the confluence of rivers Crna and Vardar, was the largest city in the northern part of the Roman province Macedonia, later capital city of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda, an important urban, military, administrative, trade and religious center of two large empires: Roman and Early Byzantine. Located in the heart of Macedonia, on the crossroads between the Aegean World and the Central Balkan, during the whole period of its existence it was a place where cultural achievements of the ancient world gathered in a unique way.

Thetown of Stobi was built in the Hellenic period, some time before the rule of the Macedonian king Philip theFifth. It was situated 160 km from Thessalonica on the main road Via Egnatia that led from the Danube to theAegean Sea. Because of its location, Stobi was an important army, strategic, economic and cultural center atthe time. Owing to the numerous historical and literary documents and archeological findings fromthorough research done in the area, there is a complete urban picture of Ancient Stobi, its architecturalstructure and organization of life, which speaks of a highly developed urban society with a high level ofcultural development. Considering these facts and according to some additional sources, the beginnings ofStobi were much earlier, in the 7th and 6th Century BC. Some bronze objects discovered here and datingfrom ancient times include ceramic findings, which point to life in it as early as the Neolith and the IronAge.The town was rather developed in the early andmiddle Roman period, partly owes this status of a“municipium” to its mint, where coins with the sign“Municipium Stobensium” were made. The “denar” coinswere produced here, too. Numerous monuments withsigns and buildings that are unique for their beauty have also beenfound.

Among these are the great sanctuaries and, certainly, thefamous Theatre. The town wasn't any less significant later, at the timeof the establishment of the Christianity. Stobi was quite influential asthe Archbishop's Seat and later as an Archbishopric. A lot of churchesand basilicas with rich interior decoration, luxurious private palacesand other significant buildings come from this period. There was also aJewish community in Stobi in the 3rd Century. The Synagogue thatproved this was torn down at the end the 4th Century and a Christianbasilica was built on its remains. In the late 5th and early 6th Century,the town was ravaged in the great Avaro-Slavonic invasions and wasdestroyed in an earthquake in the year 518. The discovered Justin II coins from the second half of the 6thCentury and the necropolis with 23 Slavonic crests from the 9th to the 12th Century confirm that there waslife in Stobi after the earthquake. The town was renovated, but never reached its previous level of prosperity.

Today, the remains of this famous archaeological site are equally easily approachable from the E-75 corridor of the international highway, thus making it very popular tourist destination in Macedonia. The nocturnal illumination of the city walls and preserved monuments, additionally emphasize its beauty and attractiveness