Kratovo is a small town in North Macedonia. It is the seat of Kratovo Municipality. It lies on the western slopes of Mount Osogovo at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. Having a mild and pleasant climate, it is located in the crater of an extinct volcano. It is known for its bridges and towers. The stone town is an area consisting of over 120 naturally formed stone pillars, located in the village of Kuklica, near Kratovo in North Macedonia.
Kratovo is situated on the western side of the Osogovo Mountains, in the crater of a dead volcano. The town is about 600 meters (about 1800 ft.) above the sea level, which accounts for its mild climate.
Kratovo was known even in the Roman period as an important mining center under the name of Cratiscara, primarily due to the rich mining sites in the area. During the Byzantine period, Kratovo is mentioned as Koritos or Koriton. At that time, Kratovo was a significant trade center for gold, silver, and copper. The importance of this small town was also acknowledged by the Turkish Sultan Murat, who while passing with his army through Macedonia, stopped in Kratovo to see the city of gold and silver. However, in 1689 the city was heavily abandoned by its inhabitants due to the heavy pressure mounted by the Ottomans, with the last mining fields closing by 1805. According to the traveler Ami Bue, Kratovo had 56,000 inhabitants in 1836, but by the end of the 19th century its population growth leveled off.
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Tour start with the Valley of Stone Dolls. Welcome to the Macedonian Cappadocia. According to local lore, a man was struggling to choose between two women. Not able to make up his mind, he figured he would marry both on the same day and not tell the other. Unluckily for him, during his morning wedding the second wife came to check out the scene and was horrified watching her husband’s double-crossing nuptials. In a rage, she cursed the whole wedding party and they turned to stone where they stood and created Kuklica.
We continue to drive to Kratovo, that we will have a city sightseeing and visit the following historical sites: the church St. Jovan Pretecha (18th century), the church St. Nikola Chudotvorec (16-18 th century) reviewing the old city architecture, the Clock Tower (14th century), Simkjeva Tower (14th century), the Bazaar Bridge, Argulichki Bridge…
Tour continuing to Lesnovo village is located in the vicinity of Probistip, 900-1000 meters above sea level. The village monastery St. Gavril Lesnovski was constructed in 1347 by the ruler Oliver 1st. The monastery is known for its manuscript-writing school and the wood-carved iconostasis from 1811, a work of art performed by the Mijak craftsman.The monastery St. Gavril Lesnovski is one of the most significant and most beautiful medieval and sacral monuments of culture, not only in the Republic of Macedonia, but also worldwide.
By end of the tour – lunch in ethno restaurant.
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