Tetovo: Wikis


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Tetovo is located in Republic of Macedonia
Location within Republic of Macedonia
Coordinates: 42°00′N 20°58′E / 42°N 20.967°E / 42; 20.967
Country  Macedonia
Municipality Tetovo municipality
 - Total 1,068 km2 (412.4 sq mi)
Elevation 468 m (1,535 ft)
Population (2002)[1]
 - Total 86,580
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 1200
Area code(s) +389 044
Car plates TE
Website tetovo.gov.mk
[1] .

Tetovo (Macedonian: Тетово, Mk-Tetovo.ogg [ˈtetovɔ] ; Albanian: Tetova, Tetovë; Turkish: Kalkandelen) is a city in the northwestern part of Macedonia, built on the foothills of Šar Mountain and divided by the Pena River.

The city covers an area of 1,080 km2 (417 sq mi) at 468 metres (1,535 ft) above sea level, with a population of 86,580 citizens in the municipality.[2]. It is home to the State University of Tetovo and South East European University. The city of Tetovo is the seat of Tetovo Municipality.



According to a legend Tetovo means "Tetoo's place" and, according to myth, the town was named after the legendary hero Tetoo, who supposedly cleared the town of snakes.

Another etymology of the name Tetovo is that it comes from the Slavic word "hteti" meaning: wanting, wanted. Hence, the name Tetovo comes from its original roots Htetovo or a "place where we want to live". The initial /h/ sound was regularly lost in Macedonian. The Albanian variant is a direct adaptation of the original Slavic name (see -ovo/-evo).

The name of the city in Turkish is Kalkandelen. Kalkan is a kind of wooden rooftop, as this was the way all the houses were built centuries ago.



Stone Age

According to the latest data gathered through archeological excavations of Neolithic sites Tumba near v. Dolno Palčište (1987/88.) and Pod selo tumba near v. Stenče (2000.), the far oldest tracks of live in the Polog valley (Tetovo and Gostivar region) are dating 8000 years back, or more specific since the year 6100 BC. From those sites came down large number of excavated fragments, several fully preserved items of pottery, and also sacrificial cult plastic and statuettes dedicated to the female cult. In Tetovo area many significant illustrations have been found of Rock Art as artistic composition related with cult rituals.

This region throughout whole Neolith has been inhabited with the carriers of Anzabegovo-Vršnik cultural group, which also existed in the Skopje region and Eastern Macedonia. In the Early Neolith, however, this region was also under strong influence of the Neolithic culture of Velušina-Porodin in the Pelagonia region south from here, seen by the form of the oldest intact sacrificial cult plastic of the Magna Mater type, reviled on these areas, and excavated near v. Stenče. The Late Neolith is characterized with an influence by the Vinča culture from the north.[3].

Iron Age

Toward the end of the 4th Century BC, the first breaches began of the new settlers, steppe peoples from the central Asia- the Indo-Europeans, who by destruction and assimilation of the old Neolithic culture created new Eneolithic cultural complex on the Balkans, named Salkutsa-Bubanj-Krivodol. Trails of this new population has been found in Polog also (in v. Palčište, Želino etc.). This situation was stabilized in the Middle Bronze Age when first embryos appear of the Balkan proto-ethnic, and latter pre-ethnic communities. In this period also began strong incursion of material signs from south by the flourishing Mycenae culture, which is visible on one parade luxuries bronze sward found in Tetovo, and imported exactly from those Mycenae centers.

Although the following ages had been a symbol of mass migrations, however, the Iron Age is characterized with stabilization, which brought to flourished trade. Also, large ceramic pottery (pytos) for storing cereals, reviled near the v. Larce dates from this period.[3].

Archive building in Tetovo

In this period, according Strabo inscriptions related to Damastion coins mint, and particularly based on preserved Onomastical trails from latter, it is visible that Polog valley was inhabited by Bryges (lat. Brigoi). The Bryges were composed part of the latter ethnic community of the Paionians (lat. Paiones), the Ancient-Macedonians, Dasaretians (lat. Dassaretes), Edonians (lat. Edones) and Mygdonians (lat. Mygdones). Even the Paionians, although had been an old bronze-aged population on this part of the Balkans, had undisputable connections with the Bryges. The Paionian and Ancient-Macedonian linguistics and onomastics, show large number words and names with Bryges routs, that points to the fact that the Bryges were substratum or base of the Paionian and Ancient-Macedonian ethnical formation.[3].

Early Antiquity

Statue of women fighter in the National Liberation War

The influence of the Greek handcraft centers exerted this part of the Balkans, in fact lead to additional change of the culture and the way of living of the local population. Exactly those changes introduced the new, Archaic period and the transition from the age of Prehistory to the age of the History and Antiquity. On archaeological plan these transformations are visible through the new materials (new types of pottery, jewelry and other handcraft products), spiritual (new way of burial: cremation instead of inhumation, accepting the cults of the Greek gods) and other characteristics, which at the beginning were accepted as prestige by the most elite social circles, and afterwards by the rest of the people, that best can be seen from so called ‘Princely Crypts’ of which most famous is the one from Tetovo where the well known statuette of the Maenad was found. The statuette is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 5000 denars banknote, issued in 1996,[4] and on Tetovo's coat of arms.

In the past there were different theories about the issue- which of the ancient tribes had inhabited this area. However, thanks to the last data, the entire area of Southern Serbia, Eastern Kosovo and Northern Macedonia including Polog valley, in that period until 3rd century BC, had been inhabited by the far-northern Ancient-Macedonian (Paionian) tribe- the Agrianians (lat. Agrianes). This can by seen by the continuity in the archeological horizons, the developed pottery import from the Greek south, reach ‘Princely Crypts’ etc. This tribe had its own kings of which the most famous was Langarus who helped the Macedonian king Alexander III in 335. BC, with his campaign against the Tribales (lat. Tribaloi) to the North. Agrianians followed him also due his campaign through Asia when they presented themselves as one of the most notorious fighters in many key battles, becoming famous particularly in the antique world.[3].

Because of the economic and trade growth, also certain cities minted their own autonomous coins. That was the case with the city of Pelagia which throughout entire 4th century BC minted their own silver coins in the mint of Damastion. The city of Pelagia most probably had been situated near present Tetovo, аnd in fact, in urban sense it is its ancient ancestor, by which name derivates the present Slavic name of the valley- Polog (Pelagia-Polog, as in the cases of Scupi-Skopje, Astibo-Štip, Thesalonika-Solun etc.)

Toward the end of 4th century BC, the weakened Agrianian state fell into authority of the king Audoleon of Paionia, and from mid 3rd century BC all their territories were occupied by Dardanians from the north (tо south including Northern Macedonia and Polog), which is also noticeable through discontinuity in the archeological horizons of this period. These near-border areas throughout entire next period had been used as logistical background, and from there the Dardania organized vast plunder incursions to south on the reach Macedonian kingdom, even long after those territories had fallen into the Roman Empire in 168. BC.[3].

Roman Period

At last in 29. BC even Polog, along with other parts of Dardania, and on the north to the Danube River, had fallen into Roman authority, after which the era of stabilization, calm live, trade and progress began. There are few grave stone monuments (stela), dated 2nd-3rd century BC, on which, the epitaph is written in Greek script showing that the region had been a part of the Greek language sphere, and Kosovo and Skopje region which were part of the Latin language sphere. This means that in the Early-Empery Roman period (1st-3rd century AD) Polog had been a part of the Roman province Macedonia and in the Late Antiquity (3rd-4th century AD), after the king Diocletian reforms, part of Macedonia Secunda province. The revealed grave monuments consist also a reach onomastical material and personal names, definitely autochthonic and showing that the Romanization in these peripheral areas, outside of the reach main roads, did not take great rise.

Taught by the large barbaric incursions (Celts, Ostrogoths, Huns) which had happened more frequently from the 3rd century AD and continued in the following centuries, in the late 4th century AD, the Roman emperors started to build strong in-wall cities and fortresses on dominant hills. From this period are dating the numerous castrums, castles and refugee settlements for the population of Tetovo area of which most significant were those near present villages of Rogle, Orašje, Lešok, Stenče, Jegunovce, Gradec and the Isar-Banjiče site near Tetovo.[3].

St. Cyril and Methodius church, the oldest in Tetovo

Although the Christianization in Macedonia came along with the St. Apostle Paul in the 50’s of the 1st century AD, even after the king Constantine declared this religion legal in 313, got through the common people more massively, and also the building of Early Christian churches- basilicas started. Until today in Polog trails of 16 such Early Christian basilicas have been revealed, of which 12 in Tetovo area and 4 in Gostivar area, and best has been investigated the one in Stenče dating from the 5th century AD, which is unique in Macedonia with 3 baptisteries, and the one in Tudence dating from the second half of 6th century AD, and being the only one the oldest three-conhal church in R. Macedonia and is rare even in whole southern Europe.

Yet after the strong Avaric-Slavic incursions in the late 6th century AD, all the fortresses were abandoned but not entirely demolished. Large part of them, two-three centuries afterwards, when again stabile state organization was introduced, had been restored for the same purpose, but this time they had been inhabited by the dominant Slavic population laid foundations of the new medieval towns.[3].

Ottoman Period

At the end of the 14th century, Tetovo, with the rest of Macedonia, fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. According to the official Ottoman statistics of Nahiya Tetovo, in 1452 there were 146 Christian households and 60 Muslim, 1453 the population consists of 153 Christian and 56 Muslim families[5], and in 1468 - 180 Christian and 41 Muslim families[6], in 1545 there were 99 Christian and 101 Muslim families (38 were islamicised), in 1568 there were 108 Christian and 329 Muslim (184 islamicised)[5].

During Ottoman Turkish rule, Tetovo was also referred to as the “episcopal religious place Tetovo”, an Orthodox religious center; the seat of the Orthodox Church and domicile of the Orthodox religious leader. As the Muslim population in Macedonia began to expand in the early Ottoman period mosques, baths, and markets began to appear as early as the 15th century. The Colored or Painted Mosque (Aladzha or Sharena Dzamija), also known as the Pasha Mosque, was built in 1459 by the Ottoman Turks. Tetovo under Ottoman tutelage became an important trade center for the local farmers and craftsmen, as well as an important military fortification. Turkish influence deeply impacted Tetovo and it was renamed Kalkandelen to reinforce the new Islamic presence. Haci Halife in the 17th century noted in his writings that Kalkandel was expanding at an amazing rate in its lowland areas. By the 19th century, when the population of Kalkandel began to increase with settlement from the surrounding villages, the French traveler Ami Boue noted that the population had reached about 4,500 people, which are Bulgarians, Albanians and Serbs.[7][2][3] The total population of the Pashalik of Kalkandel (Tetovo) is 30,000-40,000 and is consisted of Bulgarians and Serbs who are Orthodox and of Albanian Muslims.[8][4]

Today's Tetovo

According the statistics of the Bulgarian ethnographer Vasil Kanchov in 1900 the population of Tetovo consists of 8,500 Bulgarians, 9,000 Turks, 500 Arnauts and 1,200 Roma.[9] According to the statistics of the secretary of the Bulgarian Exarchate Dimitar Mishev in 1905 the population of the town consists of 7,408 Bulgarians and 30 Roma.[10]


During the 2001 conflict, Tetovo became the center for the most major battle between government forces and the NLA insurgency (see Battle of Tetovo).

Tetovo has one of the highest crime rates in the Republic of Macedonia, second only to the much larger capital Skopje. The city was home to 1,229 criminal acts in the first half of 2009.[11]


Šarena Džamija mosque

The Šarena Džamija mosque is located near the Pena river in the old part of town. The mosque was built in 1495 and rebuilt 1833 by Abdurrahman Pasha, the son of Rexhep Pasha. The Monastery of Lešok with the churches of St. Athanasius and of the Church of the Holy Virgin are only 8 kilometres (5 mi) away from Tetovo, by the road leading to the village of Brezno. The Church of the Holy Virgin, built in 1326, is an excellent example of Byzantine style and architectural tradition. The church has three layers of frescoes. The 1st and bottom layer is from the first time of construction, the second and middle one was added sometime in the 17th century, and the third and top layer was added in 1879. Several marble columns from the original church can still be seen in the Tetovo museum. The church of St. Athanasius was built in 1924 next to the church of the Holy Mother of God. In the yard of the Monastery of Lešok is the tomb of the cleric, writer and enlightener Kiril Peichinovich, who was born in 1770. In his honor, this monastery hosts an International Meeting of Literary Translators. Tetovo is also a host to the Festival of the Macedonian Choirs.


As of 2002, the municipality has 86,580 inhabitants and the ethnic composition was the following:[12]

Famous people from Tetovo

Modern buildings in Tetovo


Tetovo is represented in the Macedonian Football by the football clubs: the oldest club FK Ljuboten , FK Teteks and the Albanians ethnic club FK Shkendija 79 .

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Tetovo is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ 2002 Census results
  2. ^ 2002 Census results
  3. ^ a b c d e f g From the newest book on Tetovo history: Darko Gavrovski “ТЕТОVO ANTIQUITIES - Polog valley from Prehistory to 7th century AD, with special emphasis on the Tetovo region”, Tetovo, 2009 (Дарко Гавровски, "Тетовски древности. Полог од Праисторијата до 7.век н.е., со посебен осврт на тетовскиот крај", Тетово, 2009). More details on: www.gavro.com.mk . The data here are edited by the author Darko Gavrovski.
  4. ^ National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonian currency. Banknotes in circulation: 5000 Denars. – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.
  5. ^ a b http://wallaby.vu.edu.au/adt-VVUT/uploads/approved/adt-VVUT20060426.160820/public/02ch1.pdf
  6. ^ Составот на населението во Тетовската нахија во XV век
  7. ^ La Turquie d'Europe; observations sur la geographie, la géologie, l'histoire naturelle, etc. (Paris, 1840), p. 306-307.
  8. ^ Ami Boue
  9. ^ Vasil Kanchov. „Macedonia — ethnography and statistics“, Sofia, 1900
  10. ^ D.M.Brancoff. "La Macédoine et sa Population Chrétienne". Paris, 1905, pages 122-123
  11. ^ Macedonian International News Agency
  12. ^ 2002 census results in English and Macedonian (PDF)
  13. ^ Тетово се збратимува со турскиот град Коња -Утрински весник

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Tetovo is a town tucked into the northwestern corner of Western Macedonia, in the shadow of Sar Mountain. The town has about 60,000 people.


There is still ethnic tension between Albanians and Macedonians, so maybe this is a subject best avoided. The population of Tetovo is about 65% ethnic Albanian. Many Macedonians advise travelers to avoid Tetovo, but the brave traveler will be rewarded with local hospitality and beautiful scenery.


Although there may have been inhabitants in Tetovo's area as early as the Bronze Age, Tetovo was officially founded in the 14th century as a small medieval Orthodox settlement around the Sveta Bogorodica church. Tetovo grew with the building and construction of houses around the Orthodox Church. At the end of the 14th century, Tetovo, along with all of Macedonia, fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. As the Muslim population in Macedonia began to expand in the early Ottoman period mosques, baths, and markets began to appear as early as the 15th century. Tetovo under Ottoman tutelage became an important trade center for the local farmers and craftsmen, as well as an important military fortification. Turkish influence deeply impacted Tetovo and it was renamed Kalkandelen to reinforce the new Islamic presence. Haci Halife in the 17th century noted in his writings that Kalkandelen was expanding at an amazing rate in its lowland areas. By the 19th century, when the population of Tetovo began to increase with settlement from the surrounding villages, the French traveler Ami Bue noted that the population had reached about 4,500 people. In 1912, due to the Balkan wars, Tetovo became a Serbian city. In World War II Tetovo was jointly ruled by Italy and its regime in Albania. The Communist Party of Macedonia, was formed on March 19th 1943 in Tetovo.

Get In

By Car

The highway Skopje-Gostivar goes through Tetovo. It is very nice and smooth road, but you have to pay a toll to drive on it.

the Arabati Baba Teke
the Arabati Baba Teke
  • Arabati Baba Teke - it was made in the last decades of the 18th century by Redzep Pasha. It is comprised of several buildings used for religious ceremonies. It was abandoned in 1945 and is now used as a museum.
  • Bal Tepe Fortress - a testament to the Ottoman past offering panoramic views of Tetovo and its environs.
  • The Decorated Mosque - this mosque was made in 1459 on the foundation of an older edifice. An example of early Constantinople style, this mosque is adorned with anelaborate painted fasade and interior, making it unique in Macedonia. It is located on the Pena River. In the turbe next to the mosque is the body of the two women who provided money for the mosque to be built in 1459.
  • Cyril and Methodius Church - this church, made in 1903, is one of the biggest and most beautiful churches in the Polog Plain. It was built in the Two Elm Trees district, which is in the old part of the town. This is a three-nave basilica with a single dome and a cruciform basis. The fresco painting on the walls was done by painter Danilo Nestorovski in 1924.
  • Turkish Amam - was built in the 15th century. It covers a surface of 335 m2. In 1962 it was transformed into an art gallery and in 1984 it was declared cultural heritage.
  • State University of Tetovo - is one of the three Macedonian state universities. The university was established in 17 December 1994, however, it was not officially recognized as a state university by the Macedonian government until January 2004. Classes are held in Macedonian, English, and some in Albanian.
  • South East European University - It was founded in October 2001 and is a member of the European University Association. It is a recognised and accredited autonomous higher education institution which was established in 2001 by an agreement between international donors, the government of the Republic of Macedonia and the local academic community.
  • carpe diem, 044/350069. 24/7.  edit
  • Sar Mountain - the third largest mountain in Macedonia
  • St. Atanasie - was bombed by Albanian rebels in the 2001 Macedonia conflict, but has since been rebuilt. It is located just outside Tetovo.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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  1. A city in the northwest of the Republic of Macedonia.



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