|Founded||1st century AD|
|Population ()|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+389 32|
Štip (Macedonian: Штип [ʃtip] ( )) is the largest urban agglomeration in the eastern part of the Republic of Macedonia, serving as the economic, industrial, entertainment and educational focal point for the surrounding municipalities. As of the 2002 census, the Štip municipality alone had a population of about 47,796. Štip is the largest textile production center in the country; Center of the fashion industry in Macedonia, as well as the location of the sole public university in Eastern Macedonia, Goce Delčev University of Štip. The city of Štip is the seat of Štip Municipality. The first known opera performance in Republic of Macedonia was staged in Štip in 1925.
Geography and climate
The city is located at the intersection of the Lakavica, Ovče Pole, and Kočani valleys. Two rivers pass through Štip, the Bregalnica which is the second largest in the Republic of Macedonia, and the Otinja which divides the city center. The hill Isar, with its early medieval fortress on top, dominates the city and provides for the common reference as "The city under the Isar'. The area surrounding the city is suffering from deforestation which is contributing to the temperature extremes, summers being hot and dry with mean temperatures around 32 °C (90 °F) and days above 40 °C (104 °F) being common. Winters are short (less than 2 months usually) and mild (though considered cold for the area) with normals around −2 °C (28 °F), but with occasional drops down to −10 °C (14 °F). Spring usually comes in February, when most of the foliage is regenerating, although freak snow storms could appear as late as May.
The soil is mostly sandy, and has large patches of red soil (Macedonian: Црвеница, crvenica) which indicates large percentage of Iron in the soil. The geographical area of the city of Štip is bordered by the mountain Plačkovica east, by the Krivolak valley south-east, the estuary of the river Bregalnica in the south-west, and by its alluvial plain in the north.
Štip (or Astibo/Astibos/Astibus) has its heritage in being the ancient capital of the Paeonian tribe who were situated in the region west of the fertile river Axius basin, around the fifth and fourth centuries BC. The two tribes that lived along the river Astibo, an estuary to the Axius, were the Derrones, named after their god of healing, Darron, and the Laeaeans, who minted their own heavy coins as a sign of their sovereignty following the example of the Greek city-states on Chalkidiki. Although these tribes were heavily weakened by the Persian invasion of 480 BC, led by King Xerxes I, they remained a formidable power and a well-organized people, renowned for the production of their exceptionally heavy coins with emblems including domesticated specimens of the wild aurochs for which Paeonia was also famous. They were absorbed into the Macedonian empire by Alexander I before 360 BC.
The area itself is first mentioned in the writings of the historian Polien form the 3rd century BC, who talks of a river named Astibo which is presumed to be the river Bregalnica today. Polien also states that the Paeonian emperors were crowned  in the vicinity of today's Štip. The first mention in written sources of a settlement in this area is from the time of the Roman emperor Tiberius 14-37 AD, when it is mentioned as an important settlement in the Roman province of Paeonia and the second stop on the Roman road from Stobi to Pautalia
During the second half of the 3rd century BC the barbarian tribes, especially the Goths destroyed much of the northern settlements in the eastern part of the Roman Empire, among which Astibo as well. However, a new settlement - Estipeon - was soon founded on the same site which thrived though the late Roman and the Early Byzantine period. Between the 5th and 6th century AD the joint Slavic and Avar tribes attacks destroyed the Byzantine settlement, and the Slavic tribe of Sagudats permanently settled in this area, and gave the town its current name Štip. During the 10th century, the Saints Cyril and Methodius, after creating the first Slavic alphabet, came to preach to the Slavic tribes in this area before continuing their route to Great Moravia, thus the Slavic population from this area were the first Christians among the Slavs 
Many rulers controlled the area of Štip during the early Middle Ages. Štip was part of the Bulgarian Empire but after the Byzantine victory in the Battle of Kleidion in 1014 it fell again under Byzantine rule until the reestablishment of the Bulgarian Empire in 1185. From the mid 13th century the town changed hands several times until 1330 when the Serbian king Stefan Dečanski conquered it and incorporated it into the Serbian Kingdom. Serbian rule lasted until 1395 when Ottoman Turkey conquered the area, and renamed the city İştip and made it the capital of the local county. There is little information about the development of Štip during Turkish occupation which would continue for the next five centuries, interrupted only during 1689–1690 when the city was liberated by the Austrians for two years. After the Balkan Wars, Štip and the surrounding territory was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia. Events concerning the Kingdom of Serbia itself meant that Štip would shortly become a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia together with the rest of Vardar Macedonia. On 6 April 1941, when the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was attacked by Nazi-Germany, the city was bombed by German planes which took off from Bulgaria. During the Second World War the Axis-allied Bulgarian forces occupied the city until early September, 1944, after which it was taken by German troops. Štip was retaken by the Macedonian National Liberation Army and the newly allied Bulgarian Army, now part of the anti-Axis coalition on 8 November 1944. Thus 8 November is celebrated as 'Liberation Day' in the city and municipality of Štip, and is a non-working holiday.
According to the National Census of 2002 the populations of Štip Municipality breaks down as follows:
Today, Štip is the center of the country’s textile and fashion industry. Formerly the home of such industrial giants in Former Yugoslavia like the Cotton Industry "Makedonka" - Štip, with its enormous suburban campus, and the Fashion Industry "Astibo". From their ashes many private mini-factories were created, mostly by former managers in the socialist giants, which employ most of the women in town today, fashion and textile still being the core skills of the city population, as maintained by the educational system. Some of the larger private textile and fashion houses in Štip are: Albatros, Beas-S, Kit–Go Teks, Gracija, Modena, Mavis, Maksima, LARS, Briteks, Stipko, Stip-teks, Longurov, Vivendi, D&A, Amareta, Anateks, Angroteks, EAM, Milano, Vabo, Zogori, Metro Premier, Tekstil Invest-Denim, Tekstil Logistik and Eskada. Stip has four construction companies (among which the most famous is Aktiva).
The city is ruled by the "City Council" which is elected every four years. The counselors are usually members of the strongest political parties. Every City Council elects President. The President of the City Council leads the sessions and also signs the decisions together with city mayor.
The public transport is organized in suburban services and inter-city. The suburbs of Babi, Senjak, Prebeg, Makedonka, Kezhovica, etc. are served by a fleet of municipal buses running 7 days a week and connecting several locations in the city center with the suburbs. The inter-city services are provided by the public transportation company "Balkan Ekspres" (Macedonian: Балкан Експрес) which has connections to all cities in Republic of Macedonia as well as some neighboring countries. The train station located in the northern suburb "Zheleznichka" provides links to Kočani in the east, and Veles and Skopje to the west. There is a large fleet of private taxi vehicles in the city, with very competitive prices.
You can visit Stip traveling by car using the highway M-5 (Stip-Kocani-Delcevo) in Republic of Macedonia, and the connection to E-75 highway Stip-Veles. Travel direction in the region goes via route R-601 (Stip-Plackovica) and R-526 that goes through the city and connects to freeway M-5.
There are numerous pre-school, elementary/primary and middle school institutions in Štip. There are five high/secondary schools, each somewhat specialized in a particular field, according to the educational policy of Republic of Macedonia. The five high schools are as follows:
- Medical Secondary School "Jane Sandanski" (Macedonian: Државно Средно Медицинско Училиште) - web site
- Music High School (Macedonian: Музички Училишен Образовен Центар) - web site
- Textile Secondary School "Dimitar Mirasčiev" (Macedonian: Државно Средно Текстилно Училиште „Димитар Мирашчиев“)
- Secondary School for Children with Special Needs — Iskra - web site
- Electro-Technical Secondary School "Kole Nehtenin" (Macedonian: Државно Средно Електротехничко Училиште) - web site
- Lyceum "Slavčo Stojmenski" (Macedonian: Државна Гимназија „Славчо Стојменски“) - web site
The city is also the home of one of the four public universities of Republic of Macedonia, the Goce Delčev University of Štip. The private music high school "Oksia" completes the list of educational institutions in the city.
Architecture and sights
Štip has a well-preserved 14th-century monastery and the ruins of its old castle which keeps a watchful eye on the town from the Isar Hill. The Bezisten, a massive stone building which used to be a closed bazaar (now an art gallery) is a remnant of the Ottoman influence in the city. In the old parts of the town (and especially in Novo Selo) some houses built in the Old Macedonian style of architecture can still be found. The town also boasts the healing powers of the Kežovica mineral spa and with the ruins of the ancient city of Bargala. The ancient town Bargala is located at the foot of mountain Plackovica. Nearby is the river Kozjacka and small village called Kozjak. It is believed that the ruins found there belong to ancient town Bargala. The town was built in the early 4th century, because there are some Roman documents found, containing information that the city gate of Bargala was built by Anthon Alipius, administrator of the province.
Arts and culture
Štip boasts the largest festival of pop music in Republic of Macedonia, called MakFest. It has been held every November in the cultural center, "Aco Šopov", for over two decades. Another large cultural event in Štip is the "Štip Summer of Culture" (Macedonian: Штипско Културно Лето), which is a month long festival held from 1 July to 1 August, since 1987.
Sports and recreation
Štip has four professional football teams, FK Bregalnica Štip which plays in the Macedonian First League, FK Babi which plays in the Macedonian Second League, FK Astibo which play in the 3rd League East and "Kezovica" which plays in the regional league. The Gradski stadion Štip is the main stadium and will be hosting the 2011–12 Macedonian Cup final.
RK Tekstilec is the handball club from Štip and they play at the hall OU Tošo Arsov.
Štip has many media establishments. The first private television in Macedonia (and also in former Yugoslavia) was founded in Štip by Mr. Mile Kokotov in 1989. It was "TEKO TV", which is not operational any more. The other currently operational local TV stations аrе "TV IRIS" and "TV STAR".
Тhe local newspaper is called "Štipski Vesnik" (Macedonian: Штипски Весник).
Twin towns – Sister cities
Štip is twinned with:
- "State Statistical Office - municipality of Shtip".
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- "Geography of Shtip". 13 September 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
- "Macedonian Coins". 7 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
- Hammond, N. G. L. (1991). The Miracle that was Macedonia. London: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd. p. 22.
- "Astibo". 7 September 2007. Archived from the original on 15 August 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
- "Stip". 7 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
- "City of Shtip". 7 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
- "City of Shtip". 7 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
- Dnevnik newspaper
- Williamson, Gordon (2004). The Waffen-SS (2) 6. to 10. Divisions. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-590-2.
- "City of Shtip". 7 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
- "City of Štip". 7 September 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- "City Mayor".
- "City Council". 13 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Macedonian High School Portal". 13 September 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
- "Private Music High School "Oksia"". 13 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- "Cultural Manifestations". 13 September 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
- "Gradovi prijatelji Splita" [Split Twin Towns]. Grad Split [Split Official City Website] (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Štip.|
- Official web site of the city of Štip
- Official web page for National Broadcast Radio Network Kanal77
- TV Star
- Iris TV
- Radio Štip
- Radio Čerenja