Veles, North Macedonia

Coordinates: 41°43′12″N 21°47′36″E / 41.72000°N 21.79333°E / 41.72000; 21.79333
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Veles, Macedonia)
Велес (Macedonian)
Official seal of Veles
Veles is located in North Macedonia
Location within North Macedonia
Coordinates: 41°43′12″N 21°47′36″E / 41.72000°N 21.79333°E / 41.72000; 21.79333
Country North Macedonia
RegionLogo of Vardar Region.svg Vardar
MunicipalityCoat of arms of Veles Municipality.svg Veles
 • MayorMarko Kolev[1] (VMRO-DPMNE)
 • Total43,716
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code+389 043
Vehicle registrationVE

Veles (Macedonian: Велес [ˈvɛlɛs] (listen)) is a city in the central part of North Macedonia on the Vardar river. The city of Veles is the seat of Veles Municipality. Veles is the sixth largest Macedonian city with a total population of 43,716 (census 2002). The largest cities in the proximity of Veles are: Skopje - the capital and the largest city of North Macedonia - 54 km in the northwest direction, Štip 43 km to the east, Sveti Nikole 34 km to the northeast, Prilep 79 km in the southwest direction, and Kavadarci and Negotino 43 km and 40 km respectively to the southeast. Veles is on the crossroad of important international road and rail lines. For all these reasons, Veles is considered to have a good geolocation within North Macedonia.


Throughout the history Veles had many names, out of which three are most important. Vilazora was initially the Paeonian city Bylazora from the period of early Classical Antiquity. The city's name was Βελισσός Velissos in Ancient Greek. Later in the history, as part of the Ottoman Empire it became a township (kaza) called Köprülü in the Üsküp sanjak (one of the administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire). After the Ottoman rule, from 1929 to 1941, Veles was part of the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After World War II, the city was known as Titov Veles after Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito, but the 'Titov' was removed in 1996.[2]

In Albanian it is known as Qyprill, for the same reason as the Turkish variant.[citation needed] In Aromanian, the city is known as Velis.[3]


Veles in the 19th century

The area of present-day Veles has been inhabited for over a millennium. In antiquity, it was a Paionian city called Bylazora, and contained a substantial population of Thracians and possibly Illyrians. It was then part of the Byzantine Empire, and at times the First and Second Bulgarian Empire. It became part of the Kingdom of Serbia at the end of the 13th century, while during the Serbian Empire (1345–71) it was an estate of Jovan Oliver and subsequently the Mrnjavčević family until Ottoman annexation after the Battle of Rovine (1395). Before the Balkan Wars, it was a township (kaza) with the name Köprülü, part of the Sanjak of Üsküp.[4]

During the Great Eastern Crisis, the local Bulgarian movement of the day was defeated when armed Bulgarian groups were repelled by the League of Prizren, an Albanian organisation opposing Bulgarian geopolitical aims in areas like Köprülü that contained an Albanian population.[5] According to the statistics of Bulgarian ethnographer Vasil Kanchov from 1900, 19,700 inhabitants lived in Veles, 12,000 Bulgarian Exarchists, 6,600 Turks, 600 Romani and 500 Aromanians.[6]

In 1905 Dimitar Mishev Brancoff gathered statistics about the Christian population of Macedonia, in which the Christian population of Veles appears as consisting of 13,816 Bulgarian Exarchists, 56 Bulgarian Patriarchal Serbomans , 35 Greeks , 402 Vlachs , 12 Albanians and 444 Gypsies. In the city there were 2 lower secondary and 2 primary Bulgarian schools, one lower secondary and one primary Greek, Wallachian and Serbian schools.[7]

The Annuario Pontificio identifies Veles instead with the Diocese of Bela, a suffragan of the Metropolitan Latin Archdiocese of Achrida (Ohrid) in Bulgaria, and lists it, as no longer a residential diocese, among the Latin titular bishoprics.[8] It is probably in Bosnia and Hercegovina[9] (modern Velika?).

Veles made international news in 2016 when it was revealed that a group of teenagers in the city were controlling over 100 websites producing fake news articles in support of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, which were heavily publicised on the social media site Facebook.[1][10][11][12]


St. Pantelejmon Church in Veles

Throughout North Macedonia Veles is known as an industrial center and recently, as a leader in the implementing of IT in the local administration in North Macedonia.


Veles is a municipality of 55,000 residents.[13] The geographic location of the city of Veles makes it suitable for hiking and camping, especially at the west side of the city. One such location is the tranquil village Bogomila. Nearby there is the man made lake Mladost, which is known as the city's recreational centre.


Climate data for Veles
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
Average low °C (°F) −2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 30
Average precipitation days 5 5 6 6 8 3 2 1 3 3 6 5 53
Average snowy days 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
Average relative humidity (%) 83 75 68 66 66 61 56 56 63 74 82 85 70
Mean monthly sunshine hours 100 190 250 290 300 315 330 310 280 220 160 120 2,865
Source: [14]


Two TV stations operate in Veles - Channel 21 & Zdravkin - and many radio stations.


Veles has many sports teams, the most popular of which are :

International relations[edit]

The clocktower in Veles

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Veles (city) is twinned with three other Balkanic towns :

Other forms of partnership :

  • Croatia Pula (Croatia) (Document of friendship and cultural cooperation in 2002)[15]

Notable locals[edit]

History, royalty and politics


  1. ^ a b Tavernise, Sabrina (7 December 2016), "As Fake News Spreads Lies, More Readers Shrug at the Truth", The New York Times, p. A1, retrieved 9 December 2016
  2. ^ Велес по осамостојувањето на Македонија Општина Велес
  3. ^ The War of Numbers and its First Victim: The Aromanians in Macedonia (End of 19th – Beginning of 20th century)
  4. ^ Rahmi Tekin, Osmanli Atlasi, Istanbul 2003
  5. ^ Rama, Shinasi A. (2019). Nation Failure, Ethnic Elites, and Balance of Power: The International Administration of Kosova. Springer. p. 90. ISBN 9783030051921.
  6. ^ Vasil Kanchov. "Macedonia. "Ethnography and statistics." Sofia, 1900, p. 156
  7. ^ D.M.Brancoff (1905). La Macédoine et sa Population Chrétienne. Paris. pp. 118-119.
  8. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 847
  9. ^ "Titular See of Bela, Bosnia and Herzegovina".
  10. ^ Nicholas Kristof (2016-11-12). "Lies in the Guise of News in the Trump Era". The New York Times (opinion). Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  11. ^ Dan Tynan (2016-08-24). "How Facebook powers money machines for obscure political 'news' sites". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  12. ^ Simon Oxenham (2019-05-29). "'I was a Macedonian fake news writer'". BBC News. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  13. ^ Archived April 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Climate: Veles". Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "Međunarodna suradnja Grada Pule". Grad Pula (in Croatian and Italian). Archived from the original on 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2013-07-28.

Sources and external links[edit]