Skopje is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. Skopje is the country’s political, cultural, economic, and academic centre.
In the Roman period it was known under the name Scupi. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4.000 B.C. remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city center.
Skopje has been influenced by various cultures during the time.
The several Byzantine churches and monasteries around the city, also by a few Roman sites, such as Scupi and Skopje’s Aqueduct, evidence this. The Ottomans also left a big mark on Skopje. The Ottomans ruled in Macedonia for over five hundred years and built a large number of mosques and other public buildings that are now symbol of Old Skopje.
26 July 1963 is one of the worst dates in the history of Skopje. An earthquake struck the city at 5:17 A.M. More than 3/4 of the buildings in the city disappeared in just a few sec- onds. Being rebuilt from ruins thanks to the relief from all around the world, Skopje is often referred to as “The City of International Solidarity”, which is its motto.
In 1991, it became the capital city of an independent Republic of Macedonia.
According to the last official count from 2002, Skopje has a population of 506.926 inhabitants, according to the last unofficial estimations in the re- cent period the city has a population of 668.518 inhabitants.