Stip Things to Do

  • Otinja during a summer
    Otinja during a summer
    by Odiseya
  • A close view of old church near Isar hill
    A close view of old church near Isar...
    by Odiseya
  • City stadium Štip
    City stadium Štip
    by Odiseya

Most Recent Things to Do in Stip

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    Who could resist the challenge to write a Stip Tip

    by etfromnc Updated Apr 15, 2014

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    Stip as seen from Isar hill
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    Between the Otinja and Bregalnica rivers, about 500 feet high on the rocky hill over the town of Isar, the Stip, or Isar, Fortress, stands guard.

    People say that the fortress was built by King Marko, while his sister Maria was building a road and bridge through the canyon so that the people could cross the Bregalnica River. Even though she advised her brother to build things that would be useful to the people instead of a fortress that will exist only during his life time, King Marko was stubborn and built the fortress. The prediction of the clever Maria came true; the fortress was of short duration. For a long time after that, the people spoke of Maria’s good deed, singing a song whenever they passed the road through the canyon that she built, while the fortress of King Marko was soon in ruins.

    The exact time of the construction of the fortress is unknown. It can only be said that it dates from the early Middle Ages, having all the characteristics of medieval art. Located high above, it guarded the town of Stip in the state of Czar Samoil. In the 13th Century the fortress was under Bulgarian administration and after that under the Serbian ruler Stefan Decanski. In 1382 it was conquered by the Turks. After firearms were invented, the fortress was deserted. Some of the building material of the fortress was from the ancient town of Astibo.

    Although abandoned over 500 years earlier, the Isar hill played a significant role in both World Wars, if for nothing more than a defensive lookout post. Today, remains of the ancient fortress are still atop Isar as well as communications towers and a large steel cross.

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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    City square "Freedom"

    by Odiseya Updated Mar 26, 2013

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    City square

    City square "Freedom" (Macedonian: Градски плоштад „Слобода", read: Gradski ploštad "Sloboda") is central area of city's downtown.
    The focus point of square was relatively new statue of Alexander The Great. This monument was erected upon wishes and petition of local inhabitants and support by local government.
    The author of design this monument was academic sculptor Nikola Smilkov from Stip and is built with a donation of Stip family call Ivanovski.

    The official reviling of this monument was held on 14th October 2006 in honor to 2th August (Ilinden). This is biggest national holiday - struggle for liberation from the Ottoman Empire.

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    Isar fortress

    by Odiseya Updated Mar 17, 2013

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    Isar fortress

    Isar fortress is one of main landmarks of Stip.
    Located high above, it guarded the town of Stip in the state of Czar Samoil. Today there is also a metal cross, in honor of 2000 year of Christianity in this region.
    Strategic position of hill is reason way Stip is refers like "The City under the Isar".
    The time of construction is unknown. Some historians says that Stip was formed in 2500 year B.C. The artefacts discovered in the medieval fortress, indicate that it was inhabited in early as well as late Antiquity, which suggests that life in the fortress, under which the ancient city Astibo stretched, was continuously trough centuries.
    In the time of Roman impery, they changed the name of the city. The roman name of Stip is Stipion. The walls were first mentioned in the 13th century. In the 13th Century the fortress was under Bulgarian administration and after that under the Serbian ruler Stefan Decanski. In 1382 it was conquered by the Turks.
    Today is preserve about 19 m high wall.
    The researches on the medieval fortress Isar - Shtip in 2009 (medieval Shtip), were performed at the following locations: Acropolis - research of the fortress acropolis, Stara Klanica – discovering of the medieval church of St. Blasios and the location Chekichan Skala - discovering of the presumed medieval tunnel.

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    Saint Archangel Michael Church

    by Odiseya Updated Mar 8, 2013

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    A close view of old church near Isar hill

    Saint Archangel Michael Church is build under the fortress Isar. It estimate that was build in 14th century and it was documented that in 1334 Serbian Tzar Dušan Silni (as at the time this region was under his rule) devoted this church to famous Hilandarion Monastery on Atos.

    The church has one dome and it is on a cross-shaped basis. The outside walls are decorated with blocks of processed stone in red. The only entrance is on the west side. There is not a typical fresco painting inside.

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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Bezisten - what is that?

    by Odiseya Written Mar 8, 2013

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    Bezisten once - Art gallery now

    For visitors of Štip unfamiliar with Ottoman architecture I believe that it could be quite intriguing to see a pyramid-look-a-like massive stone building in city center surrounding with typical towns building. I was been surprised and I must find out what is it. And... this is one of few "bezisten" on area of Balkan.

    Bezisten - what is that?
    Bezisten is building that was long time ago serve as cover market. it is supposed to have originated from the 16th or the 17th century. It was build in design based of mosque.
    This stone construction have a rectangular basis and it is divided into three separate rooms. All that rooms was covered with vaults with massive domes that rising above them. There are glass holes on them that allow for the daylight to penetrate on the interior space.
    It usual whole building was central part of commercial area of place and it was usually design for haberdasher and other various craftsmanship.
    Very popular bezisten is located in old part of Sarajevo (Baščaršija) and it call it Gazi-Husrev Beg's Bezistan.

    Today, this construction is being used as an art gallery.

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    The Blues from Stip

    by Odiseya Written Jul 2, 2012

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    City stadium ��tip

    The Blues (Macedonian Cyrillic: Сини) are popular name for local soccer club FK Bregalnica Stip. It is a town honor.
    Correctly their play in Macedonian first soccer League.
    From Isar hill it can be seen the City Stadium Štip. It has a capacity of 4,000 seats.
    The club's most successful years were those between 1964 and 1984 (Yugoslavia), when they won four Republic League titles.

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    Walk along the Otinja river

    by Odiseya Updated Jul 2, 2012

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    Otinja during a summer
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    The walking by the river, no matter where is it, is always a good way to relax (at least for me).
    Otinja river is very interesting. It is small river who bisects the town.
    The river springs out near the town Čeprovka, flows into Bregalnica river little further from Stip, near the town of Isar (Novo selo).
    During the summer months often dries up (I see it in that stage). I asked the locals why this is happening. Here's what I learned. The rives usually serve for irrigation of the farms and for gardens north from town.
    It seams a little sad - seeing a river that seems to not exist. Especially, to see a little creek surrounding by a high stone. Not seems a far. But, I heard that during the flood, the creek become a force river full of revenge.
    And special detail of Stip downtown is and bridges over the Otinja, six of them I think.

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    The Church of St John the Baptist

    by etfromnc Written Oct 14, 2011
    14th Century St John the Baptist Church

    On the right bank of the river Otinja, on the south side of the Isar hill, a church dedicated to St. John the Baptist was built in 1350.

    It is a single-room church with no cupola. Its construction was supported by Jovan Probistipovic, Despot Oliver’s landowner. Today only fragments remain from the fresco paintings. The paintings of Czar Konstantin and Czarina Elena can be seen on the south wall around the entrance.

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  • Pijlmans's Profile Photo

    Monastery of St Petka

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 18, 2010
    Monastery of St Petka
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    This Monastery dedicated to St Petka is located outside of Stip, along the same road to the archeological site Bargala and Vrteska. It is located between Bargala and Vrteska.

    There are several sources with holy water.

    You can spend the night in this monastery.

    We where there only shortly, on our way to Mountain Hut Vrteska.

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    Ajducka Cave

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2010
    Ajducka Cave
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    You can visit this cave from the Mountain Hut Vrteska, but only with a guide from the Mountain Club Lisec. Our guides were Lazar from the website below, and his friend Marija.

    The cave is closed with an iron gate, so even in the unlikely case you find it by yourself, you would not be able to enter. The Kup Cave, which we visited first, was about 90-120 minutes walking from where the asphalt stops, near the mountain hut Vrteska. The Ajducka Cave (Freedom Fighter Cave) is about 60 minutes walking from the Kup cave.

    You will need to climb at bit to get into the cave and inside the cave as well. You'll have to climb through a small tunnel, so this cave is not suitable for the claustrophobic!

    Although there are lamps in the cave, they were not working when we visited. So take a flashlight, or even better, a headlamp so you've got both hands free for the climbing. There were big mosquitoes in this cave as well, so an insect repellent may be useful as well.

    To reach the caves, good shoes and walking sticks are highly recommended.

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    Kup Cave

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2010
    Kup Cave
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    You can visit this cave from the Mountain Hut Vrteska, but only with a guide from the Mountain Club Lisec. Our guides were Lazar from the website below, and his friend Marija.

    The cave is closed with an iron gate, so even in the unlikely case you find it by yourself, you would not be able to enter. The Kup cave was about 90-120 minutes walking from where the asphalt stops, near the mountain hut Vrteska.

    You will need to climb at bit to get into the cave and inside the cave as well.

    Although there are lamps in the cave, they were not working when we visited. So take a flashlight, or even better, a headlamp so you've got both hands free for the climbing.

    We also visited the Ajducka Cave.

    To reach the caves, good shoes and walking sticks are highly recommended.

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    Mountain Hut Vrteska

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2010
    Mountain Hut Vrteska
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    Mountain hut Vrteska is about 40 km from Stip, near the village Vrteska on the Plackovica mountain.

    About 50 people can stay here, it has 6 rooms with 2, 4, 6 or 14 beds.

    There is a kitchen, where you can prepare the food that you have to take yourself if you stay here.

    The Church of St George was built next to the mountain hut. People from Stip come here to celebrate St George's day and on many other occasions.

    We stayed in this hut after a hike to the Kup Cave and Ajducka Cave. It was the best hut we've been to until now!

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    Church of St George at Bargala (II)

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2010
    Different layers of frescoes
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    Some pictures of what is left of the frescoes inside the Church of St George at Bargala.

    In 2010 the frescoes were being renovated.

    Even on the pictures you can see that there were several layers of frescoes made over the years.

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    Church of St George at Bargala (I)

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2010
    Church of St George
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    This early Christian Church dedicated to St George (Sveti Gorgi) is next to the argeological site Bargala, just outside its former defense walls.

    It is from the 9th or 11th century, and was renovated in the 14th century.

    When we were there in 2010, renovation of the frescoes was ongoing. You could clearly see 3 different layers of frescoes.

    See the link below for pictures of the inside of the church.

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    Archeological site Bargala

    by Pijlmans Updated Oct 2, 2010
    Bargala
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    Bargala was one of the more important fortified towns in Macedonia in the Late Antiquity and early Byzantium. It was constructed between the 4th and 6th century AD.

    Its name is related to the river Bregalnica.

    The site is very well kept, not overgrown and easily accessible. In 2010 it was still free to visit.

    We wandered over the site for almost 2 hours, before we got to the early medieval Church of St George, located right next to Bargala. There we met some men who were restoring the church. One of them, called Dobre, was the security guard of Bargala and he was so kind to give us a tour of the site. Only at that moment we understood what kind of buildings the ruins we had been looking at for two hours actually had been! In my travelogues in the link below you can find the descriptions of the ruins and what their purpose was in the past.

    A month after our visit, several antique vessels and parts of the baths were vandalized, see the link to the storage rooms.

    Some of the stuctures are:
    Gate and wall
    Basilica and Baptistery
    Baths
    Storage rooms
    Court, Prison Cell, Altar and Mortuarium
    Glass factory and Iron factory
    Winery and Basilica Extra Muros
    Water management
    Church of St George

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