archaeological site in Macedonia, ancient town of Paeonia
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Europe > Balkans > North Macedonia > Povardarie > Stobi

Stobi is a large set of ruins in the Povardarie region of North Macedonia, near the village of Gradsko. The nearest city is Kavadarci roughly 20 km (12 mi) south. Stobi was first a Paeonian settlement and then annexed by Macedonia. It fell under the Romans around the 2nd century BC, where it was the capital of the Macedonia Salutaris province and enjoyed significant growth. By the 6th century, following robberies, an earthquake, and Slavic invasions, the city's economy and infrastructure were destroyed.

Excavations of the site began in 1924 under the Museum of Belgrade and continue today.

Peacock mosaic inside the baptistery of the Episcopal basilica

UnderstandEdit

Stobi was once the ancient town of Paionia, later conquered by Macedon, and later still incorporated into the Roman province of Macedonia Salutaris. It is on the main road that leads from the Danube to the Aegean Sea and is considered by many to be the most famous archaeological site in North Macedonia. Stobi was built where the Erigon river (Crna) joins the Axios river (Vardar), making it important strategically as a center for both trade and warfare. Today Stobi is in Gradsko, a village with about 3,000 people.

The Stobi National Institution hopes to build a museum on the site to house findings and showcase the history of Stobi.

Get inEdit

Map of Stobi

By carEdit

Stobi is just off the major A-1/E-75 highway that runs north-south through the middle of North Macedonia. Much of the site is visible from the highway. The highway exits to the site are well-marked.

By taxiEdit

A taxi from Veles should be no more than 500-750 denars and should be cheaper from Kavadarci or Negotino.

By trainEdit

The village of Gradsko has a train station on Corridor X, which runs from Salzburg, Austria to Thessaloniki, Greece.

SeeEdit

 
House of Peristerius
 
House of Polycharmos

1 Stobi. open daily; 08:30-20:00 April-September, 08:30-16:30 October-March. Adult: 120 denars; student/senior: 50 denars; children under six: free.    

Historical sites in Stobi include:

  • Northern Basilica - The church has three main parts: a narthex, an egzonarthex separated by colonades and an atrium constructed mostly of marble. In the northern part there is a Bapstistry and in the southern part are Slavic graves. The church, which was built at the beginning of the 5th century, can be entered from the street Via Principalis Inferior.
  • The Central Basilica and Synagogue - can be entered from the street Via Principalis. The Central Basilica was built on a Synagoga at the beginning of the 5th century.
  • The House of the Psalms - in front of the central basilica, has a central room with a mosaic floor, a room with colonnades, a big pool and columns in the western part of the yard.
  • Via Axia - one of the main streets in Stobi. Its oriented east-west and its discovered only small part of the street.
  • The Main Town Public Fountain - located on a small square created by the streets Via Axia and Via Principalis Inferior.
  • The Magnae Therma - discovered in 1931, consisted of two rooms: one large room with a statue and a pool made of stone blocks.
  • Via Principalis Inferior - was a major street of the city running from the central basilica to the main town fountain, then to house of Partenius, the 'Palace of Theodosius' and the House of Psalms.
  • The House of Peristerius - was a large living complex for several families and also had rooms for shops. The Peristerius family owned the rooms in the southern part of the complex. The central part of this complex is a yard under open sky, with fountains on the western side. In the eastern part is an excellent example of floor mosaics and in the middle there is a fountain made of marble.
  • Via Theodosia Street - is parallel to Via Axia and between the house of Peristerius and the 'Palace of Theodosius'.
  • The Palace of Theodosius - was where the emperor Theodosius first stayed while in Stobi. The floor is covered with marble blocks and the peristyle with mosaics in the technique opus sectile.
  • The House of Partenius - near the southern part of the Palace of Theodosius, and is connected to it by a wall making it into an L-shaped building standing for Latin.
  • Valavica (Domus Fullonica) - is a complex of connected shops and residences, built on older objects.
  • The Episcopal Basilica - dating from the 5th century AD, it was built in a Hellenistic manner with atrium, narthex (with a mosaic floor), and exonarthex with a double apse. On the south of the basilica is the baptistery with magnificent mosaic composition.

Elsewhere in Gradsko MunicipalityEdit

The main attraction of Gradsko Municipality is Stobi. There are, however, other historical sites of interest.

Gorno Čičevo and neighbouring Dolno Čičevo are two old, largely depopulated villages with historic architecture. The villages are about 10 km (6 mi) west of Gradsko.

  • 2 Čičevo Monastery (Чичевски манастир) (Gorno Čičevo). Founded in 1695 but in relatively poor condition today. It contains two churches, one dedicated to St Michael the Archangel and the other dedicated to St Mary. The former is the main church of the monastery and was built in 1861. It has a bell tower. The latter is in poorer condition. The village also has a church dedicated to the Holy Saviour, though it is not located within the monastery.
  • 3 Church of St Athanasius (Црква „Св. Атанасиј“) (Dolno Čičevo). This church built in 1891 is also in rough shape but has a uniquely colourful interior.

EatEdit

SleepEdit

There is no available accommodation in Gradsko. The nearest options can be found in the nearby cities of Kavadarci, Negotino, or Veles.

Go nextEdit

  • Veles, under 30 km (18 mi) north of Stobi, is one of the larger cities of North Macedonia. It sits on both banks of the Vardar River in a hilly terrain.
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