Kruševo (Macedonian: Крушево, [ˈkruʃevo] Aromanian: Crushuva is a town in North Macedonia. It is the highest town in North Macedonia, situated at an altitude of over 1350 m (4429 feet) above sea level. The town of Kruševo is the seat of Kruševo Municipality. The town is officially bilingual, Macedonian and Aromanian, hence both town names are official.
Initially part of the Byzantine Empire, the area was conquered by the First Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century to be conquered again by the Byzantium in the 11th century. The region came shortly under the rule of the short-lived Principality of Prilep of Prince Marko (r. 1371 – 1395), a successor state of the Serbian Empire (1346–1371) where the father of Župan Vukašin Mrnjavčević (co-ruler of King Stefan Uroš V) held the region. The principality and region came under Ottoman Turkish rule in 1395.
A large part of the Macedonian population in Kruševo originate from Lazaropole and descend from Mijaks, a Macedonian sub-group who settled in the town alongside the Aromanians by the middle of the nineteenth century. Aromanians settled in Kruševo in addition to Orthodox Albanian refugees often in groups of families and led by a priest fleeing the 18th century socio-political and economic crises in what is now southern Albania. Orthodox Albanians arrived from Vithkuq and the Opar region while local Kruševo traditions also relate that other families arrived from Korçë and the villages of Polenë, Dardhë, and Mborje.
In the 19th century, Kruševo grew as a commercial center with connections throughout the Balkans and beyond. Local merchants such as the Nitsiotas brothers and five other companies were active in Vienna. In the 1860s a Bulgarian municipality and Bulgarian school were established the city. Subsequently, a Bulgarian girls school was opened and it operated simultaneously with the Greek schools in the town. A Romanian school started functioning in Kruševo in 1876. In the early 20th century, Kruševo was a small town in Manastir Vilayet with a mixed population of 4,950 Bulgarians, 4,000 Vlachs (Aromanians) and 400 Christian Albanians, according to Bulgarian geographer Vasil Kanchov’s statistics. Due to intermarriage with locals, at the onset of the twentieth century few in the small local Orthodox Albanian community spoke Albanian. A neighbourhood inhabited by Aromanians in Kruševo still bears the name Arbineš meaning Albanians in the Aromanian language. During the Ilinden Uprising in 1903 the rebels proclaimed a short lived Kruševo Republic. Because the uprising was suppressed, the city was almost completely destroyed by the Ottoman army. One of the most important points in the Ilinden uprising was the declaration of the “Manifesto of Kruševo”. It called for all the people of Macedonia regardless of their nationality and religion to fight together against the Ottoman Empire. In the area there is a monument called Mečkin Kamen (Bear’s Stone). This was the place where Pitu Guli’s band (cheta) was trying to defend the town of Kruševo from the Turkish troops coming from Bitola. The band and their leader (voivode) are remembered as heroic defenders of Kruševo and the surrounding villages.