Strumica is a cultural, trade and political center of the Southeast region. According to the 2002 census, the city has 35,311 inhabitants and is therefore the largest city in the region and the tenth largest city in the Republic of Macedonia. Situated in the southeast of Macedonia, the city is surrounded by the Strumica field and Mount Elenica in the west, along with the King’s towers. The city is the seat of the same-name municipality.
Tourist attractions in Strumica
The square was built on two levels and covers a total area of 27 thousand square metres. It is with an overground paved area with a clock-tower, two fountains and with an overall installation of urban, cultural, traditional, ecological, horticultural and other content. Here is also the existing monument of Goce Delchev. Here is also the bronze figurine “Strumica citizen under a mask” dedicated to the International Strumica Carnival and 27 masts with the flags of the Member States of the European Union. Put in operation in 2010, the square already represents a pedestrian island in Strumica and is one of the inevitable modern city marks.
Carevi Kuli (King’s Towers) over Strumica
The oldest discoveries about the fortress raised on the hill southwest of Strumica speak for life even before the Roman Empire, the pre-historic period until the Middle Ages. According to some archaeologists, those could be remains of the ancient city of Astraion. All the previous findings suggest that on this site there were various civilizations in a period of about seven thousand years. The fortress was built on a leveled plateau on the top of the hill, which steeply rises above Strumica at an altitude of 445 metres, from which it is possible to see the entire Strumica valley. On the edges there are remains of a defensive wall, of which the west wall, about 40 metres long, is well visible today. With its thick walls, the towers represent a monument of the fall of the medieval Macedonian state of Tsar Samuil in 1018. It served as a fortress in the Ottoman period, as well. Byzantine coins from the 12th and 13th century were found in the fortress. Six fragmentary megar cups of Homeric type, which are very rare in these regions, dating back to the 11th century BC were discovered. Antique coins from the time of the last Macedonian Tsar Perseus, as well as fragments of medieval fresco painting from the 12th to the 13th century, have been dug out. There were also coins with the image of Philip II, then amphorae, vessels, kanthaross, jewelry, fragments of painted vases, black-clad pottery, figures of minor Asian type and other artifacts. All of them points to the fact that the fortress above Strumica was actively living at the end of the fourth century BC.
The Smolare waterfall is located in the immediate vicinity of the village of Smolare, on the mountain Belasica, at an altitude of 600 metres. It is an object with a height of about 35 metres. At the bottom of the waterfall there is a giant pot, the length of which is about five metres in the direction of flowing river water, its width is 11 metres, and the depth is about half a metre. Next to it, there is an access road and an arranged site for visitors with tourist and recreational function.
Koleshino Waterfall – natural beauty and rarity
Koleshino waterfall is located in the southeastern part of the Republic of Macedonia, on the northern slopes of the mountain Belasica, in the lower course of the Baba River, at an altitude of 600 m. It is one of the highest waterfalls in Macedonia, with a height of 15 m, with a width of about 6 m. According to the outset, it is a tectonic waterfall, created in granite stones. Contrary to the Koleshino Waterfall, some few smaller waterfalls are located at a distance of about 100 meters, scattered in a row, 2 to 4 meters high, belonging to its central basin. Koleshino is one of the most beautiful villages in Macedonia. The village is the only place in Macedonia (even in the Balkans), where you will find a specific kind of fern so called royal fern (osmunda regalis). The fern grows up to 2 meters high and covers an area of up to 500 square meters, and is used in the textile industry. However the most beautiful and most authentic ornament for the village are the beautiful waterfalls created by the Baba River, descending from the highest mountain peaks. One of them, of course, is the Koleshino Waterfall, which is a true natural beauty and rarity.
Is located in the village of Vodocha, 4km from the city of Strumica. St. Leontius church complex is composed of three churches, East, West and Middle. The church was built on the foundations of an early Christian basilica originating from the 5th and 6thcentury and the marble decorative plastic is preserved as a witness describing this important epoch of the Christianity. There are three phases established concerning the fresco painting in the interior, precisely the 10th, 11th and 12th century. Nearby the church are found architectural remains, a monastery complex, dining room, economic facilities, two baths and Christian necropolis with more layers. Over 1000 graves with jewelry and ceramics dating from 14th to 19th century were discovered in the monastery complex due to the archaeological excavations. The entire complex is having a high artistic qualities and visible traces from the ancient artistic tradition. The resistance to the byzantine style and the artistic movements from Constantinople and Thessalonica, as well as the willingness to disobey the Byzantine art principles, are also present in the way of presenting the spirituality through the fresco painting in this monastery. With the renewal of the monastic life in 1995, the monks are dedicating to the blossoming of the byzantine iconography, the church singing and translation activities.
The Monastery H. Bogorodica Eleusa, village of Veljusa (11th century) is one of the oldest Macedonian churches which has never been destroyed or repaired and it is today as it was built, with marks of the decay, due to the time that had passed. The monastery is located above the village of Veljusa near Strumica, a wonderful panoramic view of the Strumica Field. The monastery and the lodgings are famous for their architecture, frescos, mosaic floors and marble iconostasis. Its origin from the 15th century is witnessed by the marble plate with the inscription of the founder, the Strumica bishop Manojlo and the year of construction, 1080. The plate with the inscription and the best icons during the First World War were robbed, and the monastery was set on fire, but not burnt. As a testimony and consequence of that are the smoky frescoes. At some time this monastery was male, and in Vodoca there was sisterhood, while today it is vice versa. The monastery exceeds all the existing artistic achievements of the churches in the Strumica environment with the artistic values and the luxurious treasury of precious artistic works. A completely preserved composition from the time of construction is the Descent into Hell. There are other, partially preserved compositions of that period, as well as the famous Veljusa Cross, unique of this type in the world. In front of the altar there are fragments of mosaic floor. According to the originally rich historical documentation preserved for this monastery (available at the Sveta Gora Monastery Iviron), the church H. Bogorodica Milostiva (Eleusa) occupies one of the most significant places in the church and cultural history of the Balkans.
Holy Fifteen Tiberiopolis Martyrs
Holy Fifteen Tiberiopolis Martyrs is an archaeological site located in the city of Strumica. Tiberiopolis used to be the name of the city and the Holy Fifteen Tiberiopolis Martyrs are Christian saints living in the 4th century. They lost their lives in the name of the Christian beliefs and they were executed. During the excavations, the archaeologist discovered a three-nave basilica with marble floors and mosaic decorations, like most of the early Christian tombs painted with crosses and reveals the truth about the events of the 4th century on this place. In 7th century, the city was destroyed by the Avars and the tombs were buried. In 9th century, many churches were built and renewed and over the tombs of the martyrs was built a cross-shaped church that consists in one of the oldest fresco paintings in Macedonia. During the Ottoman period the church was destroyed. In 1921, the revival of the cult was marked by building a small chapel, but the new church was completed in 1974. Today, the holy martyrs are celebrated by the Macedonian Orthodox Church on 11th December.