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Delčevo (Macedonian: Делчево [ˈdɛɫtʃɛvɔ] (listen)) is a small town in the eastern mountainous part of North Macedonia. It is the municipal seat of the eponymous municipality. A festival in celebration of revolutionary leader Goce Delchev is held every year on August 2nd.
|• Mayor||Goran Trajkovski (SDSM)|
|Highest elevation||640 m (2.100 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||590 m (1.940 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+389 033|
|Car plates||ŠT; KO; DE|
Delchevo, according to a legend in Byzantine times, was called Vasilevo, as a Greek variant of the Slavonic Tsarevo. For the first time, as a settlement Tsarevo Selo is mentioned in a charter of Serbian Tsar Dushan from 1347 to 1350. With it he gave several places and fields from Pijanec to the Lesnovo Monastery.
In Turkish times Delchevo was also called Sultania, by analogy with the original name.
Until the 17th century, the settlement laid on the right side of the river Bregalnica on the present toponym Selishte, more precisely under the hill Ostrec near the road leading to Bulgaria. From the first centuries of Turkish rule there is not much information about the position of Delchevo. In the middle of the 17th century, Sultan Mehmed IV lived in its vicinity. At the time of his visit to Pijanec, mass Islamization was carried out on the population. Due to the oppression and pressure, many Macedonian settlements were deserted, including the then Tsarevo Selo. It is assumed that at the time of that sultan the settlement was moved to its present place on the left side of the river Bregalnica. The city mosque built in the 17th century is also cited as evidence.
However, it is thought-provoking that the Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi spent here only a few years later in 1670 and wrote in his Travelogue:
"From Vinica we climbed the Kocani mountain ore, moving through the gorge and after four hours we reached Tsarevo Selo. This is a Muslim village at the foot of a mountain and is decorated with about 100 houses and a magnificent mosque mined by a minaret."
We should also mention the folk tradition that says that the settlement under the Ostrec hill was deserted when the plague reigned and the surviving population settled on the place where Delchevo is today.
In 1856, the construction of the church was completed, whose surrounding was mainly inhabited by Macedonians fleeing Turkish oppression in the surrounding villages. There was a larger emigration of the Macedonian population from this area in 1878 after the Russo-Turkish war. After the end of the war the Christian population, fearing for their safety, fled the region seeking refuge on the territory of newly created Bulgaria. About 150 households from the villages and the city moved to the Kyustendil region. A small number of those refugees later returned. Turkish refugees from Bulgaria and even Bosnia and Herzegovina settled in the place of the emigrated Macedonians. The invading Turkish population, called "Madzirci" settled in Madzir maalo (Madzir Neighbourhood), today's III district of the city.
On the left side by the river Bregalnica, on the narrow flat space where the bazzar and inns were, the construction of the trade and craft shops along the two narrow streets started. With that, the bazaar was finally formed and Delchevo grew into a city settlement.
Balkan and World WarsEdit
During the Balkan Wars, a large number of Turks left the city, so that in 1914 the population was 1.701. After these wars, a new Macedonian population came from the surrounding villages, mostly from the passive villages of Bigla, Selnik and Dramche, which bought Turkish properties.
In 1931 the population increased to 3.746 inhabitants. After this year, the emigration of the Turkish population to Turkey continued voluntarily, especially in 1953. In 1935, the construction of the first houses on the right side of the river Bregalnica began.
In the sixties the town expanded on the right side of the river Bregalnica, and in the seventies on the hill Milkovo Brdo (Milkov's hill). With the increase of the employees in the working organizations in Delchevo, the number of the population in it also grew. Today Delchevo is a modern urban settlement with wide asphalt streets and boulevards, sewerage network and parks and greenery.
164km (102mi) east of Skopje, at the foot of Mount Golak, spread on both banks of the river Bregalnica lies the town of Delchevo. It is the largest settlement in the Pijanec area, which stretches over an area of 585km² (226mi²), located between the Osogovo Mountains (north) and Maleshevo (south). The city lies at an altitude of 590m (1.940ft) to 640m (2.100ft). Despite being located in the easternmost part of the country, Delchevo has a relatively good geographical position and traffic connection. It is a crossroads for eastern Macedonia. Through Pehchevo (27km/17mi) and Berovo (34km/21mi) it is connected with Strumica to the south, and through Makedonska Kamenica (24km/15mi) and Kocani (51km/32mi) it is connected with Shtip to the northwest. To the west is Vinica (39km/24mi), and to the east is the border crossing with Bulgaria, called "Arnautski Grob" (Arnaut's grave) (11km/7mi), through which you can reach the capital of Pirin Macedonia - Gorna Dzumaja (Blagoevgrad) (34km/21mi)
The climate in Delchevo is continental Eastern European. The average annual temperature in Delchevo is 11°C (52°F), with an absolute minimum of -26°C (-15°F) and an absolute maximum of 39°C (102°F), while in higher areas the average annual temperature drops to 3.5°C (38°F). The warmest month is August, and the coldest is January. Spring is always colder than autumn.
The cloudiness isn't strong, so the year is dominated by sunny and clear days. The average annual rainfall in Delchevo is 548 mm (22in), and in the mountains over 1.600 meters (5,250ft) above sea level. and up to 1.000 mm (39in). Precipitation, although relatively low, their distribution in the vegetation period (April–September) is favorable and is over 50% of the total annual precipitation.
The vegetation period with a temperature higher than 10°C (50°F) lasts 191 days during the year. This favorable climate allows the growth of various plants, and is also a very suitable natural condition for the development of tourism in this area.
According to the statistics of Vasil K'nchov ("Macedonia, Ethnography and Statistics",1900), there were 1.520 inhabitants in Tsarevo Selo (Delchevo), of which 575 Bulgarians were Muslims, 520 Bulgarians were Bulgarian Exarchists and 425 Turks.
In the first organized census of SFR Yugoslavia from 1948, there were 20.159 inhabitants in the Tsarevo Selo area, of which 3,173 in Tsarevo Selo (Delchevo) and 16.986 in the villages (Pijanec, Osogovo). From an ethnic point of view, the population consisted of 15.669 (77.7%) Macedonians, 4,036 (20%) Turks, but some of them were Macedonian Muslims, 300 (1.48%) Roma and 154 others.
According to the 2002 census, the city had a population of 11.500 and belonged to the group of medium-sized towns.
Sport and cultureEdit
The football club FK Bregalnica Delchevo play their home games at the City Stadion "Goce Delchev", which has a capacity of 5,000 people. A festival in celebration of Macedonian revolutionary leader Goce Delchev is held every year on August 2. The ruins of the (Byzantine) village of Vasilevo lie about 3km (1,9mi) southeast of the town, and the Monastery of Sveta Bogoridica (St. Mother of Christ), noted for its bright frescoes, is situated about 3km (1,9mi) to the southwest.
- Church "Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God" - a church in the higher part of the city;
- Church "St. Cyril and Methodius ”- a new church in the lower part of the city;
- Church "St. Kliment Ohridski ”- a new church on the location where in 1961, by a decision of the then government, a church was demolished;
- Church "St. Naum Ohridski ”- baptistery church. Consecrated on August 4, 2013.
- Church "St. Bogorodica ”- grave church;
- Church "St. Bogorodica Balaklija ”- the main monastery church of the Delchevo Monastery;
- Church "Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God" - a monastery church in the Delchevo Monastery;
- Secondary school "Metodija Mitevski Brico" - Delchevo
- Primary school "Vancho Prke" - Delchevo
- Primary school "St. Kliment Ohridski" - Delchevo
Twin towns — sister citiesEdit
Delchevo is twinned with:
- Кѫнчовъ, Василъ. Македония. Етнография и статистика. София, Българското книжовно дружество, 1900 с. 228.
- Елка Василева, 70% от македонския град Делчево с БГ гражданство= "Вечер": Все повече македонци искат български паспорти! 4 юни 2018, Днес.бг.
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