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 Delčev) is held every year on August 2nd.

Делчево (Macedonian)
Town centre of Delčevo
Town centre of Delčevo
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Official seal of {{{official_name}}}
Delčevo is located in North Macedonia
Location within North Macedonia
Coordinates: 41°58′N 22°46′E / 41.967°N 22.767°E / 41.967; 22.767
Country North Macedonia
RegionLogo of Eastern Region, North Macedonia.svg Eastern
MunicipalityCoat of arms of Delčevo Municipality.svg Delčevo
 • MayorGoran Trajkovski (SDSM)
Highest elevation
640 m (2.100 ft)
Lowest elevation
590 m (1.940 ft)
 • Total11.500
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code+389 033
Car platesŠT; 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.

Ottoman periodEdit

In Turkish times, Delčevo 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 Delčevo. 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 Bulgarian 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 a church was completed. The area around the church was at this time mainly inhabited by Bulgarians fleeing Turkish oppression from the surrounding villages. There was a larger emigration of Bulgarians from the 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 the 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 Bulgarians. 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 Delčevo 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, Bulgarian settlers came from the surrounding villages, mostly from the passive villages of Bigla, Selnik and Dramče, 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.

After the liberation, on April 23, 1950, the Presidium of the National Assembly of the People's Republic of Macedonia decided that Tsarevo Selo should be renamed Delčevo, in honor of Goce Delčev.

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 Delčevo, the number of the population in it also grew. Today Delčevo 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 Delčevo. It is the largest settlement in the Pijanec area, which stretches over an area of 585km² (226mi²), located between the Osogovo Mountains (north) and Maleševo (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, Delčevo has a relatively good geographical position and traffic connection. It is a crossroads for eastern Macedonia. Through Pehčevo (27km/17mi) and Berovo (34km/21mi) it is connected with Strumica to the south, and through Makedonska Kamenica (24km/15mi) and Kočani (51km/32mi) it is connected with Štip 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 Delčevo 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 Kanchov ("Macedonia, Ethnography and Statistics",1900), there were 1.520 inhabitants in Tsarevo Selo (Delčevo), of which 575 Bulgarians were Muslims, 520 Bulgarians were Bulgarian Exarchists and 425 Turks.[1]

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 (Delčevo) 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.

The main ethnic group is Macedonian. Romani people are the biggest minority. Today more than 70% of Delčevo's Slavic population holds Bulgarian citizenship.[2]

Year Macedonians Roma Turks Serbs Albanians Aromanians Other Total
1948 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3.173
1953 1.596 178 1.127 90 2 0 40 3.033
1961 2.645 N/A 318 56 0 N/A 128 3.147
1971 4.464 172 353 51 11 N/A 53 5.104
1981 7.349 450 170 32 7 0 57 8.065
1991 9.832 551 161 29 8 0 83 10.664
1994 9.845 521 121 29 9 0 29 10.554
2002 10.761 564 97 25 7 3 43 11.500
2021 11,949 475 112 9 20 5 108 13,585

The official language of the municipality is Macedonian and everyone can speak it. Delchevo today has many beautiful languages and its population is very tolerant to new languages and cultures.

Language Number Percentage
Macedonian 10.851 94,36
Romani 402 3,50
Turkish 188 1,63
Serbian 26 0,23
Albanian 7 0,06
Bosniak 2 0,02
Aromanian 1 0,01
Other 25 0,22

Delčevo is a secular town. The main religion is Orthodox Christianity. Islam is mostly practiced by the Roma and Turkish minority. The town has many churches and a mosque for its citizens.

Religion Number Percentage
Orthodox Christian 10.594 92,12
Islam 660 5,74
Protestantism 4 0.03
Catholicism 3 0,03
Other/Atheism 239 2,08

Sport and cultureEdit

The football club FK Bregalnica Delčevo play their home games at the City Stadion "Goce Delčev", which has a capacity of 5,000 people. A festival in celebration of the Macedonian Bulgarian revolutionary leader Goce Delčev 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.

Cultural and social facilitiesEdit


  • 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 Delčevo Monastery;
  • Church "Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God" - a monastery church in the Delčevo Monastery;


  • Secondary school "Metodija Mitevski Brico" - Delčevo
  • Primary school "Vancho Prke" - Delčevo
  • Primary school "St. Kliment Ohridski" - Delčevo

Twin towns — sister citiesEdit

Delčevo is twinned with:


  1. ^ Кѫнчовъ, Василъ. Македония. Етнография и статистика. София, Българското книжовно дружество, 1900 с. 228.
  2. ^ Елка Василева, 70% от македонския град Делчево с БГ гражданство= "Вечер": Все повече македонци искат български паспорти! 4 юни 2018, Днес.бг.

External linksEdit