Kočani (Macedonian: Кочани [ˈkɔtʃani] (listen)) is a town in the eastern part of North Macedonia, situated around 100 kilometres (62 mi) east from Skopje. It has a population of 28,330 and is the seat of the Kočani Municipality.[2]

Кочани (Macedonian)
Кочани аериал.JPG
Flag of Kočani
Official seal of Kočani
City of rice and geothermal water
Kočani is located in North Macedonia
Location within North Macedonia
Coordinates: 41°55′N 22°25′E / 41.917°N 22.417°E / 41.917; 22.417Coordinates: 41°55′N 22°25′E / 41.917°N 22.417°E / 41.917; 22.417
Country North Macedonia
RegionLogo of Eastern Region, North Macedonia.svg Eastern
MunicipalityCoat of arms of Kočani Municipality.svg Kočani
Founded1337 [1]
CouncilSDSM - 10, VMRO-DPMNE - 8, Independent - 1
 • MayorLjupco Papazov(VMRO)
 • Total18.6 km2 (7.2 sq mi)
Highest elevation
420 m (1,380 ft)
Lowest elevation
350 m (1,150 ft)
 • Total28,330
 • Density1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code(++389) 33
Car platesKO
Official languageMacedonian
Geothermal water temperature78°C

Geography and populationEdit

The town spreads across the Northern side of the Kočani valley, along the banks of the Kočani river, where it leaves the mountain slopes and flows through the valley. North of the town there is the Osogovo mountain (2,252 m or 7,388 ft) and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) to the south the valley is closed by the mountain Plačkovica (1,754 m or 5,755 ft). The town is 350–450 m (1,150–1,480 ft) above sea level.

Kočani spreads over an area of 18.6 square kilometres (7.2 sq mi) and has population of 28,330 inhabitants which makes it the third regional center in the Eastern part of the country:

  • 1948 - 6,657 inhabitants
  • 1994 - 26,364 inhabitants
  • 2002 - 28,330 inhabitants


Ethnic structureEdit

According to the 1903 Austrian consular reports on ethnic composition of the kazas of the Sanjak of Skopje in 1903, the kaza of Kočani was populated by a total of 39,406 inhabitants, of whom 16,524 (41.93%) were Bulgarian Exarchists, 11,600 (29.44%) Ottoman Muslim, 7,800 (19.79%) Albanians, 1,680 (4.26%) Aromanians, 1,090 (2.77%) Patriarchists and 712 (1.8%) Romanis.[3]

According to the 2002 census, the ethnic composition of the city is as follows:

Religious denominationEdit


The climate is humid subtropical (Köppen: Cfa), influenced by altered Mediterranean climate which penetrates along the river Bregalnica. The average temperature is 12.9 °C (55.2 °F) with 538 mm (21.2 in) rainfall.


Kočani at night
Kočani in 1942
Postcard of Kočani, from 1930s

Due to its favourable geographic location, together with excellent natural climate characteristics, Kočani was inhabited as early as the ancient times first by the Paionians, Meds and Thracians. Later on, in the 6th century the Slavs inhabited parts of the region. More precisely, in the 7th century members of the Slavic tribe Smolyani colonized the Kočani valley and built a fortification. The founders of the Slavic education, brothers Kiril and Metodij (Cyril and Methodius), stayed in the valley from the year 845 to 855 and in the Bregalnica area (Morodvis) started to preach Christianity in Slavic language.[citation needed]

Although the settlement existed long before that, Kočani was first mentioned in a charter from 1337 in which Despot Jovan Oliver donated the church of St. Dimitrija to Kočani.

Archaeological finds in the town itself have revealed remains of a settlement here in the Roman and Byzantine periods. Early in the 15th century it fell under Turkish rule. The travel chronicler Evliya Çelebi, who visited it in 1662, recorded that it had 600 households, a mosque, a mezjid, an inn and 15 handicraft stores. During the 18th and in the early 19th century, the town growth rate stagnated. It was only around 1878 that the population began to rise, at which time it had about 450 - 500 households. The town has two feudal residences in the shape of towers believed to date from the 16th - 17th century.


Numerous cultural and historical monuments, from ancient times to the Middle Ages, can be found in the vicinity of Kočani. One of them is an archeological site of Dolno Gradishte from the late antic period, and two medieval towers at the city center.

Monastery complexes in the nearby villages Morodvis and Panteley are world-famous both for their architecture and unique frescoes.


St. George Orthodox church in Kočani
Freedom Monument in Kočani

The town green, especially along the river bed and banks of the Kočani river, is the pride of the local people. The town is very clean and neat, for which it has proudly held the prestigious title of the cleanest town in North Macedonia.[4]

Today Kočani is a modern town with planned infrastructure, avenues, many modern buildings and blocks of flats, a hospital, a shopping centre, a park and a newly built industrial zone. All this is carefully planned and structured, according to modern standards of living and esthetics. New suburbs are mainly built to the east where the town almost reaches the first houses of Orizari and to the West spreading over the industrial zone.


The City of Kočani is served by four primary schools:

  • Nikola Karev Primary School
  • Saints Cyril and Methodius Primary School
  • Rade Kratovče Primary School
  • Malina Popivanova Primary School

There are also two secondary schools:

There is also a primary school specializing in music:

  • Risto Jurukov Primary School for Music

The city also maintains a municipal library "Iskra" ("spark").


Local football club FK Osogovo has played several seasons in the Macedonian First Football League.

Town partnershipsEdit

Kočani maintains partnership links with the following places:

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ ""Kočani" (history)" (in Macedonian).
  2. ^ "North Macedonia Timeless". northmacedonia-timeless.com. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  3. ^ Demeter, Gábor; Csaplár-Degovics, Krisztián (2018). A Study in the Theory and Practice of Destabilization: Violence and Strategies of Survival in Ottoman Macedonia (1903-1913). The Isis Press. p. 38.
  4. ^ "Куманово е втор град во државата по зелени површини". KumanovoNews. Retrieved 2020-04-21.

External linksEdit