Healing Waters

Just over 50 kilometres south of Skopje, on the banks of the River Vardar, lies Veles, one of the most important towns in the recent history of Macedonia. In the new millennium this former industrial centre faces the challenge of coming out from the shadow of the nearby capital and creating a new identity while embracing its history. Veles has changed its name a few times, and each new name marked an important historical period. Thus, in the pre-historic times, when it was one of the most important cities of the legendary tribe of Paionians who inhabited Eastern and Central parts of Macedonia, its name was “Bylazora”. During the Ottoman times it was named Köprülü, the town of bridges. The city shared its name with the Köprülü family of Albanian origin that gave six Grand Viziers and several other high officials to the Ottoman Empire. After the Second World War, Veles carried the adjective “Titov” after the Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito in recognition of the important contribution of Veles to the anti-fascist movement and the socialist revolution. After Macedonia declared its independence and a liberal democracy was introduced, “Titov” was removed and in 1996 the town reverted to the name which it had held for longest in the recent history. Read more …