Strumica History, Macedonia
The city of Strumica is located at the southeastern part of the Macedonian Republic and it is the capital of the Strumica Municipality. Its population is about 55,000, 90 percent of which are Macedonians. The city’s name is taken from the river running through it – the River Strumica.
Strumica History – Ancient Period
The start of Strumica History was based on archaeological evidence tracing its inhabitation since 6,000 BC. Traces of an ancient culture from the late Neolithic Age to beginning of the Bronze Era were found on a site near the Czar Tower in Strumica.
The city was first cited as the city of Astraion in 181 BC in a text written by a historian from Rome. During the Roman occupation, the city’s name was changed to Tiveriopolis.
Strumica History – Byzantine and Slavic Period
Tiveriopolis suffered from a major devastation when the Slavs transferred to the city between the mid-6th century and the first half of the 7th century. For a short while, the Slavic tribe named Strumicani governed in the city. The reign ended when the Byzantium took control over Tiveriopolis. A few years later, Boris, a Bulgarian monarch conquered the region of Strumica.
During the revolt led by Nikola’s sons Samuel, David, Aron, and Mojsej, the region became a part of the first Macedonian state in the late 10th century. However, in 1018, after the Macedonian soldiers were defeated by the Byzantine soldiers, the city and the rest of Macedonia had once more been occupied by the Byzantines. It was also around this time that the city started to be called Strumica.
Serbia attacked Macedonia in the end of the 1200s. For a time after that, Strumica, along with Hrelja ruled the region near the city. In 1344, Stefan Dushan, the king of Serbia ruled over the city.
Strumica History – Ottoman Period
During the Ottoman occupation, the Turkish government changed the name of the city to Ustrumce thus marking a change in Strumica History. The city’s appearance became more oriental when Turkish travelers and livestock breeders settled in Umstrumce.
The city turned into the base of a kadilik in the 1600s. It then became a part of the Solun Sanjak between the late 1700s and the early 1800s. During the 19th century, the first Macedonian school in the region opened and painters from the city emerged in the world of art.
The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization’s first local district commission was established in Strumica in the late 19th century. This organization aimed to overthrow the Ottoman occupation in Macedonia, but the cause failed.
Strumica History – 20th Century
The joint forces of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece drove the Turks out of Macedonia during the First Balkan War in 1912. As a result, Strumica fell under the rule of Bulgaria. The Second Balkan War broke in 1913 when the 4 allied countries fought over the division of Macedonia. Strumica remained as a part of Bulgaria although the country was defeated. The Greeks, due to anger, set the city on fire, which lasted for 7 days.
During the World War II, the city was captured by the Germans. Strumica was turned over to Bulgaria. This action angered the residents of Strumica making them rise up against the fascists. In the last quarter of 1944, the Bulgarians were forced out of Strumica and the Germans left.
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