Marko’s fortress, in Prilep, is one of the obligatory visits in this city. There are also other charms here that cannot be overlooked. We want to introduce you to all of them, focusing especially on fortification. Can you come with us?
Marko de Prilep’s fortress, origin and characteristics
Marko de Prilep’s fortress was one of the strongest and most impregnable in the Balkans. It emerged in the 4th century BC and developed until the 14th century BC on a 180-meter-high hill, north of present-day Prilep. More specifically, in a part of Mount Babuna.
The construction, which came to be defended by only 40 soldiers, it is currently in ruins. The Markovi Kuli, or Marko’s towers, of medieval Serbian origin and which are surrounded by steep slopes covered with granite stones, are preserved from it.
These remains are part of an ancient settlement, of which a wall is also preserved in good condition. The lower zone of this consists of a row of short walls drawn in a broken line. On its east side, there are some tombs inserted into the rock.
Secondly, the fortress is named after Marko Mrnjavčević. This was a king who ruled over a territory centered on the city of Prilep (between 1371 to 1395). However, he was forced to pay homage to the Ottoman invaders and later take part in the Battle of Rovine, in which he was killed.
After the death of the king, the place was taken by the Ottoman forces. Those who lived here then migrated to the foot of Marko’s towers. We are talking about the current municipality of Varoš.
What else to see in Prilep
In addition to the strength In Prilep, other constructions of interest should be visited, such as the Sv. Blagoveshtenie church, or Church of the Holy Annunciation. It is a great example of Madedonian Revival period architecture. It is from 1838, it consists of three naves and it highlights the iconostasis carved in wood.
Nearby are the ruins of the old bazaar mosque. It was built in 1475 and can boast of being the oldest in Europe with two balconies on its minaret.
Also must see the clock tower, which is 55 meters high and has a hexagonal base. It was erected to replace a wooden one that had caught fire. In the historic center of Prilep there is also the equestrian statue of King Marko, in the town square.
All this can be discovered by taking a walk through the network of streets of this beautiful city of Macedonia. In it the houses are low and Ottoman style. A place that seems to transport us to the very medieval times.
Already in the outskirts we can visit the monastery of Los Santos Arcángeles, surrounded by rock formations and vegetation. Also the church of San Nicolás. This is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Macedonia, thanks to the decoration on its façade or the colorful frescoes inside.
What to do in Prilep
In the city of Prilep you can go sightseeing to learn about its historical importance, which is evidenced by constructions such as the Marko fortress. But here there are endless events that are worth enjoying.
One of the most outstanding events is the Pivofest. It is a beer fair that lasts for four days and in which numerous concerts are held.
Other famous celebrations take place at carnivals. In the Prochka, the younger ones visit the older members of their family to ask forgiveness for their sins. Meanwhile, the Mechkari is a pagan ritual in which men dress in bear costumes and perform various actions to be healthy and make the year fruitful.
As you see, the tourist possibilities in the city of Prilep are numerous, beyond visiting the ruins of the old fortress of Marko. Are you going to miss them?