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Kratovo (Municipality, North Macedonia)


Last modified: 2019-06-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Kratovo - Image by Nikolče Stojanoski, 10 August 2013

See also:

Presentation of Kratovo

The municipality of Kratovo (10,441 inhabitants; 375,44 sq. km), located in north-eastern North Macedonia, is made of the town of Kratovo and of the 30 settlements of Blizanci, Vakuf, Gorno Kratovo, Dimonce, Emirica, Železnica, Živalevo, Kavrak, Ketenovo, Kneževo, Kojkovo, Konjuh, Krilatica, Kuklica, Kunovo, Lukovo, Muškovo, Nežilovo, Pendak, Prikovci, Sekulica, Stracin, Talašmance, Tatomir, Topolovikje, Trnovac, Turalevo, Filipovci, Šlegovo, and Šopsko Rudare.

Quoting the Macedonian Cultural and Information Centre website:

Kratovo was known as early as the Roman era as an important mining center under the name Cratiscara. During the Byzantine period, Kratovo was mentioned as Koritos or Koriton and was also known as the city of gold and silver. It used to be a mining town until the Karpoš Uprising in 1689, when the town was devastated and the mine closed. In 1805 the mine was rented by Ali Beg majdemdzija ("miner" in Turkish) and the work resumed.

Ivan Sache, 15 Avril 2010

Flag of Kratovo

The flag and arms of Kratovo are prescribed in Article 8 of the Municipal Statutes, adopted on 10 October 2006.

The flag of Kratovo (photo, ZELS Expo, 27 November 2009), is horizontally divided yellow-red with the municipal arms in the middle.

The municipal arms shows a landscape with a tower and a single-arched bridge, recalling that Kratovo is nicknamed "The Town of Bridges and Towers", presented as follows in the aforementioned website:

The town once had 12 towers, but unfortunately only six of them have been preserved till present day. Certain documents state that the towers were built by the renters of the Kratovo mines, who used them for living and storing away the ore.
The old part of Kratovo is connected with six bridges, built over the deep and steep river valley. Only one bridge has two arches, the rest are single-arch bridges. Radin Most (Rada's Bridge) was built by brothers who were trying to build the bridge for many years, but the bridge kept collapsing every morning. Someone told the brothers that, if they buried one of the wives in the foundations of the bridge, it would remain solid. The brothers agreed that the wife who came first that morning to bring them breakfast would be the one to be buried. The older brothers told their wives not to go to the bridge the next morning, just the youngest one said nothing to his wife Rada. When the woman came in the morning, they buried her in the bridge, but left her with one breast out so she could feed her baby, who was just three days old. The bridge never collapsed again and has resisted time since.

This legend is very common in the Balkan and elsewhere; nearly the same wording is used to related the building of the Rozafa fortress in Shkodër (Albania), and the legend has been illustrated by Ismail Kadare ("The three-arched bridges") and Ivo Andrić ("The bridge over the Drina").

Ivan Sache, 15 Avril 2010