Skopje

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Skopje (Macedonian: Скопје, [ˈskɔpjɛ]  ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre. It was known in the Roman period under the name Scupi.

The territory of modern Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC;[2] remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. The settlement appears to have been founded around then by the Paionians, a people that inhabited the region. In 148 BC the city became part of the Roman province of Macedonia, established in 146 BC. When the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395 AD, Skupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople. During much of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire. In 1189 the town was part of the Serbian realm.[3] In 1392 the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and they named the town Üsküp. The town stayed under Ottoman conquest over 500 years. At that time the city was famous for its oriental architecture. In 1912, the Balkan Wars happened and after the First World War the city became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia). In the Second World War the city was conquered by the Bulgarian Army, which was collaborating with the Nazi Germans. In 1944 it became the capital city of Democratic Macedonia (later Socialist Republic of Macedonia),[4] which was a federal state, part of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (later Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). The city developed rapidly after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. In 1991 it became the capital centre of independent Macedonia.

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