Municipality of Prilep
Municipality of Prilep
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Department of History was established in 1948 as a separate unit with a permanent exhibition with a theme of National Liberation War. With the establishment of the National Museum in Prilep in 1955, which in 1981 developed into Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments, Natural Rarities and Museum, Department of History comes within its scope.


  • Collection and storage of museum material;
  • Recognition and examination of the terrain for discovery of new data and documents;
  • Performs protection and professional processing of the museum material obtained through research, purchase, gift or otherwise;
  • Keeps records of movable and immovable cultural monuments and museum material;
  • Keeps records and performs periodic insights on the movable and immovable cultural monuments that are under the jurisdiction or property of other entities, as well as an insight on the memorial marks from the Ilinden period and National Liberation War;
  • Prepares programs and studies for organization and placement of permanent and temporary exhibitions;
  • Performs research and publishes professional and scientific papers in the field of history;
  • Performs pedagogical-guidance service in its area;


The medieval city Markovi Kuli was proclaimed as a monument of culture in 1953. The significance of the fortress Markovi Kuli (Marko's Towers) as well as the medieval town of Prilep, in the long history of the Balkans is great, primarily because of its location in Pelagonia. Namely, important thoroughfares that connected the Adriatic Sea with the Aegean Sea had passed through this valley. In ancient times the Via Serdika usljue Heracleam road, as a sub branch of the Via Militaris (Singidunum - Constantinopolis), passed through Prilep, and in continuation it connected with the road Via Egnatia (Durachium - Amfipolis).

The fortress was established and developed during the period of the IV century b.c till XIV century a.d and also represents a symbol of the city. Due to the fortress, medieval Prilep is famous on the Balkan with its dominant defense system i.e., she is one of the five strongest and unassailable fortresses on the Balkans.

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According to the oldest traces of origin, this fortress was probably built during the time of the most powerful Macedonian kings. That it was a large and continually populated settlement, testify most of the necropolises that originate from the early iron period, through the ancient period to the late Middle Age. In time, the city grows into a large and significant craftsmanship-commercial and administrative center.

The oldest written information for Markovi Kuli i.e. Prilep as a fortress, is found in the Byzantine sources from the time of Emperor Vasilij II (976-1025), from 1018.
From this period, from the lower city below the fortress, originates the marble pillar which today is located in the church of St. Archangel Michael in Varosh, suburban settlement of today’s Prilep. On it is inscribed one of the oldest Slavic inscriptions, which refers to the Bishop Andreja. Although short and stereotyped in content, it is significant as one of the oldest Cyrillic inscriptions in Macedonia and testifies for the literary activity in this field since the initial period of the Slavic literacy.

The city and the fortress are also mentioned, under the name Prilapon, in the Short History of Jovan Skilica, a contemporary of King Samuil, who after the defeat from Vasilij II at Belasica, died in Prilep on October 6, 1014.

Other written information about Prilep and the fortress, originate from the time of the Byzantine Emperor Aleksij III Angel (1195-1203) and are related to the trade of Venice in these regions when Prilep was a part of the feud of  Dobromir Hrs.

When Byzantine Empire collapsed in 1204 under the attack of the Crusaders, the city falls under Bulgarian government headed by the Tsar Kaloyan (1197 to 1207), until 1207 when it became part of the territory ruled by the feudal ruler, the sebastocrate Strez. Shortly after the death of Strez in 1214, Prilep falls under the authority of the despot of Epirus Michael I (1204-around 1215). In 1230 after the battle at Klokotnitsa between Bulgaria and Epirus army and after the defeat of the Epirotes, Prilep falls under Bulgarian rule until 1241. When Bulgarian king Ivan Asen II died (1218-1241), the city went back within the Kingdom of Epirus, during the time of the despot of Epirus Michael II (about 1237-1271), until 1254 when he falls under the Nicaean rule i.e. under the restored Byzantine Empire.

In 1334 Prilep falls under Serbian ruling. Most of the data for the medieval city are from the reign of the Serbian king and later King Dushan (1331-1355). From the documents found in the monastery Treskavec, it is understood that Prilep at that time was great and important city center and that King Dusan had a palace here.

From 1350 the name of Volkashin is mentioned, who later in 1360 by King Uros is given the title Despot. After the Battle at Maritsa in 1371 against the Turks, Volkasin dies. He is succeeded by his son Marko, one of the most legendary heroes for whom, unfortunately, there are scanty data. It is known that Marko was a Turkish vassal and as such participated in the battle at Rovine against the Vlach Duke Jovan Mirche in 1395, where he died.

Before that, in 1385 during the time of Sultan Murad I (1362-1389) Prilep falls under Turkish rule. With the death of King Marko ends the medieval history of Prilep.




The Turkish presence in Macedonia, and thus in Prilep lasting more than five centuries, has left traces that bear witness even today of that tumultuous, difficult and bloody time. Macedonian people for the entire period of Turkish captivity gave resistance to the harsh national and religious humiliation by the conquerors in different ways, through outlaw or rebellions and uprisings.

In the middle of the XVI century or more precisely in 1564/65, the famous Prilep – Mariovo riot was organized. More than 1,000 fighters were involved in it. However, due to more numerous and better armed Turkish army the rebellion was bloodily suppressed.

In XVII century Prilep develops into a large and beautiful city. Turkish travel writers Haji Kalfa, Evliya Çelebi and others left written information about this, who wrote that Prilep at that time had about 1000 houses and 200 shops.

During his journey through Prilep in 1807, the French consul Henri Pukvil noted that the city had from 1000 to 1100 houses and ran trade with grain, wool and cattle, and that Prilep Fair was one of the largest in Rumelia.

In XIX century in Prilep comes to a fast development of the craftsmanship and trade. With the economic development, the number of inhabitants increased: in 1836 Prilep had 6-7000 inhabitants, in 1868 had 15 to 20,000 inhabitants, and in 1890 - 26,674 inhabitants. The economic boost of the city had a positive impact on the cultural development, and enabled progress of the educational work.

In conditions under Turkish slavery, literacy was achieved in cell schools in the monasteries and churches. In 1843, in Prilep, the first national school "St. Cyril and Methodius" was opened. Largest contribution for the development of educational activities had the Macedonian revivalists who were also teachers in Prilep: Dimitar Miladinov, Jordan Hadzi Constantinov - Dzinot, Marko Cepenkov, Rajko Zinzifov, Grigor Prlicev, Kuzman Shapkarev and others.

Marko Cepenkov (1829-1920) is a known revivalist from Prilep. He collected folk songs, stories, proverbs, beliefs, customs, fables, dreams, etc. from the Prilep region. His work was printed in several volumes.

In the battles against the Turks for national liberation of Macedonia, Prilep has played a significant role. In the second half of XIX century in Prilep, and the Prilep region several groups led by Spiro Crne, Dime Chakre, Kone Pavlov and others acted.

Famous revolutionary activists from the Ilinden period, end of XIX and early XX century, from Prilep were: Gjorche Petrov (1864-1921), Pere Toshev (1865-1912), Petre Acev and others.

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Characteristic testimony for this period arethe weapons, military equipment and other items, such as: yataghans, sabers, lacks, rifles and revolvers.

In the History Department there is a collection of yataghans from XIX century, lacks from XVIII and XIX century; guns: kremenjachi, maliheri and berdanki; revolvers: gaser, nagant and others.



Prilep came under fascist occupation on April 8, 1941. Since the first days of occupation resistance organized by the Communist Party appeared. As a result of this, with the first shot in Prilep on October 11, 1941 the rebellion of the Macedonian people started.

Fighters of the Fifth National - Liberation Assault Brigade freed Prilep on September 9, 1944, and final liberation was on 3 November the same year.



Prilep during the National Liberation War (1941-1944) gave more than 650 victims to fascism. Fifteen of them were national heroes, of whom ten were killed and 143 are bearers of the "Partisan monument 1941".

By charter from May 7, 1975 by the President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Josip Broz – Tito, the city of Prilep received a medal “National hero” for everything that it did during the National Liberation War.

The History Department, as a museum material since the time of the National Liberation and Anti-fascist War (1941-1944), owns: photographs, documents, weapons, military equipment and more.



Memorial Museum "Kuzman Josifovski - Pitu" is located on the street Mara Josifoska No. 20 in Prilep. The house was built at the end of XIX century. National hero Kuzman Josifovski-Pitu (1915-1944) was born there . The house was declared as a monument of culture in 1971.

The house is thoroughly reconstructed and is opened as a memorial museum on October 11, 1977. Museum exhibition is placed in three rooms, in which the life and work of the revolutionary hero is represented.




The memorial museum, "October 11, 1941" is located in the center of Prilep. The building was built at the end of XIX century. During the fascist occupation (1941-1944) this building was turned into a Police station. On October 11, 1941, fighters from the Prilep partisan squad committed armed attack on the Police station and other targets, and that was the start of the armed uprising of the Macedonian people against the fascist occupiers.

The building has a ground floor and first floor. Museum exhibition is from 1961 and was refurbished in 1982. The ground floor is showing the history of Prilep and the Prilep region during the Revival, the Ilinden period, the Balkan Wars, First World War and the period between the two world wars until 1940.

The upper floor shows events from 1941 in Prilep and the Prilep region, with major emphasis on October 11, 1941. Developments in these events are accompanied by photographs of the fighters who carried out the armed attacks, as well as photographs of fighters from the squad "Goce Delchev". Besides photographs, the exhibition includes maps, sketches, documents, weapons and military equipment used by the fighters.

On the western wall of the upper floor is located a fresco created by the artist Borko Lazeski from Prilep, themed "National liberation battles of the Macedonian people." In the museum exhibition there is also a list of the 143 soldiers from Prilep, bearers of "Partisan monument 1941".





The Park of Revolution is located on the southern periphery of Prilep. It was built in 1961 in honor of the fallen fighters in the National Liberation War, and the author is architect Bogdan Bogdanovic. As part of the Park of Revolution is the common grave - crypt, known as "Hillock of Undefeated," declared as a cultural monument in 1989. On the marble slabs are engraved the names of the soldiers from Prilep and the Prilep region who died from 1941-1944. Before the crypt there are eight marble urns that symbolize the formation of the partisan squads and larger military formations, and the biggest urn, with a symbol of eternal flame, represents the unsubmissiveness of the Macedonian people.




As part of this monumental complex is the "Alley of folk heroes," in which on marble pedestals are placed bronze statues of the ten fallen national heroes from Prilep:

Kire Gavriloski - Jane (1918-1944)

Ile Igeski - Cvetan (1920-1944)

Orde Chopela (1912-1942)

Borka Taleski (1921-1942)

Kuzman Josifoski - Pitu (1915-1944)

Mirche Acev (1915-1943)

Borka Veleski - Levata (1912-1942)

Rampo Levkata (1909-1942)

Lazo Filiposki - Lavski (1918-1942)

Krume Volnaroski (1909-1944)