Skopje, Capital City Of North Macedonia

Skopje ( SKOP-yee, -⁠yay, US also SKOHP-; Macedonian: Скопје [ˈskɔpjɛ] (listen); Albanian: Shkup) is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. Originally a Paeonian city, Scupi became the capital of Dardania in the second century BC. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was seized by the Romans and became a military camp. When the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395 AD, Scupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople. During much of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire, whose capital it was between 972 and 992. From 1282, the town was part of the Serbian Empire, and acted as its capital city from 1346 to 1371. In 1392, Skopje was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, who called it Üsküb (اسکوب); this name was also in use in English for a time. The town stayed under Ottoman control for over 500 years, serving as the capital of the pashasanjak of Üsküp and later the Vilayet of Kosovo. In 1912, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia during the Balkan Wars. During the First World War the city was seized by the Kingdom of Bulgaria, and, after the war, it became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Yugoslavia as the capital of Vardarska Banovina. In the Second World War the city was again captured by Bulgaria and in 1945 became the capital of SR Macedonia, a federated state within the Yugoslavia. The city developed rapidly, but this was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. Skopje is on the upper course of the Vardar River, and is on a major north–south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens. It is a centre for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather, and printing industries. Industrial development of the city has been accompanied by development of the trade, logistics, and banking sectors, as well as an emphasis on the fields of transportation, culture and sport. According to the last official count from 2002, Skopje had a population of 428,988 inhabitants in its urban area and 506,926 in ten municipalities that form the city and, beside Skopje, include many other less urbanized and rural settlements some of which are 20 km (12 miles) away from the city itself or even border the neighbouring Kosovo.