The Skopje Fortress, commonly referred to as Kale, is situated on the highest point in the city overlooking the Vardar River. The fortress is depicted on the coat of arms of Skopje, which in turn is incorporated in the city's flag.

The first fortress was built in 6th century AD on a land that was inhabited during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages (roughly 4000 BC onwards). It was constructed with yellow limestone and travertine, along with fragments of Latin inscriptions. Material for the fortress originated from the Roman city of Skupi, which was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 518.

The fortress is thought to have been built during the rule of emperor Justinian I and constructed further during the 10th and 11th centuries over the remains of emperor Justinian's Byzantine fortress which may have been destroyed due to a number of wars and battles in the region. The city was capital of the First Bulgarian Empire between 992 and 1015, and was center of the uprising of the Bulgarian Empire against the Byzantine Empire under the rule of Peter Delyan. Not much is known about the Medieval fortress apart from a few documents which outline minor characteristics in the fortress' appearance.

In 1346 at the Skopje Fortress, Stefan Dušan adopted the title of Emperor at his coronation and he had transferred the capital of Serbian Empire to Skopje.

The fortress was partially destroyed yet again by an earthquake in 1963 but was not reconstructed until recently.



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Founded: 10th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in North Macedonia

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User Reviews

Bojan Jovanoski (3 months ago)
Very good place to go there. Many beautiful things to see. I recommend for parents and little children to go and visit. It is very clean place to make a picnic
Eric Burton (3 months ago)
Visiting the fortress was a really amazing experience. Walking along the turrets and seeing Skopje from the top of the hill was honestly breathtaking, and it being so windy up there added to the majestic feeling if the place. :) If you see only two things when you visit Skopje, they should be the Fortress and the Old Bazaar. Just allow plenty of time for the fortress, it's huge!
Sarah B (3 months ago)
Looks better from the outside, nothing much on the inside. The views of Skopje from the walls are well worth it. If you have an hour to kill its worth it.
Jakub Jílek (4 months ago)
Don't expect too much. From outside, the fortress seems very nice but once you are up there, you will realize the place is not well maintained. The path along the fortress wall has only one entry point which is also the exit so you have to walk all the way back from the end of the pathway to get out. But the views on the city are quite nice.
Euro Kom (9 months ago)
dardanian fortress
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