Stobi was an ancient town of Paeonia located near Gradsko. It is considered by many to be the most famous archaeological site in North Macedonia. Stobi was built where the Erigon (Crna River) joins the Axios (Vardar), making it strategically important as a center for both trade and warfare.
Stobi developed from a Paeonian settlement established in the Archaic period. It is believed that in 217 BCE, Philip V annexed Paionia during his campaign against the Dardani who had entered Bylazora, the largest Paeonian town.
The city was first mentioned in writing by the historian Livy, in connection with a victory of Philip V of Macedon over the Dardani in 197 BC. In 168 BC, the Romans defeated Perseus and Macedonia was divided into four nominally independent republics. In 148 BC, the four areas of Macedonia were brought together in a unified Roman province. In the reign of Augustus the city grew in size and population. The city grew further in 69 BC once it became a municipium, at which time it began to produce coins printed with Municipium Stobensium. The citizens of Stobi enjoyed Ius Italicum and were citizens of Rome. Most belonged to the Roman tribes Aemila and Tromentina. During Roman times Stobi was the capital of the Roman province Macedonia Salutaris. Emperor Theodosius I stayed in Stobi in 388. Late in the 5th century the city underwent a terrible turn of events. In 479, it was robbed by Theodoric, an Ostrogothic king. The citizens reconstructed the city, but in 518 it was struck by a powerful earthquake. Avaro-Slavic invasions in the 6th century destroyed the city's economy and infrastructure.
The Grand Palace near the eastern wall of the city was built during the Roman period and contains beautiful frescoes. The Temple of Nemesis in the theater, and religious items related to Hygeia and Telesphorus, Artemis Locheia, Apollo Clarious, Jupiter, Dionysus and Hera were common during this time. In the early Christian period Stobi was an episcopal see by 325, when the bishop Budius took part in the First Council of Nicaea. Stobi is one of a small number of cities from the late antique and early Christian period that kept a large number of mosaics. From the 4th to 5th century, several big churches were built and were known for their interior decoration of mosaics and frescoes. Decorative mosaics can also be found in private luxury buildings from late Antiquity, such as the Villas of Theodosius, Policharmosius and Peristerius. New archaeological research has shown that all Christian basilicas in the city discovered thus far were built over ancient buildings.
An ancient synagogue dating from the 3rd or 4th century AD attests to a Jewish presence in the city.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.