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.

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А1, Gradsko, North Macedonia
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Details

Founded: 3rd century BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in North Macedonia

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yonathan Stein (9 months ago)
The best preserved ancient city in Macedonia. You can even get for free (ticket just 100 anyway) but if it's closed just walk next to the walls and you'll see that you can jump or just find an entrance next to the big flag. Don't miss your opportunity to visit. Taxi round-trip from Gradsko is around 300-400 MKD.
Bobby MKD (18 months ago)
Stobi rivals Pompei in its magnificence and its beauty. The sheer scale of it and its preservation is sublime. One of the biggest Roman excavation sites in Macedonia well worth the visit!
Agostino Bocchi (22 months ago)
Nice archaeological site, nothing compared to other similar places, but if you pass through these lands it is worth a stop for a couple of hours. In the vicinity the wine area is amazing, so the union of things I would say is worth the excursion.
Nikolas Wood (23 months ago)
Great visit from Kavadartsi. We took a taxi round trip with 1 hour on-site for 700 denar. Entrance was 120 denar per adult. The ruins are absolutely amazing and the site is massive. There was hardly a soul there when we visited. 1 hour flew by- maybe 1.5 or 2 hours is better to slowly appreciate everything. The mosaics are covered up for the winter but it was still a great visit!
Alex Yordanov (2 years ago)
Amazing site and amazing team of professionals operating in it
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