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The history from the cultural aspect

In between the Sharr Mountain, Dry Mountain, Zeden, Vllanice and Bukovik lies the Polog Valley, long 55km and wide 8-12 km.  In the mountainside of Sharr and the hillock of Baltepe, in the coastline of Shkumbin, lies the town of Tetovo.

Being in the centre of the Polog Valley, Tetovo has historically had a great economic and strategic importance, for this reason many rulers in the past, tried to rule this strategic region.

This region has a suitable linkage with the neighbouring region, such as with the Derven gorge, and the hilly region of Grupcin that lies in southeast, through which Polog communicates with the Valley of Skopje and beyond. In the southwest, through Gostivar and some mountains, Tetovo is linked with Kicevo and Debar. And, lastly it is linked through the regional road Tetovo-Ferizaj. The altitude of the town is 450-500 metres above sea level. The first writings for Tetovo date from antiquity, with the name of OANEUM.

In the period of late antiquity and in the early middle ages, Tetovo is greatly damaged. In the XI century, Tetovo is distinguished among the other settlements. In the XIII-XV, Tetovo is mentioned as an urban place, with the development of the craftsmanship and agriculture. Tetovo presents a very rich ethno cultural, material and spiritual treasure in different historical periods. The cultural and historical heritage of Tetovo presents an overall spiritual and material values created during its history.

These values reflect the economical, political, religious  and cultural development of the past, as well as the battle for keeping the ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity. Tetovo is a town with a rich cultural and historical tradition, a town that owns a great number of cultural and historical buildings, such as sacrals and profanes.

With the arrival of Turkish-Ottomans in the Balkan in the XIV and XV century, the Ottomans regulated their administration, where Tetovo becomes an administrative and cultural centre in the Polog Valley. Through architecture and culture, begins the construction of sacral, economical and societal buildings. In Tetovo many religious monuments were built, such as: mosques, masjids, shrines, etc.

In the meantime many buildings of the economic and societal character are being built, such as: caravan sarays, inns, hamams, public drinking fountains, etc. All these buildings are very old and date from the beginning of the Ottoman Rule. The value of these architectural objects speaks for the cultural and spiritual development of the people in the region.

In the vakifname of Mehmed Kuklin Bey (1436), Tetovo is mentioned that it had many stores and workshops. With a rapid cultural development, with the construction of different monuments, from the Islamic community and the Orthodox community, Tetovo gains a vision of a developed cultural centre, not just in the region, but beyond as well.

Tetovo as a centre of trade and craftsmenship, is seen in the first part of the XIX century till the Balkan wars. After the Balkan wars, Tetovo stagnates in its cultural development. After the Second World War, Tetovo begins a rapid cultural development. 

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Tetovo Municipality
Dervish Cara nn
1200 Tetovo
Republic of North Macedonia

Tel. +389 44 511 930
Fax. +389 44 511 962
Tel. 044 339 240
Faqeja oficiale e Komunës së Tetovës - Официјална страница на Општина Тетово - Official website of Tetovo Municipality © 2014