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Gevgelija (Municipality, Macedonia)


Last modified: 2007-09-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: gevgelija | miravci | acorns: 2 |
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[Flag of Gevgelija]

Flag of Gevgelija - Image of by Mello Luchtenberg, 30 March 2007

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Presentation of Gevgelija

The municipality of Gevgelija (22,988 inhabitants; 483.43 sq. km) is made of the town of Gevgelija and the 16 settlements of Bogorodica, Gabrovo, Davidovo, Kovanci, Konsko, Moin, Miletkovo, Miravci, Mrzenci, Negorci, Novo Konjsko, Petrovo, Prdejci, Sermenci, Smokvica and Huma.

The town of Gevgelija, located on the right bank of river Vardar on the border with Greece, is the southernmost and warmest town of Macedonia. The Mediterranean climate allows the cultivation of several kinds of vegetables (tomatos) and fruit (grapes, figs, lemons, pomegranates) and the breeding of silkworms. The town is located on major routes (road and railway) to Salonica, which allowed the development of industry and trade.
Gevgelija has been nicknamed "The Macedonian Las Vegas" because of the great number of Greeks who come to the town and visit its six casinos and numerous shops; some 1,500-2,000 Greek citizens cross the border every day. Several Greek textile, agri-food and chemistry workshops have been relocated to Gevgelija, where the production costs are much lower. In contrast, very few Macedonians are allowed to work in Greece, mostly as field workers, and awarded the required visa. Accordingly, trafficking and illegal immigration are increasing. Human trafficking was the subject of a trial held in Skopje in November 2006 and considered as the biggest criminal case since the independence of Macedonia. Twenty-six people from Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Bulgaria were sentenced to a total of 110 years in jail.
Gevgelija is the only town in the region to have kept its Turkish baths, built in the XVIIth century; they were declared Monument of Culture in 2003 and are currently restored with the support of the Turkish municipality of Karac.

The village of Marvinci, located 25 km north of Gevegelija, is built on the site of the ancient town of Dober (and not Idomenae, as previously believed). Several horizons have been excavated, from the VIth century BC to the Roman period.
Similarly, the ancient town of Gortinia has been excavated from the Vardar Hill (Vardarski Rid); systematic study of the site started in 1995. The six main horizons of the Vardar Hill are:
- Vardarski Rid I (VI- IV millennium B.C.): a Neolithic settlement not systematically excavated yet
- Vardarski rid II (XIII -XI century B.C.): a settlement and a necropolis from the very late Bronze Age
- Vardarski Rid III (X -IX century B.C.): a settlement from the early Iron Age
- Vardarski Rid IV (VIII-VI/V century B.C.): a settlement and a necropolis (some 200 tombs) from the late Iron Age
- Vardarski Rid V (V - IV century B.C.): the oldest known urban settlement in Macedonia
- Vardarski Rid VI (III - II/I century B.C.): the later Macedonian town, pre-Roman times.
Academician Jordan Grabul created the Freedom's monument in the early 1970s. The monument is dedicated to killed soldiers and victims in the Second World War, from Gevgelija and its surroundings. It was built on the Vardar Hill and should be soon relocated elsewhere to allow further archeological research.


Ivan Sache, 3 April 2007

Municipal flag of Gevgelija

The municipal flag of Gevgelija, as shown on the Macedonian Ministry of Local Self-Government website (page no longer online), is horizontally divided white-blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

Ivan Sache, 3 April 2007

Former municipality of Miravci

[Flag of Miravci]

Flag of Miravci - Image of by Mello Luchtenberg & António Martins, 13 November 2006

The small town of Miravci (2,779 inhabitants) is located some 20 km north of Gevgelija in the Vardar valley. Miravci, like all other towns in Vardar valley is along the railway (and other important transportation routes) going from north to south, further on to the Aegean sea.
Miravci was incorporated to the municipality of Gevgelija in 2004.

Miravci is known for its traditional dances, which were the subject of a film made by the Belgrade Ethnography Museum in 1932. The First Belgrade Folk Festival (28 May - 13 June 1938) was opened with the Rusalians from Miravci, as a part of a project led by the sisters Danica and Ljubica Janković, who collected, classified, systematized and scientifically studied the traditional dances of the regions within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and then the Republic of Yugoslavia (with publications from 1934 to 1952). In September 1951, Peter Kennedy recorded music in the Opatija Folk Music Festival; track #14 of the record is:
14. Petre Vojvodo. A group of women from Miravci, Djevdjeli, perform a Revolutionary Dance to tapan and zurla. It pays tribute to the Vejvedas (Chieftains) and to their great accomplishments in the battle-field.

The flag of Miravci, as shown on the Macedonian Ministry of Local Self-Government website (page no longer online), is in proportion 1:2, vertically divided yellow-white-blue with the municipal emblem in the middle of the white stripe.
The emblem shows in dexter two acorns on a yellow field and in sinister a man with a sword. The man could be one of the chieftains celebrated by the local folklore. The basis of the shield is red, with a representation of the railway. The top of the shield has the city name written in yellow on red.
The colours of the flag seem to have been derived from those of the coat of arms.

Ivan Sache & Željko Heimer , 13 November 2006