"Ottoman Empire" Bitola by sisterjenche
Bitola Travel Guide: 244 reviews and 1,040 photos
At the end of the 14th century, after a famous battle near the River Marica, Macedonia came under Ottoman Turkish rule. The history of Macedonia in the period between the 15th and 16th centuries was charcterized by the establishment of the Timar-Spahi system and other forms of Ottoman feudal exploitation. Agriculture at this period was the basic source of livelihood.
Alongside this economic exploitation, the Macedonian people were religiously and ethnically discriminated against, which may be seen from the concept of raya, which was a synonym for having no rights. For a long period Macedonia was subject to a dual domination: economically and politically to the Sultan's rule, and religiously to the rule of the Constantinople Patriarchate, at the head of which were Greeks.
The struggle against feudal exploitation and Turkish rule in Macedonia took the form of repeated rebellions and insurrections, which later developed into organized ajduk strife (ajduks were outlaws opposed to Turkish rule). In 1564-1565 the Mariovo- Prilep Rebellion took place, and in the 17th century ajduk companies attacked Osmanli feudal property. In 1689, part of the Macedonian population organized an uprising known according the name of its leader as the Karpos Uprising.
The economic and political situation in Macedonia further deteriorated. The weakening of the power of the central Ottoman authorities led to the rise of the power of the big landowners and cruel feudal anarchy. The Empire's decline at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century was accompanied by the first emergence of capitalism in Macedonia and the intensifying of national liberation activities. Macedonians took an active part in the insurrections of the neighbouring peoples. The attempts of the Ottoman Empire at reforms in the social, economic, and political system in Macedonia, made under the pressure of the contemporary European Great Powers, did not lead to any improvement in the difficult situation.
Following its defeat in the 1877/78 war with Russia and the Treaty of San Stefano, the Ottoman Empire's Balkan territories were considerably reduced. Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania were proclaimed independent, and Macedonia was annexed to the newly- established Bulgarian state. The revision enacted by the Congress of Berlin held in July 1878, according to which Macedonia remained under the authority of the Ottoman Empire, was just as great an injustice towards the Macedonian people as the clause referring to Macedonia in the Treaty of San Stefano. By ignoring the real interests and struggle of the Macedonian people for liberation and a state of their own, European diplomacy encouraged the nationalist and expansionist myths of the neighbouring Balkan states, and turned the Macedonian Question into an important European political question.
Bitola is the second largest city in Macedonia and is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia Valley. The city is dispersed along the banks of the Dragor river at an altitude of 2,019 ft (615 m) above sea level under Baba Mountain. Spreading on an area of 1,798 sq. km. and with a population of 122,173 (1991), Bitola is an important industrial, agricultural, commercial, educational, and cultural center.
Bitola is an important junction that connects the South of the Adriatic Sea with the Aegean Sea and Central Europe, and is located only few miles from the Greek frontier border.
Baba Mountain overlooks Bitola from the east. Its magnificent Mount Pelister (2601 m) is a national park with exquisite flora and fauna, and a well-known ski resort.
The second Macedonian university is located here. Bitola has one of the oldest and most prestigious theaters in the country.
Traditionally a strong trading center, Bitola is also known as the city of the consuls. At one time during the Ottoman rule, Bitola had consulates from twelve countries. During the same period, there were a number of prestigious schools in the city including a military academy that, among others, was attended by the famous Turkish reformer Kemal Ataturk. During the Ottoman rule there were 60 mosques in the city, of which 12 remain today. Bitola was also the headquarters of many cultural organizations that were established at that time.
Bitola also had great buildings representative of the Ottoman period. These include the Bezisten (covered Turkish mall), the Isac Mosque, built over 1508-1509; the Yeni Mosque, built in 1559; and the Mosque of Yahdar-Kadi, built in 1562 by Kodja Sinan, the most prominent Ottoman architect of the time.
Another cultural and historical monument in Bitola is the Orthodox church "St. Dimitrija,". The church was built in 1830 with voluntary contributions of the local merchants and craftsmen. Since in the Ottoman Empire the churches were supposed look plain on the outside, the church is lavishly decorated on the inside, in order to make up for the lack of splendor on the outside. The opening scenes of the film "The Peacemaker" were shot in the "St. Dimitrija" church in Bitola.
Together with Salonika, Bitola was the center of the Macedonian revolutionary activities. In 1893 a group of Macedonian intellectuals, led by Dame Gruev, formed the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (MRO). The Bitola Revolutionary Group was the bastion of the Macedonian National Liberation Movement, and ten years later, it became a torch of the famous Ilinden Uprising.
However, the consequences of the Ilinden Uprising, the Balkan Wars, the World War I, and especially the newly established borders, staunched the natural connections with the Balkan centers. World War II brought a further decline in economic activity and in population; furthermore, its thriving Jewish community and traces of Jewish life were wiped out by the Nazis. Bitola has had its revival after the World War II liberation from the Nazi occupation forces on November 4, 1944.
sisterjenche's Related Pages
Bitola Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Bitola Baban BItola......"
- "Noble and Proud – Bitola"
- "A short glimpse at Bitola."
- "On and Off the Road in Bitola"
- "Pre euromeet 2011 Bitola"
- "Bitola - A Townfull Of Bars !"
- "Bitola, Moj Roden Kraj ..."
- See All...
- Things to Do in Bitola
- Hotels in Bitola
- Transportation in Bitola
- Nightlife in Bitola
- Restaurants in Bitola
- Shopping in Bitola
- Warnings and Dangers in Bitola
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Bitola
- 0 Reviews
- 3 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 5 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (2)
Have you been to Bitola?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Bitola
Top 10 Pages
- Ohrid Intro, 40 reviews, 49 photos, 3 travelogues
- Tirana Intro, 1 review, 4 photos
- Antioch Intro, 1 review, 3 photos
- FYR of Macedonia Intro, 3 photos
- Skopje Intro, 3 photos
- Solvang Intro, 3 photos
- Oakland Intro, 3 photos
- Bitola Intro, 3 photos
- Pismo Beach Intro, 3 photos
- Korce Intro, 3 photos