Home Monuments and Culture Monuments and archaeological sites

Мonuments and archaeological sites - DEMIR KAPIJA

Article Index
Мonuments and archaeological sites
All Pages




Important archeological sites in Demir Kapija

Terrain in Demir Kapija is very rich with numerous archeological sites, among which some of great cultural, archeological and historical significance are:

A v t o p a t (highway), temple from early antique and roman time. It is located northwest of Demir Kapija, along the railway line Skopje-Gevgelija. When they started the works on construction of the Highway near the interchange, they discovered remains of a smaller structure. It is believed that it was a sanctuary dedicated to Dioskurs. According to the findings this site dates from 4th century B.C. to 2nd century A.C.

B a n d e r a, roman temple and necropolis. At the inflow of river Boshava into Vardar parts of architectonic decorative plastic from a monumental structure were discovered. Those are bases, colons of ionic type, parts of architrave beams with a wreath, one ionic kapitel and several inscriptions from 2nd and 3rd century.

B u d u r  C h i f l i k, settlement and necropolis from late antique period. In 1947 was discovered a tomb of stone plates, set in direction north-south. On the inside of the tomb it is plated with marble panels and the floor is covered with large marble plate. They found tomb accessories items made of gold and silver. Later during construction of individual houses, they discovered foundations housing objects with multiple rooms.

B a n j a, hundred meters west of the church in Demir Kapija in the vineyards next to the villa of King Alexander Karagjorgjevik was discovered large quantity of fragmented construction material, characteristic for roman period and belonging to a single object villa rustica (country villa). In the north zone of the vineyards (backyard of the royal villa) there is Helshtat (period in pre-history) necropolis, tombs in cista (type of tomb) of stone plates. In the zone of Banja site there is a Turkish hamam, and based on the tales of the older people in this area, it is the core of the contemporary settlement of Demir Kapija.


Important cultural-historical monuments in Demir Kapija

Royal winery of Aleksandar Karagjorgjevik, in 1927 king of Yugoslavia Aleksandar Karagjorgjevik sent to Macedonia a group of experts in order to find suitable place for construction of a winery. Among the visited places in Kavadarci, Negotino and Gevgelija, they recommended to the king this property in village Banja, between rivers of Boshavica and Vardar, as most suitable for establishing a farm and winery. This property was bought by the king in 1928 from Usni-bey and Mehmed-bey for the amount of 2000 golden Turkish lira. The property included stables for small livestock and cattle and a kilometer away a modern horse stable was built for breeding horses. Still the emphasis of the property was on the winery which produced quality red wine for needs of the royal court. Four glass tanks made in Austria were supplied to the winery for grape fermentation. In the same time large number of wooden barrels were brought from Serbia with capacity between 4.000 and 6.000 liters, made of oak and lowered to the cellar with chains. Within the royal property a luxury villa was built named “Villa Marija” with two caryatids set in front of it. It is mentioned that King Alexander have visited this estate only once in 1931 after the earthquake, while Queen Marija had visited also once, in 1934 after the death of her husband.  Royal estate used to employ 25 clerks, around 150 workers and over 60 prisoners.

During Second World War one German unit passed by the winery and solders wanted to drink some wine. When they saw there were no taps on the barrels, one solder tried to pierce the barrel shooting it with a gun, but thick oak beams did not let the bullet penetrate.

In 1948 Government of Peoples Republic of Macedonia nationalized the estate and it was assigned to ZIK “Demir Kapija” for operations and later to ZZ :Povardarie” from Negotino. After the privatization the royal estate belongs to the Elenovi family which has been managing the property.

Peshtera Bela Voda (White Water Cave) is located on the old road to Gevgelija. Its total length is 955 m, the bottom of the cave on the lower canal rises gradually and widens in places into galleries and in places there are collapsed rocks from the ceiling, which separates it from the upper canal. Lower canal of the cave does not have cave decorations, since it is young by origin and the sand on the floor indicates occasional water flow through the cave. At the end of the canal is Margarita Lake size 8 m by 12 m and various depths from 4 to 8 m. Upper canal has cave decorations in places.

Peshtera Zmejovec (Cave Zmejovec) is composed of two parts: one larger with 150 m length and the other smaller with 40 m in length. There are limestone basins where women throw coins with a wish to bear a child. The cave is rich in decorations, drapes, stalactites, stalagmites and by its beauty it is compared with Postojnska Jama in Slovenia.

Accessibility to the caves is very poor. In Bela Voda one must crawl in laying position and afterwards there are wide and high corridors. It is dark and one must carry light. The opening in Zmejovec is large but it requires two and a half kilometers walking to get there.

Crkvishte (church area) is three-shipped early Christian basilica discovered in 1930 by the Serbian archeologist Nikola Vulik. Basilica has semi round apsid, (altar area) nartex (lower part of the wall with frescoes) and exonartex (upper part of the wall with frescoes) and was built on the foundations of late antique necropolis. North of the basilica there are two compartments, and north and south of the nartex one chamber- gjakonikon (section of a church) and protezis (section of a church). Central ship has mosaic pavement, ruined with additional diggings. In the Slavic period church was reduced to only central ship and the side ships were used for burial rituals.