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SOPOT

Short history

Village Sopot is mentioned for the first time by two names, Golem Sopot (Large Sopot) is located northeast of Kavadarci in Tikvesh nahija (administrative unit). In 1519 the village had 62 Christian families, 13 bachelors, 7 widows and 1 Muslim family. According to the Turkish documents about the history of Macedonian people and the census done in 1573 Golem Sopot had 86 Christian families and 12 Muslim and was among the largest settlement in mentioned area.

Village Mal Sopot (Small Sopot) or Dolni Sopot (Lower Sopot) was in the immediate proximity of golem Sopot and was significantly smaller. According to the census in 1519 Small Sopot had 29 families, 4 bachelors and 1 widow, while in the census of 1573 only 19 families which meant that Small Sopot merged with Large and later both villages were called Sopot.

It is not known how the village got its name, since it is very obvious that the village is far from any water source and water supply has always been a problem for the villagers.

Village is located at the altitude of 130 m at the exit of Luda Mara River towards village of Kurija. Altitude at Marenski Ushi is 235 m and at St. Jovan area is 328 m.

In the second half of 17th century Kara-pasha Debarski, after robbing and devastating settlements of Drenovo, Tikvesh, Poloshki monastery, Dukena and other, came with a large gang of more then 3.000 bandits to the village and decided to settle down in Sopot, declaring himself ajan (head of smaller administration unit). In that later period high number of retired Turkish solders came to settle in Sopot, taking land by force from Christian families and lots of them were force to move away. Thus increased the number of Muslims at the account of Christian population. Such development led to a condition when at the beginning of 19th century almost all population was Muslim.

Village Sopot was interesting place to live in where through time lived many distinguished Turks. Notorious Kara-pasha Debarski had his inn and a tower there, when the Arnauts robbed Tikvesh for the first time. In Sopot he stayed at the old tower, declaring him self ajan of the area. Older inhabitants of Sopot still remember that tower, or its remaining. Another famous Turk who lived there was Ibraim Subashija, who owned a great chiflik (estate) and built a large tower and saraj (palace) in the center of the village, near the two water wells.

For the Muslim population, a mosque was built in the village and Sopot had an imam since 16th century, very first was one named Sinan Hodza. Mosque was built from nicely cut stone blocks, which could have been seen until fifties in 20th century. Place where the mosque was is still called today: Dzamija (mosque).

After the end of the Balkan wars, especially the First World War, Turkish population begun to move out in large numbers to Turkey. There was a vast area of uncultivated land which the King of Yugoslavia gave to deserving “eligible” citizens from Serbia and other parts of Yugoslavia.

During Second World War large number of villagers from Sopot took active part in the liberation army and partisan units, out of which 8 gave their lives in the war.

It is important to know that village Sopot was one of the largest producers of grapes, wine and rakija in the whole Tikvesh area. Out of 117 settlements, Sopot was the largest producer of grape and wine, which you can see from the tax in wine or ushura on must, which villagers used to pay to the state and to their feudal lord during 16th and 17th century. Namely, Sopot used to pay 6600 akkjina (Turkish currency unit) tax a year, compared to Kavadarci with 660, Negotino 1560, Vatasha 660, Veshja 4500 etc.

Vine at that time was cultivated as nerezina which meant planting of a cut vine sprout into the ground. Vine was grown on regular vineyard where a wooden stick would hold and support the vine and the grapes. In the Middle Ages there were strict regulations for vine growing that had to be obeyed since the penalties were severe. The time of pruning was exactly determined, time of fertilizing and how much, how many times you needed to do digging around the vine etc. When filoxera spread, it reduced the area under vineyards dramatically, whose renovation didn’t start until 1920, after the first nursery started to operate in Kavadarci. That is the time when people started cultivating vine on American foundation.

 

Archeological sites

In Sopot there are several sites among which most important is DUKENA-MARENSKI VRSHNIK. This site is located west of the village where one could see remaining or fragments of construction ceramic material, as well as sporadic architectonic plastic. From this site comes the torso made from white marble representing male figure wearing toga. It is placed today in the village church near the cemeteries. Professor Nikola Vulik discovered at this site a bronze statue, which he took to Belgrade along with large number of coins he also found there. Miniatures of bronze plastic and coins of emperor Probus are also related to this site. Settlement dates from 2nd to 4th century.

Church St. Jovan (John). North to the village Sopot, at the border area of Sopot and Kurija one can see remaining of construction ceramic material. It is a rural settlement which is linked to the sacral object mentioned before.