ALSONEMEDI & DEMIR KAPIJA

Municipality of Demir Kapija


In the southern part of Macedonia, between the churning waters of the Vardar and Bosavica Rivers,
where these same rivers have carved a path through the mountains that form the Demir Kapija gorge,
lies the municipality of Demir Kapija.
Demir Kapija’s geographic position has played a vital role in its development through the ages. In ancient
times, the Vardarski road which served as a vital trade route, ran from Thessalonica and Pella in
the south through the Demir Kapija gorge and connected the northern cities of Antigonea (Negotino),
Stobi, Bila Zora (Veles), and Skupi (Skopje ). Merchants utilized both the road and Vardar River, using
rafts to export various agricultural and livestock products. With the commissioning of the railway line
Skopje-Thessaloniki in 1873, river traffi c completely disappeared.
Today, in addition to the rail line, international highway E-75 runs through the Vardar river valley. The
regional importance of these transport lines cannot be overstated. The municipality itself consists
of 309 km² and borders the neighboring municipalities of: Negotino, Kavadarci, Gevgelija, Valandovo
and Konce. It’s location in the southern Macedonian territory along the Greek border means that the
center of the municipality is only 40km. from the Greek border.
As one of its many geographic advantages, the municipality benefi ts from its diverse climate characteristics:
Mediterranean climate, continental, and mountain. The average annual temperature measured
in 2011 was 13.8 ° C, and Soil temperature is rarely below 0 ° C, which is of particular importance
to the agricultural economy.
The climate and fertile soil provided and continue to provide excellent conditions for agriculture and
forestry industries which have always been of primary importance in the overall life of the population.
These conditions also aided in the development of viticulture. The long and rich tradition of viticulture
in the area begins with the ancient Macedonians who, with great love, grew grapes.
Today, Demir Kapija is home to multiple wineries that produce premium quality local wine. Popova
Kula winery was built in order to produce superior Macedonian wine and a quality experience for
tourists, the winery Elenovi once served as the royal winery for the King of Yugoslavia, the current
Winery pays homage to this history with a complete wine tour through the 100 year-old facility and
ends with an excellent wine tasting. From 2003 the property has been placed under the care of the
Administration for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, and two years ago it was visited by a UNESCO
Commission, which subsequently placed Villa Marija under its protection. The other wineries are Kapia,
Radevski, and Tikvesh Sun.
The forests and pastures occupy the largest part of the total area of Demir Kapija and therefore the
overall industrial and economic development. In particular, forestry represents a signifi cant segment of
the general economic situation in the municipality. In addition, to these, animal husbandry and farming
are also prominent. The most developed areas among these are free range cattle, fruit production
and beekeeping.
Demir Kapija has always been a place where many nations and cultures have lived.

Traces of life have been discovered from prehistoric times.

This means that the municipality is rich in archaeological
sites. Visiting each of them will take you to a different place full of stories from the past.
The House of Culture “Mirka Ginova” is the center of all cultural activities and events in the Municipality.
The mission of the House of Culture is the presentation and promotion of the Ethnological and
Cultural Heritage of Demir Kapija in Macedonia and abroad. Over fi fty events are held annually at the
House of Culture and include folk singing, drama, and traditional dancing. The Museum Demir Kapija
also serves as an excellent way for tourists to experience the local history and culture. Its wine exhibit
is the only one of its kind in Macedonia.
The tradition of celebrating the patrons of grape growing and wine production has always been an
important part of the culture of Demir Kapija, and continues to this day with the celebration of the
Christian patron of viticulture St. Trifun. In his honor, the municipality hosts a Saint Trifun’s Day celebration
on 14 February, dedicated to traditional values and the preservation of our cultural heritage.
The natural beauties of Demir Kapija are abundant. The immediate landscape around the city is an excellent
place for the development of tourism. The characteristics of the Tikves region include several
tourist attractions, such as the Demir Kapija gorge. Tourists and passers-by alike, marvel at this work
of nature. The alpine site “DEMIR KAPIJA” is located in the gorge, and serves as a mecca for both local
and international rock climbers. The rocks are composed of highly compact, pure limestone, making
them some of the best rocks for climbing in Macedonia. The site can be approached from the international
highway E75 which runs from Skopje to Thessaloniki. There are over 160 bolted sport climbing
routes inside the gorge as well as limitless opportunities for “trad” climbing.
The fast waters of the Vardar River at the entrance to the gorge in Demir Kapija offer extremely favorable
conditions for white water kayaking. In the past, both national and international competitions
have been held there. The rapids in the gorge are some of the best in Macedonia.
The shoreline of the river Bosava is a magnifi cent ecosystem. It abounds in rich fl ora and fauna,
specifi cally the prevailing indigenous Maple trees. Just southwest of Demir Kapija, nestled along the
shoreline of the river Bosavica is the area known as Doshnica. The Demir Kapija gorge is also one of
the richest ornithological reserves in Europe. It is included in the EMERALD network of protected
areas. The white-headed eagle, which belongs to the genus Falconiformes-birds of prey is also present
around Demir Kapija and is protected by law.
There are also two large speleological formations within the muncipality. The fi rst, “White Water” cave,
is located along the old road to Gevgelija. With a total length of 955 meters, it is the longest cave in
the Republic of Macedonia. The other cave is “Zmejovec” which is rich with decorative
objects, such as stalactites and stalagmites, which can be compared to the “Postoinskata
Jama” cave in Slovenia.
The wealth of natural beauty, archaeological sites, rich tradition
and greater economic development is even
more challenging to realize new goals
that will lead to a better future
for the municipality of Demir
Kapija.