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King Marko's Towers

Marko's Towers (Markovi Kuli) are situated to the north-west of the Prilep, Macedonia just above the suburb Varoš. The locality of Marko's towers is located in one of the most picturesque medieval citadels in Macedonia. It is a 120-180 m high hill, surrounded by steep slopes covered with minute granite stones. One can reach the upper part of the former settlement from its north and south side.

During the four-decade archaeological research, remnants indicating the existence of an early antique settlement - Keramija, were found. In the Roman period, this small village settlement expanded into the southwest area, which is suggested by the several marble ornaments of an early Christian basilica. The rampart on this terrain dates from the 13th and 14th centuries and is in good condition. The walls are about one meter thick and were built of weaker limestone mortar and rest upon the large limestone rocks. Internal walls separated the acropolis into smaller areas. The palace of Volkašin and Marko was also situated here. Its north gate has a compound foundation, which speaks of numerous addings and reconstructions of the space. According to some historical findings, until the second part of the 14th century and even later, this fortress was defended by only 40 soldiers. The settlement was situated south of the acropolis on a surface of some 3,6 hectares. On its north side, there is a double gate, as well as a large guardhouse between the entrances. On the south wall there are three well-preserved towers. The lowest zone of the rampart consists of a row of short walls drawn in a broken line. In the west side, there are graves inserted into the rock. In the 14th century, this part served as a temporary refuge of the local population from the Turk invasion.

After the death of King Marko, in 1395, this settlement was taken by the Turk guards, and because of that, life in it completely perished. The inhabitants of the former settlement looked for refuge in the near regions. Consequently, at the foot of Marko's towers, a settlement with a rarefied structure developed. It was separated into several quarters and each had its own church. This new settlement from the 14th century took the name of Varoš, a name under which it still exists today.

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