HISTORY The name of Skopje is derived from an ancient name that is attested in antiquity as Latin Scupi, the name of a classical era Greco-Roman frontier fortress town of Thracian(Paeonian) origin. At the end of classical Antiquity and during Middle Ages, the Romanized population called the city Scupi or Scupia. By the times of the Ottoman Empire occupation the official name was Üsküp (Ottoman Turkish: اسكوب), but the Romanised population continued to call it Scupi. The later on established Serbians called it Skoplje (Скопље) from the time of the Royal Yugoslavia between 1912 and 1941. Under the Kingdom of Bulgaria (1941–1944), the city was called Skopie (Скопие). Since 1945, the official name of the city in Macedonian has been Skopje (Скопје), reflecting the Macedonian Cyrillic orthography for the local pronunciation.
GEOGRAPHY Skopje is located in the Skopje statistical region of northern Macedonia, in the centre of the Balkans, approximately halfway between Belgrade and Athens. The Vardar River, which originates near Gostivar, flows through the city then flows south passing the border into Greece and eventually flowing into the Aegean Sea. The Vardar valley consists primarily of hills and mountains. The city covers an average length of 23 kilometers (14 miles) from east to west and 9 km (6 mi) from north to south. Skopje is located at an elevation of 225 m (738 ft) above sea level. The city’s land area is 1,854 km2 (716 sq mi).
CLIMATE The climate of Skopje is usually classified as continental sub-Mediterranean, while according to the Köppen climate classification it has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), with a mean annual temperature of 13.5 °C (56 °F). Precipitation is relatively low due to the pronounced rain shadow of the Prokletije mountains to the northwest, being only a quarter of what is received on the Adriatic Sea coast at the same latitude. The summers are long, hot and humid, while the winters are short, relatively cold, and wet. Snowfalls are common in the winter period, but heavy snow accumulation is rare and the snow cover lasts only for a few days. In summer, temperatures are usually above 31 °C (88 °F) and sometimes above 40 °C (104 °F). In spring and autumn, the temperatures range from 15 to 24 °C (59 to 75 °F). In winter, the day temperatures are roughly 6 °C (43 °F), but at nights they often fall below 0 °C (32 °F) and sometimes below −10 °C (14 °F). Occurrences of precipitation are evenly distributed throughout the year, being heaviest from October to December and from April to June.
TRANSPORT Since the 1990s, Skopje’s standing as a major Southeast European transportation hub has increased. The city is situated at an intersection of two main European transport corridors –Corridor VIII (east-west) and Corridor X (north-south). This significance of the city is being enhanced by the construction of new highways on the two transversals, a new Skopje ring road, and the ongoing extension and modernization of Skopje Alexander the Great Airport.
More information about Skopje: www.inyourpocket.com/macedonia/skopje