Bitola as military center had also increased foreign presence of consuls from the neighboring countries and Europes major powers. Due to this, Bitola gained the epithet as “Bitola - The City of Consuls” a synonym used in modern days also.
The construction of railway Thessaloniki – Bitola in 1894, resulted with further development of trade in the city and the emergence of the first industrial capacities.
Bitola Macedonia old photos
The Balkan wars 1912-1913 and especially the First World War, brought great destruction and misery in the city of Bitola. In the First World War (WW1), Bitola lied on the actual Macedonian front line and the city was bombarded daily during 1917. Many experts claim that Verden and Bitola (than Monastir, Monastiri in some sources) were the two most bombarded cities in WW1.
Between the two world wars, with Macedonia as part of the kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenes, Bitola lost its strategic importance and expansion momentum, but also for the first time in its history the further development of Bitola was planned, according to urban development strategy.
In 1948 Bitola had population of 31.761 and in 1991 in Bitola lived 84.002 people. In the following year there is evident decline in the number of population due to declined birth rate and emigration of the population in other countries. According to the 2002 census in Bitola live 74.550, among which 66.038 are from the Macedonian ethnic entity, 2.360 Albanians, 1.562 Turks, 2.577 Roma, 997 Vlachs, 499 Serbs, 20 Bosniacs and 497 other.
The city of Bitola is administrative center of the Municipality of Bitola which occupies and area of 78.795 ha and has 66 populated places with more than 100.000 inhabitants.
Within the city operate factories from the textile, leather, agricultural, machine, electro and other industry. Bitola is second largest administrative, political, cultural, educational and health center in Republic of Macedonia.
Today Bitola can again proudly carry its second name – The City of Consuls, since it again has 11 consulates from the neighboring and major European countries.