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Gostivar (Гостивар) city, Macedonia

Gostivar is a city in the northwestern part of Macedonia with 35,847 inhabitants (2002). Located in the Upper Polog plane, where significant traffic routes intersect, with the capital Skopje via Tetovo is connected by highway, which as main road M-4 continues to Kicevo and Ohrid.

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From Gostivar trough, Mavrovo and Radika valley leads the regional road Debar – Struga.

Gostivar is an important station on the railway line Skopje – Kicevo.

Gostivar lies on the left side of the Vardar River at an altitude of 550 meters. It covers a total area of 804 ha.

The climate in the city is moderate continental. The average annual air temperature is 10,7 ° C (51.26F). The main hydrographic object is the Vardar river and its source Vrutok from where the city is supplied with water.

gostivar macedonia old photo

The first historical data indicate that in the beginning, the city was a rural settlement, which had formed around the Gostivar monastery. This name is mentioned in a charter of Emperor Dusan 1331-1340 year, stated as the village on Velika Reka (Great River – Vardar). Since then and until the XVIII c. about Gostivar little is known.


In the following centuries, especially in the XIX c., Gostivar has developed as a commercial center of the upper Polog. Then it became a small city with a mixed ethnic structure. The population consisted of Macedonians, Turks, Albanians, Roma, and a small number of Vlachs.

In the eighties of the XIX c. it becomes “miderlak” and begins to develop as an administrative center. This function has been enhanced in 1900 when from “miderlak” is turned into a “Cadillac”. Within gradually settled merchants and craftsmen from Tetovo, Veles, Prizren, Kichevo, Krusevo,  forming the Gostivar Bazaar.

05 Old Gostivar

Old photos and postcards from Gostivar Macedonia

Besides Begovska and Cinar neighborhoods, other neighborhoods are formed as Batak maalo (neighborhood), Kaursko maalo, Debar malo and Novo (New) maalo.

For the last 100 years, the population has increased almost tenfold. As before, today also the city is ethnically mixed. In 2002 the number of Macedonians was 11,885, or they accounted for 33.2%. Albanian ethnic entity 16,890 or 47.1%, followed by Turks 4.559 or 12.7%, Roma 1.899 or 5.3%, Serbs 146 or 0.4%), Bosniaks 34, Vlachs 15, and others 419.

Today Gostivar is the administrative and commercial center of the upper Polog area. It is the seat of the municipality which covers an area of 51,331 ha, and there are 35 settlements with 81,042 inhabitants.

From industrial facilities in the city, the more important are: “Silica” plant refractory, “Mermeri (Marble)” – mines and decorative stone industry “Goteks” textile factory, industrial slaughterhouse “Gorni Polog” etc.. In the surrounding the hydro plants “Vrutok” and “Raven”  are located. The town has three secondary schools, Work University, a library, a theater, and a health center.


Gostivar Facts

Gostivar Facts


Where is Gostivar:
Polog region, North West Macedonia
519 km2
550 m (1804 ft)
Moderate continental
Dialing code:
+389 42
Postal code:
Time Zone:
Summer (DST):CST (UTC+2)
Celebration day:
December 23th
41°48′N 20°55′E

Municipality of Gostivar
Address: Brakja Gjinoski 61, 1230 Gostivar
Phone: +389 42 213 511
Fax: +389 42 214 406