Justinian Fortress (Golemo Gradishte, Големо Градиште) archaeological site near Skopje


The fortified town of Golemo Gradishte (Големо Градиште) is located about 40 km east of Skopje.

The archaeological excavations on this area had shown sections of roads, channels and walls belonging to several architectural buildings.
The walls are built of stones and mortar of mud and instead are stored to a height of almost 2m. Observed evidence of several phases of construction and reconstruction, and the detection of peaks of arrows and balls suggests one reason for series of buildings and their destruction. The streets were paved with gravel and compacted ground surfaces. With one exception, they show a consistent orientation northeast – northwest.
Pottery and other finds indicate the residential district of the city, and according to some experts the settlement of the northern terrace was founded during the V century, probably in its second half. It continued to exist in the VI century.
Fortress of the great acropolis Gradiste, however, was established during the second quarter of VI century and seems to be part of the re-establishment of the empire by Justinian. The location of the town in a mining region, as well as its position as the only town on the line of fortifications that protected the Roman road east – west passing through the valley of the river curve, suggesting that the city had an important strategic position in the region in late antiquity.

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