Veles (previously Titov Veles) is city located in Central Macedonia with population of 43.716 (2002).
Veles lies on “Mala Veleska kotlina” (Small Veles basin) on both sides on Vardar River.
The city covers an area of 1.100 ha and is located on elevation between 155 and 270 meters.
Trough Veles passes the national road M-1 and the European road E-75, which on south connects Veles with Gevgelija and Thessaloniki and on North with the capital Skopje.
Veles is railroad knot in which from the Vardar railroad two branches are separated towards Stip and Kocani on east, and Prilep and Bitola on west.
Veles has alternate Mediterranean climate, with average year air temperature of 13.3 C (55.4 F). Near Veles the lake Mladost is located.
The city is old settlement which under the name of Bila Zora is mentioned in 217 BC, when as city within Paeonia falls under the rule of the Macedonian king Philip V.
Then for the Macedonian state, the city located not far from the estuary of the Topolka and Vardar River, had great strategic importance for the defense of its northern boundaries from the Dardanians.
In the Middle Ages, under the name of Veles is mentioned at the beginning of the eleventh century in a charter by the Byzantine emperor Basil II. During Dushan rule Veles was the capital of the Despot Jovan Oliver.
Under the Turks, Veles fell in 1395 when they gave it a new name – Kjupurli or city bridges. In 1689 Veles experiencing difficult days, was seized by the Austrian army, which had burned it during its retreat.
Since the late eighteenth century to the 70-ies of the XIX century, Veles is rapidly becoming an important economic, cultural and administrative center. In the second half of the nineteenth century in the city lived around 20,000 inhabitants, and the city had strongly developed leather, grain and wine trade. The Veles fair was widely known, on which most traded good was sahtijan. In the city annually were processed about 400,000 pieces of leather, that was mainly purchased from Kosovo, and exported in Budapest and Vienna.
When the leather trade weakened, Veles traders began to deal with grain. This is developed especially during the Crimean War (1853-1856 AD)., When the price of wheat was very high. In that period the Vardar River is adapted for sailing objects, which transported the grain from Veles with special rafts called nails, to Thessaloniki. After the construction of the railroad in 1873 around the railway station began to develop the industrial area of Veles.