Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic center. In the Roman period it was known under the name of Scupi.


The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was seized by the Romans and became a military camp. In 395 AD when the Roman Empire was divided into Eastern and Western Empire, Scupi fell under Byzantine rule. During most of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantine and the Bulgarian Empire, being the capital of the latter  between 972 and 992. From 1282, the town was part of the Serbian Empire and acted as its capital city as of 1346. In 1392 Skopje was conquered by the Ottoman Turks who renamed the it to Üsküp. The town stayed under Ottoman control for over 500 years. At that time the city was famous for its oriental architecture. In 1912, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Serbia and during the Balkan Wars, as well as after the First World War the city became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia). In the Second World War the city was conquered by the Bulgarian Army which was part of the Axis. In 1944 it became the capital city of Democratic Macedonia (later Socialist Republic of Macedonia), which was a federal state, part of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (later Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia).


The city developed rapidly after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake.


In this earthquake 80% of the city was demolished. The strength of the earthquake was 6.1 on the Richter scale. When this natural disaster happened, thousands of people died and tens of thousands lost their homes. Thanks to the enormous help that arrived from around the world, Skopje has become known as the City of Solidarity.


On the 8th September, 1991 it became the capital city of Macedonia, as an independent country. Skopje is located on the major north-south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens. Nowadays Skopje is a center for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather, and printing industries. The industrial development of the city has been accompanied by the development of trade, logistics and banking sectors, as well as culture and sport. According to the last official census from 2002, Skopje has a population of 506,926; according to the unofficial estimates from 2010 the city has a population of 668,518.