Vinica, North Macedonia

Vinica (Macedonian: Виница [ˈvinitsa] (About this sound)) is a town in North Macedonia, in the Eastern Statistical Region of the country. The town of Vinica is the seat of Vinica Municipality.

The town is located under the mountain of Plačkovica, in the southeastern part of the Kočani Valley. It covers the northern part of the river Bregalnica sinks. There are also several other rivers that flow through Vinica, like the Vinička, Gradečka and Osojnica. The town is known for its historic Roman fortress, Viničko Kale, situated on a hill overlooking the modern town.

The name Vinica is derived from word vine, since the city was formerly noted for its vineyards. On terracotta icons found in Viničko Kale, the name of town is noted as Vinea or Vince.

The territory of Vinica was inhabited in neolithic times. More recent evidence of habitation comes from findings on Viničko Kale from the 6th to the 12th century AD.

The original settlement was a fort from the time of Byzantium, when it was a centre of wine production.

The city was a nahiye and was governed by a Kaymakam of the Ottoman Empire between the 14th and 20th centuries.

Before 1980, on the hill where the fortress was found, there were many vineyards, which were abandoned after excavations.[2]

As of 2002, the town had 10,863 inhabitants and the ethnic composition was the following:

In Vinica, there are two primary schools Goce Delčev and Slavčo Stojmenski, one high school and city library Vančo Prke which was founded in 1946, there is also a cinema and a house of culture, Tošo Arsov, which is a centre of all cultural activities. The town has two folk music groups, Raspeani Viničani and Jana, and one folklore group Kitka.[3]

One of the major activities in Vinica is agriculture. Farmers engage in the production of rice, which is very characteristic of the basin in which Vinica is located. The town also has industrial activities, among which is the best represented the textiles and wood furniture production industry. The major companies are: Makprogres, Viničanka, Vinka, Triko, Treska, Mebel-Vi. The city has many shops, bars, restaurants, two night clubs, and three major hotels, which are offering a broader range of services.

The leading sport in Vinica is soccer. The town formed its first football club in 1934 called Plačkovica, later renamed Sloga Vinica, now FK Sloga 1934 Vinica. There is also a basketball club Slavčo Stojmenski, a karate club Blatec and a badminton club Viničani.