Lying on the Vardar River, Veles is a traditional town whose main industries are in silk and porcelain production. The old town of Veles is particularly alluring, with its steep hills, winding streets and customary wooden houses providing a captivating and authentic picture of Macedonian life. With its beautiful clock towers and churches built into the mountainside.
Veles is a prepossessing city where visitors can explore the birthplace of prolific literary figure Koco Racin, the poet and author credited as being the founder of modern Macedonian literature. The house of one of the greatest poets between the two World Wars, Kosta Solev Racin, was completely reconstructed in 1962. The ground floor is made of stone, the white-coloured façade dominate on the first floor, while the roof is steep and made of tiles. A wooden double gate leads to the corridor, which is a small one, connecting the first floor, the bakery, the balcony and the pottery workshop. The workshop is wide, and there is a small shelter in its floor. On the opposite side, a balcony with stairs leads to an upper balcony. In his memorial house today there are many of his scripts, along with many other memories related to his life and work.
Built in the first half of the XVI century in the centre of the city, the tower served as a point of observation of the Ottoman’s govern-ment. By the end of XVII century, in the period of the reformation in Veles, the tower was transformed into a city clock. Since then, the steeple of the clock-tower is a time reminder for the citizens of Veles. With its specific architecture, this stony building, along with its luxurious top is a typical symbol of Veles, which is included in the flag and the coat-of-arms of Veles. The tower offers a nice view to the centre of the city. The interior of the tower, which is an expression of the ancient play of wood and stone, is an interesting destination for tourists. The city clock, which went through many centuries, immediately attracts the attention of the specific urban architecture lovers.
The outstanding memorial, built in 1979, immediately above the entrance of Veles on the right side, is the eternal home of about 100 fighters from Veles, who died in the World War II for the realisation of the old dream for freedom of the Macedonian people. On a total area of 220 sq.m, in a composition of five pictures, the author painted the Macedonian people from the epopee of St. Elias Day’s Uprising, the social revolts between the two World Wars, the period of the National Liberation Struggle and the omni-people’s uprising, to the victory over the fascist oppressor, the after-war construction of Macedonia and the freedom as an advantage of a high priority. The mosaic is made of natural and artificial stones of Venetian polish, multicoloured, by which the symbols and forms can be distinguished one from each other.
The temple St. Martyr Pantelejmon is considered to be one of the pearls of the sacral architecture in the Balkans. In 1840, in the foot of the hill Vršnik, Andreja Damjanov with his brothers built this church. The church is a three-nare basilica with a big size and wide gallery on the upper floor, spreading on all the four sides. Some of the decorative elements are created in Byzantine style, but some of them in a baroque style. The church is well-known by its acoustic characteristics, due to the pottery elements implanted in the walls, as well as the use of eggshells in the preparation of the plaster. Since 2009, St Panteleimon has been proclaimed a saint-protector of the city of Veles.
On the left coast of the Vardar River, on a neat place on the river quay, stands the monument dedicated to the Gemidžii (Boatmen). The monument was set in honour of the great jubilee „100 years of the St. Elias Day’s Uprising – 100 years Macedonian statehood“. The imposing monument, 6.5m high, represents a knot of 12 rays which symbolize the twelve Gemidžii (Boatmen), who committed the assassinations in the eve of St Elias Day’s Uprising, in order to draw the attention of Europe towards the Macedonian issue. The monument is work of art of the academic sculptor Stanko Pavlevski. Near the monument a plaque with the names of the 12 Gemidžii (Boatmen) has been set, along with their historic message „We are spending ourselves for Macedonia“.