KratovoKratovo is located in the crater of an extinct volcano
Kratovo is situated on the western side of the Osogovo Mountains, in the crater of a dead volcano. The town is about 600 meters (about 1800 ft.) above the sea level, which accounts for its mild climate.
Kratovo was known even in the Roman period as an important mining center under the name of Cratiscara, primarily due to the rich mining sites in the area. During the Byzantine period, Kratovo is mentioned as Koritos or Koriton. At that time, Kratovo was a significant trade center for gold, silver, and copper. The importance of this small town was also acknowledged by the Turkish Sultan Murat, who while passing with his army through Macedonia, stopped in Kratovo to see the city of gold and silver. However, in 1689 the city was heavily abandoned by its inhabitants due to the heavy pressure mounted by the Ottomans, with the last mining fields closing by 1805. According to the traveler Ami Bue, Kratovo had 56,000 inhabitants in 1836, but by the end of the 19th century its population growth leveled off.
Some interesting preserved historical sites in Kratovo are the six towers (originally twelve), thath served as guard-towers for the mines, and the Kratovo bridges. The town has very interesting architecture from the 19th century and here is also the only Art Gallery of Children’s Paintings in Europe.