Protected Area Markovi Kuli (Marko`s towers) is located in the central part of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, along the northeast edge of the Pelagonija Valley, north of the city of Prilep. The variety of geomorphological shapes created over thousands of years gives the region unique value.
It is because of these universal values that the Parliament of the Republic of Northern Macedonia adopted in 2006 the Law on Proclaiming Markovi Kuli Site as a Natural monument. This site is a micro region in the Pelagonia Plain through which the complete geological development of the Balkan Peninsula can be traced. The Markovi Kuli Geological Complex is one of the few in its beauty due to the numerous geomorphological forms and their preservation in the old Proterozoic rocks. The geomorphologic manifestations and rocks in the form of piles, parallelelopes, ellipses, round hexahedrons, sharp peaks, columns, mushroom blocks and various other figures give the site special importance and attractiveness.
The Markovi kuli among the locals is commonly known as Markokule, a remnant of the medieval town of King Volkashin and his son King Marko, the last ruler of the area before the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. The fortress is located at 120 to 180 m asl on a volcanic hillside that abounds in many unusual rocks that in their shape have been named after the inhabitants. The fortress encloses the town on the north side and carries a huge history, which is evidenced by the many archaeological remains found dating back to antiquity. Whichever part you touch, wherever you trample, you touch a part of history that carries its own story and speaks of different civilizations from different periods of humanity who lived in these spaces.
According to the Law proclaiming the site of Markovi Kuli a monument of nature, the eastern boundary of the site Markovi Kuli starts from the locality G. Chair. Thence the boundary extends northeast along the eastern slopes of the Kukul heap (980 m), along the asphalt road leading to Lake Prilep. At the lake the boundary changes direction and ascends the eastern slopes of Glavica heap (1,033 m), then leads along the southwestern slopes of the Ridon locality and the eastern parts of the Edinak heap (1,303 m) and rises at the Samarnica locality. Thence the border descends on the eastern slopes of the Surun heap (1,077 M) and ends on the road connecting the villages of Dupjachani and Nebregovo.
To the west, the border begins at the village of Zabrcani and extends south to the southwest towards the village of Malo Marmorani, leading along the western slopes of the Negrea (988 m). Thence the border extends southeast and leads along the southern slopes of Negrea Hill, then on the southwest slopes of Zagradzen Sten (976 m), along the western slopes of Zelenik (983 m) and Markovi Kuli (945 m) and ends on the southern slopes heap of Markovi Towers above Varos.
The northern border starts from a road that connects the villages of Dupjachani and Nebregovo, about 500 meters east of the village. Nebregovo. From there, it leads west on the road to the village of Zagreb. Dupjachani and about one kilometer before the village turns south and leads to the locality Orlov Kamen. Thence the border turns slightly north, then sharply turns southeast and extends along the southwestern slopes of the Surun heap to Upper Selo. Thence the border changes direction and leads west along the northern slopes of the Zlatovrv heap (1,422 m) to the Virila locality. Thence the border extends northwest and leads along the eastern slopes of the Negrea hill to terminate at the village of Zabrcani.
The southern boundary begins at the Varosh locality and extends northeast along the eastern slopes of Markovi Kuli and Zalenik bypassing the Plain Middle Pole, continuing on the western slopes of the Kukul heap and ending at G. Chair, on the southern slopes of the Kukul heap.
The Markovi Kuli site dates from the early antiquity of Keramija (the old name of Prilep), as evidenced by the numerous tombs and findings, as well as rock drawings dating from the 7th century BC, from the Iron Age, located at the popular site of Prilep , Drum.
All the rocks were formed on a small plateau and each is a natural monument with striking shape.
One is an elephant-shaped rock that tends to be protected by UNESCO. It is 8 meters high, 5 meters wide, and from this place you can see wonderful panorama of city of Prilep. It is believed to have served the purpose of maintaining religious rites over time, as many of the tombs found nearby.
According to modern geological chronological studies, granites intruded about 300 million years ago into older gneisses, estimated to be about 700 million years old. The Markovi Kuli area as a whole comprises a large number of imposing heaps connected in two parallel strands of north-north-west, south-southeast direction, whose altitude gradually increases from south to north. The two strands of northern heights are connected by the highest peaks: Zlatovrv (1422 m) and Lipa (1392 m). Throughout this massif, there are various forms of peaks and oaks, pillars and teeth, mushrooms, plates, balls, caverns and cuttings. The natural rock structures originate from the time of cooling magma, which has cooled spheroidal and parallelepipedal blocks.
At the bottom of Markovi Kuli today, there is the first settlement Varos, which is the cornerstone of today’s Prilep and according to the inhabitants of the settlement – the oldest. There were 77 churches in the neighborhood, one for each family. Today some of them are preserved, including the churches of St. Dimitrija, which used to be the cathedral of old Prilep, the church of St. Peter and Paul, Sts. Athanasius as well as the oldest church of St. Nicholas dating from 1298. The largest preserved object of that time is the monastery of St. Archangel Michael, also referred to as the city monastery, as well as the ancient Treskavec monastery. All these monumental editions make Prilep rich in tourist potential and number one destination in terms of monastery tourism.