Approximately 16km northeast of Štip along a narrow unpaved road that leads into the mountains, the former Byzantine settlement of Bargala dates from between the 4th and 6th centuries and should be included on any itinerary for visitors interested in the ancient history of the region. Still very much unexcavated and originally a fortified town, ongoing archaeological work at the site has so far uncovered a basilica, a baptistery, the old Roman baths, some fascinating surviving examples of earl plumbing—including several original lead pipes—a prison, a bakery, a glass workshop, facilities for smelting iron and even a possible sacrificial altar. Next to the site is the diminutive Church of St. George, a classic Byzantine house of worship that may or may not date back as far as the 9th century and that features some fabulous renovated frescos inside.

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