Bitola (bēˈtôlə) [key], formerly Monastir, city (1994 pop. 86,176), S Macedonia. It is a commercial and industrial center for the surrounding agricultural area. Bitola was a major agricultural center in Roman times. Later settled by Slavs, it became a bishopric in the 11th cent. In 1395 the Turks conquered Bitola, which became an important military and commercial center in the 15th and 16th cent. The city suffered much damage during the Balkan Wars (during which the Serbs took it from the Turks) and in World War I. Bitola is noted for its numerous mosques, churches, and a former Turkish market.
More on Bitola from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Former Yugoslavian Political Geography