Macedonia is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. Country has a rich history with heritage especially from ancient, medieval and Ottoman period. The rich cultural heritage, hospitality and modern hotels make Macedonia an attractive and interesting destination for the tourists.
Skopje is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. It is the country’s political, cultural, economic, and academic center. Skopje and its surrounding have wealthy historical and cultural heritage, with first settlements dating back to 3.500 BC.
According to certain data the Stone Bridge of Skopje was built in the 6th century, whereas in its present form it was raised upon the old foundation in the time of the Sultan Murat the 2nd in the first half of the 15th century. It was built of well worked out stone blocks and has 12 semicircular arches. This monumental building has undergone larger repairs through the centuries, but today the bridge has still kept the primary shape and form.
Kale fortress Skopje
Kale fortress has the dominant place in Skopje. It was built of stone blocks from the ruins of the Roman city of Scupi, during the rule of the Byzantium Emperor Justinijan the 1st. The ramparts of the Skopsko Kale are 121 meters long. It originates from the 6th century, while its present appearance is from the Ottoman period. The fort complex since 1392 was stationary of the Turkish army until 1913, when Skopje fell under Serbian authority. Today in the space of the fortress is an arranged park, which serves for recreation and fun, and in the evening hours besides the sounds of the Macedonian folk music, the visitors have a wonderful view on the city and the river Vardar from there.
Located north-west from Skopje, the aqueduct was built of stone and bricks with 55 arches supported on massive pillars. It was built during the 6th century AD, during the rule of Justinijan the First, for water supply of his town Justiniana Prima. The Skopje aqueduct was used to supply water from the gorge Lavovec, to the part of Skopje, which now is the Old Bazaar and Bitpazar district. Interesting to mention is that, in former Yugoslavia there were only 3 aqueducts remained, one in Macedonia and two in Montenegro.
The Mavrovo lake is settled in the Mavrovo valley, between the Bistra, Šar and Vlainica mountain. The Mavrovo lake lies on an attitude of 1,233 meters above the sea level and has length of 10 km and width of 3 km. The Mavrovo lake covers an area of 13,7 sq km of the Mavrovo national park. The Mavrovo lake was built to use the waters of the Radika and Mavrovo river, for production of electric power.
Ohrid is known to be the pearl of the Balkans and a UNESCO protected city which lays beside one of the oldest lakes in Europe, Ohrid lake. Ohrid offers numerous entertainment options: boat rides to nearby places of interest, cultural and historical tours, many sport activities, crafts workshops and vibrant night life.
Ancient theatre, Ohrid
The theatre, situated close to the Upper Gate, located in the ancient part of Ohrid, Varoš, was built by the end of the third or at the beginning of the second century BC and had about 4.000 seats. After the Roman conquest, the theatre was readapted into an arena for gladiator fights and fights with wild beasts. However, since the theater was also a site of executions of Christians by the Romans, it rapidly turned to a highly disliked site by the locals. In fact, as a result of this dislike, the theater was abandoned and buried by the locals after the demise of the Roman Empire. Most probably, the theatre was destroyed by the end of the 4th century, or at the beginning of the 5th century AD, when Christianity arrived in Ohrid. The material from its seats was used for construction of sacral and profane buildings. Today, the theatre is a place where many cultural manifestation are held, including the Ohrid Summer Festival, that is held here every year.
The Old Bazaar of Ohrid is one of the most lively parts of Ohrid, especially on the so called market days, where numerous customers can buy various handmade items and food products. The thousand years old tree still stands in the middle of the square. The clay products are very interesting, the old Macedonian musical instruments and the famous Macedonian embroidery. The hand-made clay products are of particular interest and also old musical instruments, embroidery, silver filigree and pearl jewelry.
Lake Ohrid lies in the valley between Ohrid and Struga, in the border region between Macedonia and Albania. Ohrid lake covers an area of 358.2 square kilometers, two thirds of it belongs to the Republic of Macedonia. The shoreline is 87.5 kilometers long – the maximum length being 30.8 kilometers, and its maximum width of 14.8 kilometers. The average depth is 164 meters, and the maximum depth 289 meters. Lake Ohrid is the 7th deepest lake in Europe. Most of the Ohrid lake water bulk comes from numerous surface and underground springs. That is the reason why certain researchers consider it unique in the world. There are about 40 rivers and springs that flow into the Ohrid lake. It is the No. 1 tourist destination in Macedonia, making Ohrid, beside Struga the most visited towns.
Prilep is the fourth largest city in the Republic of Macedonia. In the course of the History, the geographic location of this city has made it a point where the Hellenic, Roman, Byzantium and Slavonic culture have crossed.
St. Archangel Michael monastery
In the magnificent granite rock over Prilep’s Varos, St.Archangel Monastery is one of the most beautiful and most significant cultural monuments and religious centers in Macedonia. It is believed that the original church was built in the second half of the 12th century, and later was rebuilt. Fragments of the old paintings have been preserved, including the frescoes “Christ in front of Pilat”, and “The way to Golghota”. The monastery is significant for its preserved stone pillars from the ancient period discovered in the monastery yard.
Towers of Marko fortress Prilep
A 30 min of hiking from Varosh village will take you to the ruins of the medieval fortress known as Markovi kuli. The hike to the fortress goes through a strange and interesting landscape with huge rocks in different shapes. The remains of the fortress look as if they are growing from the huge rocks and there is a great view on Prilep and the surrounding plain. The remains that can be seen are from the 10th to the 14th century.