Skopje

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Skopje

Countries: Macedonia
Activity: City break


Skopje is the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. As largest city in the country, it is a political, economic, and cultural center of Macedonia, known by its varied architecture and its mix of cultures. It lies on the upper course of the Vardar River and is located on a major north-south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens. The first impression of a visitor to Skopje is invariably the same: it is a new and modern city. It is a trading center for the cotton, tobacco, grains, and livestock produced in the surrounding region. The city also has manufacturing facilities for iron and steel, electrical machinery, chemicals, textiles, carpets, and foods. In Skopje you can find modern hotels above cobblestoned Ottoman streets, stately neoclassical homes right around the corner, chic cafes, shopping malls and brightly colored new offices, red-bricked Byzantine churches and rounded Turkish mosques.


THE STONE BRIDGE
The city symbol.

The Stone Bridge is a symbol of Skopje incorporated in the city flag. It is the connection between the modern city and the old town. According to certain data the bridge was built in the 6th century, whereas in its present form it was raised upon the old foundation in the time of the Sultan.

SKOPJE FORTRESS
The Roman panorama above the city.

This fortress has the dominant place in the city. It was built of stone blocks from the ruins of the city of Skupi, during the rule of the Romans, Czar Justinijan the I-st. The ramparts of the Skopje Fortress are 121 meter long and today one square, one rectangular and one round tower are saved. 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.

THE OLD BAZAAR
The passion of traditional shopping.

It is situated on the left side of the River Vardar or north from it. It is an old shopping district characteristic for the Islamic world and similar to many other bazaars. Skopje Old Bazaar still has its own specifics that delight passersby. Many writers have visited the bazaar through the centuries and left notes about it. The well-known Turkish writer, Evliya Chelebi, wrote that Skopje bazaar reminded him of Baghdad’s bazaar.

THE MOTHER TERESA MEMORIAL HOUSE
The monument of compassion.

It is dedicated to the humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa and is located in the centre of Skopje. The memorial house was built on the popular Macedonia Street on the very location of the once Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, where Mother Teresa was baptized.

MUSTAFA PASHA MOSQUE
The experience of Islamic culture.

This Islamic historical monument of culture was built by Mustafa Pasha who was the vizier of Sultan Salem I. According to the inscription on the front gate written in Arabic signs, the Mosque was built in 1519.


MATKA LAKE
The butterfly canyon.

The Matka canyon is located in the lower course of river Treska. With its geological, geomorphologic and hydrological characteristics, and the flora and fauna, it is an exceptional object of nature. The most fascinating is the exclusively great number of various kinds of butterfly species, 84 of which can be found there and nowhere else on the Balkans.

OHRID
The unforgettable lake.

Ohrid Lake with the cities of Ohrid and Struga and several fishing villages is pleasant summer resorts. The natural beauties of the lake, the numerous historical monuments, the hospitable people and unusual customs are making an enjoyable unforgettable stay. Since 1980 this Macedonian pearl is under protection of UNESCO. Tourist season on Ohrid Lake is during all year, from spring months till late autumn as well as in winter season. Crystal clear waters of the Lake in the season are used mainly for swimming, but also for various water sports and recreation activities like sport fishing, swimming, water polo and sailing. Ohrid is the most important summer resort in Macedonia, real place for relaxing holidays and unforgettable stay for the young generations.

MAVROVO NATIONAL PARK
Adventures in wild nature.

The ski resort on Bistra Mountain (Mavrovo) is a real paradise for skiers where the snow and the woods are the part of wild nature. Rich in natural resources, traced mountain recreational paths, traced mountain-bike paths, Mavrovo and its National Park is the most organized ski center in Macedonia. The ski center has three chair lifts and eleven ski lifts. The length of the ski lifts is 5700 m. with capacity of 10000 skiers per hour with tracks for beginners, advanced and professional skiers.

BITOLA
The grand old town.

Macedonia’s second city, Bitola is a town that still bears the marks of its turnof- the-century importance as a center for diplomacy – while also exemplifying the country’s time-honored café culture.The many cafes lining the city’s pedestrian main street (the Sirok Sokak) provide endless see-and be-seen opportunities for Bitola’s fashionable youth. Also the oldest archeological locality from the roman times in Macedonia “Heraclea Lyncestis is just 5 km away from Bitola. Places to visit: The main street Sirok Sokak, The Old Bazaar, The Clock Tower, The Pelister National Park, the archeological locality Heraclea Lyncestis.

PRILEP
The town of tobacco.

Prilep is the third biggest town in Macedonia known by the legendary warrior Krale Marko and his fortress that still witnesses above the town. Also known as the center of the tobacco production in Macedonia, Prilep is a modern town with many famous Macedonian delicious food specialities. Near the town there is the church of St. Archangel Mikhail and the monastery of Treskavec and Zrze.

TRUMICA
Nightlife and attractions.

The carnival town located southeast of the country is the most exciting nightlife place in Macedonia, with a lot of attractions to be seen as the waterfalls of Smolare nearby, the monasteries of Vodoca and Veljusa, and many picturesques villages where are the most high quality producers of vegetables as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in the region.