Republic of Macedonia
Macedoniaofficially theRepublic of Macedoniais a country located in the centralBalkan peninsulainSoutheast Europe. It declared independence in 1991, it became a member of theUnited Nations in 1993 but, as a result of adispute with Greeceover its name, it was admitted under the provisional reference ofthe former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Its capital city is Skopje.Macedonia is alandlocked countrythat is geographically clearly defined by a central valley formed by the Vardar river and framed along its borders by mountain ranges.
The terrain is mostly rugged, located between thear Mountainsand Osogovo, which frame the valley of theVardarriver. Three large lakesLake Ohrid,Lake PrespaandDojran Lake lie on the southern borders, bisected by the frontiers with Albania and Greece. The region is seismically active and has been the site of destructive earthquakes in the past, most recently in 1963 when Skopje was heavily damaged by a major earthquake.
Skopjeis the capital of theRepublic of Macedonia; it is in thePovardarieregion, and is the largest and most diverse city in the country. Skopje has been occupied by many different peoples since its foundation. This is evidenced by the several Byzantine churches and monasteries around the city, also by a few Roman sites, such as Scupi and Skopje's Aqueduct. However, the group that left the greatest mark on Skopje were the Ottomans. The Ottomans ruled Macedonia for hundreds of years and built a large number of mosques and other buildingsFortress Kale
Today, Skopje is becoming a modern city. Home to about quarter of the entire population of the country, it is also home to many different types of people. Besides the majority Macedonians, many Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs, Bosniaks and others call Skopje home.
The Old Bazaar meaning marketplace in Skopje is the largest bazaar in the Balkans outside Istanbul.The earliest known documented sources that point out to the existence of a merchant quarter on the bazaar's territory date back to the 12th century. The bazaar was heavily damaged by the earthquakes that occurred in 1555 and 1963, and the destructions caused during the First and the Second World War. Subsequently, it was reconstructed on several occasions and nowadays represents the only remaining cultural monument in the Republic of Macedonia, which has kept its multicultural heritage of different civilizations.
The Ottoman architecture is predominant in the Old Bazaar, although remains of the Byzantine architecture are evident as well. Most of the buildings that once were used to host the travellers were transformed into museums and galleries, which today are used with the main purpose to host art exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events. Nowadays, however, the place and its proximity are still home to several mosques, trbes, two churches and a clocktower. The Museum of the Skopje Old Bazaar, situated in Suli Han, includes collections of artifacts that evidence the life within the bazaar, its development, and the crafts that were practiced during its
Vodno is a mountain located to the southwest of the capital city Skopje. The highest point of the mountain is on 1066 meters and the submontane is on 337 meters.
Matka is a canyon located west of Skopje, Macedonia. Covering roughly 5,000 hectares, Matka is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia and is home to several medieval monasteries. There is located the world deepest underwater cave.
Mavrovo National Park is the largest of the three national parks of the Republic of Macedonia. It was founded in 1949 and is located in the western part of the country between the Lake Mavrovo and the Albanian border.
Lake Ohrid is the deepest lake of theBalkans, with a maximum depth of288 m and a mean depth of 155m. The Ohrid Lake is divided between Republic of Macedonia and Albania.
The city architecture of Ohrid takes a particular place in the cultural heritage as a result of which the particular type of the oriental city house built during the 18th, 19th and the beginning of the 20th century is protected more than in the other Macedonian cities. The folklore builders had built these houses under influence of the oriental and Byzantic building traditional.Because of this, we should not be taken by surprise that even the great French architect La Corbises in his Collection of works dedicates particular attention to the Macedonian city house and its facades, balconies and interiors when he writes about the city architecture of the Balkan.
Marko's Towers are situated to the northwest of Prilep, just above the village of Varo. The towers are located on a 120-180 m high hill, surrounded by steep slopes covered with minute granite stones.
Ruins at Markovi KuliThe rampart on this terrain dates from the 13th and 14th centuries and is in good condition. The walls are about one meter thick and were built of limestone mortar and rest upon the large limestone rocks.Internal walls separated the acropolis into smaller areas. The palace of Macedonian King Vukain and his son Marko was also situated here. Its north gate has a compound foundation - an evidence for of numerous reconstructions of the space. According to some historical findings, until the second part of the 14th century and even later, this fortress was defended by only 40 soldiers.
They say, Treskavec takes your breath away twice. The first time for sure, whether you have climbed the steep mountain path for almost two hours, or you went for an adventure to get to the Monastery with an off-road vehicle. The second time, when you're almost there, the view opening in front of you will take your breath away for sure.
There is one legend about Mariovos name which talks about how some Turkish bay wanted to married the beautiful girl Marija that lived in this area. After the long negotiations Marija appears to have agreed to go and live in the seraglio of the Turkish bay but only under the condition that the Turk wont do Islamization in that area, doesnt settle anymore Turks and doesnt build mosques neither. The contract had been respected and all the area had been saved from the brutal Islamizations and damages. In a sign of appreciation to the beautiful Marija that saved all the area, the people gave the name Mariovo.
One of the most beautiful architecture constructions in the Mariovos area is known to be the stone bridge. Under the bridge on one of the highest rocks there is a picture of the saint Gjorgi. This picture actually is remaining of the little church that existed there.The wall of the bridge is built of huge rocks, under which goes the village river. Clear and cold water had made little canyon going through the cliffs. No one can really withstand to this beauty.
Kokino is a Bronze Age archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia.It is situated between about 1010 and 1030 m above sea level on the Tatikjev Kamen summit and covers an area of about 90 by 50 meters, overlooking the eponymous hamlet of Kokino.It was discovered in 2001. The oldest archaeological finds date from about the 19th century BC and it shows signs of occupation for the period from the 19th to the 7th centuries BC.
According to this interpretation, the site includes special stone markers used to track the movement of the Sun and Moon on the eastern horizon. The observatory used the method of stationary observation, marking positions of the Sun at the winter and summer solstice, as well as the equinox. Four stone seats or "thrones" are placed in a row on the lower platform. According to Cenev, A stone block with a marking on the upper platform marks the direction of sunrise on summer solstice when viewed from one of the seats.Macedonian cuisine is a representative of that of theBalkansreflectingMediterranean(Greek) andMiddle Eastern (Turkish) influences, and to a lesser extentItalian,Germanand Eastern European (especiallyHungarian) ones. The relatively warm climate in Macedonia provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Thus, Macedonian cuisine is particularly diverse.Famous for its richopska salad, an appetiser and side dish which accompanies almost every meal, Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of itsdairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such asrakija.Tave Graveand mastikaare considered the national dish and drink of the Republic of Macedonia, respectively.
Macedonian traditional costumesMacedonia's traditional, intricately embroidered folk costumes include garments made of coarse, tightly woven wool yarn. Men wear vests, white linen shirts, pants resembling English riding breeches, and a pojas (pronounced PO-yahs)a wide cloth belt.
Women wear ankle-length dresses, a wide apron, a white linen shirt, a pojas, and a head scarf. Men's traditional attire is predominantly black, while women's is red and white. For footwear, both genders wear opinci (pronounced o-PIN-tsi)leather slippers with a curved tip.
Macedonian folk dances (ora)Macedonian folklore bursts with rhythms, fast dancing steps, colorful costumes, vigorousness, and beautiful songs, and is always quite striking. Macedonians danced and created folk dances (ora) both in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in pleasure. So, themagnificent folk dances (ora) are an valuable heritage to Macedonian folklore. These, adapted to present conditions and grouped into series, are danced and presented throughout the country and the world. Numerous dance ensembles study the Macedonian folklore throughout the country and the world (in the Diaspora) and promote their motherland.These range from the slow teshkoto, or "heavy" dance, to the exuberant sitnoto, or "tiny-stepped dance."The dances just like the costumes are colourful and vary from area to area. The list of dances from the region of Macedonia is endless.