The fortress of Скопје is called Kale (the Turkish word for fortress) and located on a hill next to old city center. It was built in the 6th century by Byzantine emperor Justinian I. It became important over time as Скопје was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire, but also the Serbian emperor was crowned there in 1346. When in 1963 an earthquake destroyed Скопје to large extent, also the fortress received massive damage. Kale has been rebuilt to some extent, but still today excavation works take place there.

The fortress looks a bit unfinished and unused. You can enter it and walk along the walls. You can climb up onto some restored towers, but there is no real touristic infrastructure. When structures of a church from the 13th century where found, this created ethnic tension between Christians and Muslims. The museum which should have been built on site is still a skeleton. But views are good so hike up there! And if you already climbed up to Kale: take a look also at the museum of contemporary art next door.

Скопска тврдина Кале
Скопје / Skopje
North Macedonia

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