City of monuments

Monument to Skopje's Liberators, Скопје

The capital city of North Macedonia, Скопје, is not a destination that comes into the mind of tourists immediately. The country is a former part of Yugoslavia which received independence in 1992 but is still searching for its national identity. North Macedonia doesn’t have a coastline (only the wonderful lake Ohrid as a good replacement) and Скопје is beautifully located in a valley surrounded by green mountains. With the Romans, the Osmans and the Soviets once reigning there the city is an interesting mix of different cultures and religions – and therefore the perfect place for an extended weekend abroad.

Continue reading “City of monuments”

Macedonian Holocaust Museum

Macedonian Holocaust Museum, Скопје

I honestly didn’t expect to find one of the best museums on the Holocaust at Скопје, North Macedonia. It is modern, it uses multimedia technologies and it achieves that visitors immerse themselves into the topic. The Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia remembers the former Jewish citizens of North Macedonia and the Balkans. It was opened in 2011 in the former Jewish quarter of the capital city, between the river Vardar and the old city center.

Continue reading “Macedonian Holocaust Museum”

Matka canyon

Matka canyon, Матка

Just fifteen kilometers afar from Скопје you can discover the Матка canyon. Here the river Treska is floating through high mountains (up to 700 meters high) and a dam for generating electricity formed a beautiful lake. People get there to take a boat tour, to rent a canoe or to simply hike through the valley. The place also offers a wonderful restaurant with good views on the lake and two tiny cloisters hidden in the mountains.

Continue reading “Matka canyon”

Sv. Pantelejmon

Church of Saint Panteleimon, Горно Нерези

I love Byzantine churches and the best ones are those hidden in secluded areas. One of these is the church Sv. Pantelejmon at Горно Нерези, not far from Скопје in the Vodno mountains. It was three times painted with the oldest layer being from the 12th century CE; the newest one from the 19th century has been completely removed to reveal the ancient masterpieces. The specialty of this church built in 1164 is that it shows the depicted characters as persons with emotions which is pretty unusual.

Continue reading “Sv. Pantelejmon”

Mileniumski Krst

Mileniumski Krst, Vodno, Скопје

СкопјеNorth Macedonia, is beautifully located in a valley surrounded by mountains. The Hausberg of the city, reachable pretty fast from the center, is the Vodno. It is located in the southwest and the highest point (Krastovar) is 1066 meters high. On top of it you can find the Millennium Cross (or Mileniumski Krst) – a 76 meters high cross made of steel and illuminated at night. It was placed there in 2002 as a symbol of the new millennium.

Continue reading “Mileniumski Krst”

зоолошка градина

Zoo, Скопје

The zoological garden of Скопје is located next to the city park in the recreation zone northwest of the city center. It is only twelve hectares large but surprisingly good for a zoo in southeast Europe. You can still see how it evolved over the last years (partially due to sponsoring, but mostly after a 42 million denar investment by the city) and there are areas that urgently need an uplift – but it is already a pleasure to have a stroll through this nice garden and visit around 500 species of animals.

Continue reading “зоолошка градина”

St. Clement of Ohrid

Church of St. Clement of Ohrid, Скопје

The church Sv. Kliment Ohridski at Скопје, North Macedonia, has a special architecture: with its 36 meters wide cupola and round shapes it could be confused with a mosque. But once you get closer you see the richness in decoration and the icons typical for an orthodox Christian church. It was opened in 1990 (with construction works already starting in 1972) and is therefore a rather young church.

Continue reading “St. Clement of Ohrid”

Archaeological museum

Archaeological museum of Macedonia, Скопје

The archaeological museum of Скопје is part of the heavily debated project Skopje 2014, the project that changed the face of the city center massively. It is located in a building close to river Vardar that received a new but historic facade. You can enter it over the highly decorated bridge of the civilizations in Macedonia. It contains many regional findings: golden masks from Охрид, icons from Виница and a nice coin collection.

Continue reading “Archaeological museum”

National gallery

National gallery Davut Paşa Hammam, Скопје

There couldn’t be a better location at Скопје for the national gallery of North Macedonia than the Davut Paşa Hammam. The bathhouse was built in the second half of the 15th century close to the historic city center of Скопје, it can be found close to the giant statue of Philipp II of Macedon. The building is an excellent example of Islamic culture and it is wonderful to walk through its beautiful rooms with star-covered domes and discover local artworks behind its numerous columns.

Continue reading “National gallery”

Best views

Museum of contemporary art, Скопје

Most visitors of Скопје climb up to the Kale fortress. From there it is only a stone’s throw to the museum of contemporary art – if you managed to find your way on broken steps up the hill. I found the museum rather empty but probably I’ve been there at that wrong point in time. But that didn’t matter, from the museum building you’re having amazing views on the capital city of North Macedonia. And that was already worth the sweat necessary to get up.

Continue reading “Best views”