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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Half of a railway station

City museum, old railway station, Скопје

The current railway station of Скопје is not the first of the capital city of North Macedonia. If you’re leaving the modern city center on Macedonia street and walk to the south, you’ll find the location of the very first railway station. It existed there from 1873 to 1937, then it was torn down and in 1940 a new building was opened there. And that is what you see today, or at least a part of it: two thirds of the station were destroyed in 1963.

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Mother Teresa

Memorial House of Mother Teresa, Скопје

The Catholic nun Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu is known throughout the world as Mother Teresa, as an example for a person who has dedicated her life to help the poor. Under the name of Saint Teresa of Calcutta she has been officially declared a saint of the Catholic church mostly for her work in India. But where did she come from? The Albanians see her as a national hero, in Kosovo they name churches and airports after her. The people remember her at Скопје, North Macedonia. But maybe we also need to connect her to the Ottoman Empire.

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