Macedonia is a young Balkan republic that is a combination of both Orient and Occident.
Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and is located in the Vardar River Valley. It has a dramatic history that spans many thousands of years and forms the junction of two trading routes in southeast Europe that unite both western and eastern civilisation.
The legacy of Ottoman times is omnipresent in Skopje. One of the city’s most well-preserved mosques is that of the Gazi-Isisa-Bey Djamia and in the seventeenth century it is believed that there were up to a hundred and twenty mosques in the city. Ottoman rule began in 1392 and lasted for more than five hundred years.
Near the village of Glumovo is the Bogorodica Monastery that was founded in the fourteenth century and is active again today. The mediaeval frescos on the walls and ceilings are well preserved after five centuries.
Southwest of Prilep is the ancient city of Stibera that is also known as Macedonian Pompeii. It is in a good location on an important road. The last Macedonian king, Perseus, had his military headquarters in Stibera during his struggles with Rome.
In the south, just a few kilometres from the Greek border, is Bitola, at the foot of Pelister Mountain and on the edge of the fertile Pelagonija Plains. Buildings with Neo-Baroque and Renaissance facades, huge mosques and splendid diplomatic residences indicate the city’s importance.
Macedonia is a wild land full of natural splendour and with a long and dramatic history that is well worth more than just a flying visit. Indeed, this visit also features a Galicka wedding that is a fine example of colourful tradition and local culture.