A Travellerspoint blog

Macedonia

Skopje

sunny 80 °F

I loved Skopje! It is the most beautiful sham city (Skopje 2014 project) I’ve ever visited. It’s a vibrant city full of grandiose buildings, statues, bridges, shopping, restaurants and bars. It has the charm of an old European city with cobblestone walkways and a fabulous marble city square. There is a giant statue in the middle of Macedonia Square of Alexander the Great and an equally grand fountain beneath him. There are more statues here than any one place in Europe, and where everything looks like it has been here for hundreds of years, the truth is most everything is less than 10 years old. To be more precise, it was created as the Skopje 2014 project. The purpose was to give the capital Skopje a more classical appeal. The project, announced in 2010, consists mainly of the construction of colleges, museums and government buildings, as well as the erection of monuments depicting historical figures from the region of Macedonia. Around 20 buildings and over 40 monuments have been constructed as part of the project. There are a lot of disagreements about this project and a lot of corruption to go with it but for me it is beautiful and memorable.

Background:
In 1963 Skopje earthquake destroyed approximately 80% of the city, including most of the neoclassical buildings in the central part of Skopje. The rebuilding that followed was mostly plain modernist architecture. This is one of the reasons given by the government for the necessity of the project, to give Skopje a more monumental and visually pleasing image. Another reason is to restore the missing sense of national pride and create a more metropolitan atmosphere. In February 2018, the government and institutions of the Republic of Macedonia announced the halt of the Skopje 2014 program and begun removing its controversial monuments and statues.

The official name in the United Nations is the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M). However, a recent agreement has been made between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia that the country’s name shall be “Republic of North Macedonia”. This will be official once the country votes to approve it. Once the name has been ratified, the hope of the Northern Macedonia country is to be part of NATO. This naming dispute has gone on since 1992, let’s hope they can finally agree.

A memorable part of our stay was our venture to the Millennium Cross. What started out as an easy day out, a taxi ride to the cable car and then taking the cable car to the Cross - easy peasy right? As we were sitting there admiring the breathtaking view, someone had the brilliant idea to walk down the mountain (not 15 minutes earlier, that same person said “this tram is going on forever“). But hey, why not have a little adventure, after all there are roads to take us down, it’s not like we will be climbing down a rock face hill, right? So we start our walk down that road getting bored pretty quickly when we noticed people hiking up a fairly easy trail. We asked them if we could take that trail down to the road and they said yes, no problem. Sure enough, 5 minutes later, we were back on that boring road - but then we see another trail and decide to take that one too. No problem, got back on the road and a few minutes later found another trail. Well, those short trails were adventurous and fun, so we kept taking them. Not knowing where these trails went, we kept taking them until the last trail (who knew it would be the last trail) that never stopped until we were at the bottom. And that last trail got steeper and slippery as we climbed down. After about 30 minutes we ran into someone much younger than us climbing up the hill (show off). We asked him if we were going in the right direction? lucky for us he said yes, but then as he passed he also said be careful - Uh-oh! Did I mention we were wearing flip flops - Oops! (Kids, don’t try this at home). Well, we made it down with no noticeable injuries, took us about 90 minutes in all and we had a great adventure. As for me personally, I couldn’t walk without pain for the next 2 days. Ah, good times. ??

8B9E16D9-F94F-405A-9ED2-7862D311B088.jpeg

Triumphal Arch
CA226A5A-E6A5-4BF5-B25C-51E049D4FCEA.jpeg

Art Bridge
8AC2DB6E-994F-413C-AECB-E507DF6F42FE.jpeg
Citizen bridge
CFCE6240-5488-470E-90A2-D7C63672E783.jpeg
Freedom Bridge
A876BDBD-3CBE-4656-970C-9925A0D057BA.jpeg
Stone Bridge
D44835F8-E692-45E3-9CF6-A0E2C106E366.jpeg

So many statues
DD74A44D-6E34-493B-88FC-365291D917C7.jpeg
EA32170B-ADF2-4598-B381-F3D5921608FE.jpeg
05A81C6D-2DBF-4138-BEE2-8FD6180F2EA8.jpeg
3161DDE6-81E7-4ACC-8CD1-9E4C96A43517.jpeg
BFB6A4AF-9782-4EF4-9173-3AD858457CC9.jpeg
70EAA490-780E-4420-87D3-8BD1878F0B1A.jpeg
54B5E147-C947-47B3-A236-5F888FA61C8C.jpeg
F0B45103-0F0F-49CD-AF78-BDF7DD0479FC.jpeg
42310993-2439-4EA0-989A-6619D2E856D5.jpeg

Skopje Fortress commonly referred to as Kale
FF7A7D05-4BAF-4F71-B871-2CB3FE9A9A95.jpeg

Beautiful buildings
B3697222-4C77-4924-88DC-4DD9D5A98837.jpeg
F225FB78-43B1-4EEF-A528-276189A3E325.jpeg

Sunset
97EB12C1-5D09-4F0E-8527-7B8F9AB16F69.jpeg

Macedonia Square is the main square of Skopje
0FA2ED6B-B9FC-43CE-9E5D-B836E1736050.jpeg
F9C3A814-40EB-4264-9376-4A6785F85050.jpeg

Cable Car to the Cross
23D65D72-AC50-421A-BF0E-7D1731CE4C2A.jpeg

Millennium Cross
A gigantic cross (the entire 217 ft high) that holds the title as the world’s largest cross. Millenium Cross stands on top of the Mount Vodno, and it was built as a memorial in connection to the 2000 years jubilee of Christianity.
28DADC98-D35E-4D54-ACBB-F3307AA9163C.jpeg
3432A759-6B89-47CE-9B2D-669B9B1FFE39.jpeg

Hiking down from the top of Mount Vodno
F9942392-BD09-4575-A25B-51F6B3C999D0.jpeg
Not the best hiking shoes
3FA3A9BC-D7F3-4FB4-9AD0-082102579011.jpeg

Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, and her birthplace has become a popular tourist attraction where you can visit her memorial house.
BFFE8EE6-B379-4531-BDC9-5F9DB4F56A61.jpeg
3601A556-AC68-4BDC-8F45-1FBF8EABFC60.jpeg
4BA61F4B-9580-4362-9C2A-BB5C2D12ACFA.jpeg
06E4433D-0DE1-4CA1-945D-098202094DCD.jpeg
C3594B30-BD76-4AD2-9B94-486088C91756.jpeg
A96F1BFB-1BD6-4B30-9FFE-226993535D4C.jpeg

Market Bazaar
E60A4065-2056-44A3-BCC0-57B0091468C0.jpeg
1D7B929F-5DF9-4976-AE2D-F5FB842EE631.jpeg

Churches
30D16772-93CB-49AC-9F7F-0DA0E1C61E7D.jpeg
D073115F-E7F6-481F-B148-650AE4AB9F0F.jpeg
9BBED8F5-BF56-4149-97CF-C6C149D7114B.jpeg
BC12428A-AB48-4298-B80A-48C1532C4F70.jpeg
F47393A0-F264-4F89-8224-FD7FA060BB2D.jpeg

The Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia is a memorial to the holocaust of the 7,148 Jews from Macedonia and the history of the Jews in the Balkans. Unfortunately, this museum is currently closed.
29EFF1A4-CE0D-4F27-BFC3-19BBA5A12628.jpeg
E86E483E-EDC2-43CE-82D1-12B864F5264F.jpeg
0A040E4F-8201-41E9-BCE9-F440AA8ED22C.jpeg

Mosque
493F66DF-945E-42CD-8BBA-236936D740B5.jpeg
898D2AEF-9F5E-40EF-873A-988CC0857E38.jpeg

Directions
43E868E6-B5B0-4454-8799-A94B536AA576.jpeg

Posted by joannereyes 09:51 Archived in Macedonia Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 1 of 1) Page [1]