Bitola Things to Do

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    by MacedonianUK
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Best Rated Things to Do in Bitola

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    Angel

    by JLBG Updated Jul 1, 2011

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    Angel

    I am puzzled by this winged statue built in 2001 and standing in the park : does it represents and angel or the god Mercury ? As it has none of the attributes of Mercury, I bet it has been designed as an angel. It looks like a monument celebrating citizens that died from 1969 to 1978.

    Thank you Valentina (MacedonianUK) for the explenation that I quote here :

    This is a monument of an angel in honor of the fallen policeman, which were brutally butchered by the Albanian terrorist n 2001 conflict. Two of the names are friends of mine..

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    MOSAICS IN HERACLEA

    by LoriPori Written Jun 12, 2011

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    The MOSAICS IN HERACLEA are known for their exquisite beauty. The Mosaic "Universe" is made of small stones in 27 different colors and is considered to be one of the most beautiful floor mosaics in the world.

    The following is an excerpt I found explaining about different scenes depicted in the Mosaics.

    "What the site is famous for are the mosaics of the big basilica, made in the 5th century. The floor mosaic in the narthex is the most complete presentation of the world as they understood it back then. In the center of a rectangular field, there is a fountain out of which a grapevine comes - pic #3 (as a symbol of Christ's teachings) and peacocks and deer are gathered around (as symbol of eternal life), meaning if you accept the teaching of Christ you’ll have eternal life. On the left and on the right there are 5 trees rich with fruits, with birds flying around - pic # 1 #2 (representing the garden of Eden and the afterlife), and a huge red dog called Kerber (Cerberus) is guarding the entrance. Below the trees, animals like deer are presented attacked and eaten by wild animals - pic #4 (presenting the suffering of the Christian soul in the earth life). The field is surrounded by water with medallions in which 28 water animals are presented. The mosaic has been made with little stones in 27 different colours (the only “richer” mosaic is found in Pompeii - a wall mosaic made of stones in 32 colours). "

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    Heraclea Lyncestis

    by Roadquill Updated Jun 6, 2011

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    Theatre at Heraclea Lyncestis
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    Just a couple of kilometers from the town center is the 2,000+ year old ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis. Complete with baths, theatre and stunning mosaics, this site was fun to explore. We had walked early in the morning to get some morning pictures and then came back later with our VT friends. Founded several hundred years BC, the ancient town was on the crossroads between Italy and what became known as Constantinople to the East and West, and Greece and Europe to the North and South. Absorbed by the Roman Empire, and later brutally enslaved, the town functioned into the later Medieval period. A great many artifacts have been pulled from the site, however, only recently has the Medieval period been focused on. Unfortunately, some of the early excavations blew past the Medieval period. There is a small museum displaying some of the finds.

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    ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE HERACLEA LYNCESTIS

    by LoriPori Written Jun 12, 2011

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    Entrance to Heraclea
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    Two km from Bitola town center are the remnants of the ancient town of Heraclea Linkestis, established as a significant strategic center by King Philip II of Macedonia, in the 4th century B.C. The town grew into a well-developed military and strategic center as it was situated on the most important crossroad in that period of time - Via Ignatia.
    The ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE HERACLEA LYNCESTIS includes the "Portic of the Court" which is the first 'building' that you come to. The "Aquaduct" leads to the "Terma" with its three 'rooms'. Next are the "Small Basilica" and the "Great Basilica". On the left is the "Amphitheater" Complex.
    There is also a museum with artifacts found on the site,
    Entry fee is 100 Denars.

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    Every house has a story to tell

    by MacedonianUK Updated Jun 10, 2009

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    Bitola has abundance of interesting arhitecture.
    Most od the houses in the ceneter, are restored and there are more of them wich are already half a way to be brought back to its former glory.
    But the if you take a walk around the City, many of the houses has story to tell.
    Lala's House, is one,
    the house where Vagner spend 2 yrs of his life & falen in love with Lala, Bitola's girl from wealthy family.
    Another one is Eleni's House,
    the Vlah girl who captured the hart of the father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal-Ataturk.
    Terzievci House, where Dr Reiss(father of Forensic Medicine) spend 4 yrs of his life.
    Helping people of Bitola and the Serbian solders of WWI.
    Take your camera, sturdy shoes,bottle of water and start walking....
    You will be amaized what you will find.

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Jeni Mosque

    by JLBG Updated Jun 23, 2011

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    Jeni Mosque
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    There seems to be on the web a lot of confusion between Ajdar Kadhi Mosque and Jeni Mosque (the New Mosque in Turkish)
    I had found on the web on several sites :
    “Ajdar Kadhi Mosque, also named Jeni Mosque was built in 1558 by Kadi Mahmud Efendi upon an old church” and took it for granted.
    Thanks to Valentina, I have edited my tip. Ajdar Kadhi Mosque and Jeni Mosque are two different mosques. Unfortunately, due to a tight schedule, I have not visited Ajdar Kadhi Mosque.

    The photos of this tip are of Jeni Mosque.
    It stands in the center of Bitola, close to the extremity of Širok Sokak. It is not used as a mosque anymore but houses Bitola’s art gallery with permanent and temporary exhibitions. The diameter of the dome is 19 meters, and the minaret is 39 meters high.
    I have read that it was built upon an old church; Is it a confusion with Ajdar Kadhi Mosque ? Or may be that both Mosques were built upon an old church. The later is very likely.

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    French cemetary from WWI

    by MacedonianUK Updated Feb 9, 2014

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    During the Great War (WWI) Bitola was site of blody battles.
    Where the Serbian & French armies were fighting the Germans & Bullgarians at the Solunski Front (Tessalonika Front) on the slopes of Kajmakchalan Mountain.
    wich was turn of tide for the WWI.
    In the Historical Annals is written that the two most bombed towns in WWI are Verdun in France & Bitola ( Monastir) in Macedonia.
    And 1.000.000 solders took part in the Great war in these parts.
    Bitola has few cemetaries from the Great War the biggest one is the French Cemetary, where 15.000 French solders are known to be berried, with another 2000 unindefinited.
    The Armiee D'Orient which was fighting in Thessaloniki front was all from the French colonies, mainly North Africa ( Algeria, Marrocco and Tunisia) the foot solders were Arab & the oficers were French,
    Lots of info about the importance of the front, the battles, the casualities, the photos and more can be found in one of the hall of Hotel de Invalides in Paris ( military museum).
    The French cemetary is situated about 4 km NE of town in the village of Novaci.
    Worth the truble to go & visit.

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    Visit Issac Mosque,part of Macedonian History

    by MacedonianUK Updated Aug 31, 2009

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    From over 80 Moques in and around town, Isaac Mosque is the oldest and biggest in the City.
    Build in 1506 AD by Isaac Kadi (Judge) is one of the nicest monuments of Ottoman Arhitecture on the Balkans.
    Isaac Kadi, was born in Bitola of an wealthy parents, hailing from Anatolia, and went to study in Istanbul, when he finished his studies, he was appointed Kadi (judge) to Bitola than called,Monastir.
    When he returned, he build the Mosque in honor of his father & his appoitmant as Kadi.
    He also left 250 shops as "Vakaf "to the Mosque, i.e the rent of the shops where to help the upkeep of the Mosque and the local Medresa.
    The mosque also supported soup kitchen for the poor.
    Ask the caretaker to let you in, but you have to observe the religious order,no shoes,plus women have to cover their heads and wear appropriate clothes, i.e no sliveless tops and shorts.
    As the Mosque is still in use for today's Bitola Muslim population.

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    Isak Celebi Mosque

    by JLBG Written May 27, 2011

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    Isak Celebi Mosque
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    Isak Celebi mosque was built in 1508 by judge Isak Celebi Ibni Asa. It is one of the oldest mosques in Bitola. It is larger than Jeni Mosque : the diameter of the dome is 26 meters, and the minaret is 45 meters high. Isak Celebi died in 1512 and was buried in the graveyard next to the mosque

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    Crafts at Stara Charshija

    by MacedonianUK Updated Jun 10, 2009

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    Unfortunatly, the mass production from China, afect the old crafts in Bitola & Macedonia.
    From many handcraft shops only hendfull are left in the Charshija.
    The charshija thou still retain the oldfashioned names of the streets, wich was given, depends of what craft shops were on those streets.
    We still have saddlemaking street, clogs & shoes makers street, gold & filigree smits street, bell makers street,toolmakers street,grain and chikpea merchant street, fishmonger street... and so on...
    What to buy:
    Hand made slippers and Macedonian folk shoes
    Silver filigree and gold work jewelery
    Shirts with Macedonian traditional niddlepint work
    woodcarvings....

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    Širok Sokak

    by JLBG Written May 27, 2011

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    ��irok Sokak

    Širok Sokak, also named the « corso » is the main car free street in Bitola. It is lined with numerous cafés and restaurants and is busy until late in the night. In the middle, stands the Catholic Cathedral and at the extremity, two mosques.

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    Archeological Site Heraclea Lyncestis, Bitola

    by Pijlmans Updated Jun 29, 2008

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    Heraclea Lyncestis
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    In the south of Macedonia, just south of Bitola, is the ancient city Heraclea Lyncestis, now an archaeological site.

    The ancient town of Heraclea Lyncestis was founded by Philip II of Macedon, father of Aleksandar III of Macedon (Aleksandar the Great) in the middle of the 4th century BC.

    Heraclea (from Hercules) was named after the ancient tribe called Lyncestae (from lynx) who lived in the area already around 4500 BC. Its function was a military fortification of the border. Macedonia fell under Roman jurisdiction at that time.

    Heraclea was an important stopping place and crossroad on the Via Egnatia, a Roman road which connected Heraclea with Ohrid (Lychnidos). The Diagonal Way connected Heraclea with the ancient city of Stobi.

    Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) has used Heraclea as a supply depot during his campaigns.

    In the Early Christian period (4th-6th century AD), Heraclea became an episcopal seat (meaning the Bishop had his residence here).

    After a large earthquake in 518 AD the inhabitants eventually abandoned the city for other towns.

    The Heraclea site consists of an amphitheater, baths, basilicas and some impressive mosaics. The Theater is even more impressing if you keep in mind that many people, mainly Christians, lost their lives here in gladiator and animal fights.

    In the small museum you can get a drink and e.g. leave your bags during your visit of the site.

    There is a small bar with terrace with interesting tables decorated with mosaics.

    The admission fee was 100 denars (about 1.60 euros), and they ask 300 Denars (about 5 euros) per camera to make pictures. However, we bargained a bit and only paid 1x the picture fee for 4 people.

    See my Travelogues for almost 60 pictures of Heraclea Lyncestis, sorted by subject:

    Overview
    Thermae and Portico
    Small Basilica
    Large Basilica
    Episcopal Residence and Fountain
    Theater
    Mosaics
    Aquaduct

    If you are interested in archeological sites, also see my pages about Heraclea Lyncestis near Bitola, Stobi near the village Gradsko and Plaosnik in Ohrid.

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    • Archeology

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    Missing statue ?

    by JLBG Written May 27, 2011

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    Missing statue ?
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    Philip II of Macedonia is considered as the founder of the city. The huge pedestal at the end of Širok Sokak has to be dedicated to his memory but no statue stands on it ! I wonder why ! There is certainly an explanation and I am sure that Valentina will give the answer.

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    End of the XIXth and beginning of the XXth styles

    by JLBG Written May 27, 2011

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    End of the XIXth and beginning of the Xxth styles
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    Širok Sokak is lined with several beautiful buildings from the end of the XIXth and the beginning of the Xxth. One must not forget that during this period, Bitola was the main city of Macedonia and the third of the Turkish Empire. It was a wealthy city and several countries had their consulate in Bitola. This explains why there are so many buildings from that period, with an interesting architecture.

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    XIXth and beginning of the Xxth styles (details)

    by JLBG Written May 27, 2011

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    XIXth and beginning of the Xxth styles (details)
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    I give here some details on houses lining Shirok Sokak. Neoclassical, neo-hellenistic styles are here at their best.

    During that period, molded concrete was often used and I would not be surprised if that was the case here. Look at photo 1 and photo 2 : though they are not really of the same style, the capitals are exactly the same !

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