While you are in Tetovo, do not miss the Monastery of Lesok.
Leshok is a village a few kilometers northeast of Tetovo.
See my Lesok page in the link below for more info about the monastery.
Tetovo is the economic and cultural capital of the Albanians of FYR Macedonia... they live in the east, with the Albanian frontier
this region have had problemas some problems of separatist guerrillas during the recent times, because some Albanians of these zone want their independence
the Painted Mosque of Tetovo was made with Ottoman architecture
One of the most beautiful mosques in Macedonia is the Sarena Dzamija, also called Colorful Mosque, Painted Mosque, Pasha Djamija (Prince's Mosque) or Motley Mosque.
Allegedly 30,000 eggs were used to produce the paint.
The bath house (Aman) on the other site of the river Pena used to be part of the complex. The bath house now houses the Tetovo Art Gallery.
The mosque was built in 1459, the two women who paid for it are buried in the turbe (grave) on the site. The mosque was renovated in 1833 and 1991.
We were allowed to take pictures inside the Sarena Mosque as well, and leaflets with information (only in German at the time) with information were available.
The Church of St Nikola is found in the north-west part of Tetovo, north of the river Pena and on the way to the village Lavce and the Tetovo Kale Fortress.
St Nikola was closed at the moment of visiting.
This old Aman (bath house) used to be part of the complex of the Sarena Mosque.
It now houses an art gallery.
See the pictures for the beautiful ceiling with the stars!
On a hill above Tetovo is an old Ottoman fortress (kale) from the year 1820.
It is not so well known as the Kale Fortress in Skopje or Tsar Samoil's fortress or Gradiste Kale near Ohrid, and it is certainly in a worse state. It's in a better state than the Kale in Kicevo though.
But efforts are undertaken to renovate the fortress. At the moment of visiting (August 2009), a museum was being build on the site, and we were told that it should be finished within a year.
The fortress and the mosque that used to be there were damaged in the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars.
There used to be a tunnel system leading to the Ottoman houses in the town, allowing the defenders of the fortress to get behind enemy lines if the kale was besieged.
There's also a little shop that sells drinks on the site.
Certainly worth a visit.
Popova Sapka peak (A Hat of a Monk) is a peak on a near mountain, very known of hiking. It takes you like 3 hrs to walk to the top and 3 hrs to get down. The walk is very nice (if you can stand that much walking) but the problem comes when you get to the top - you realize there's nothing over there - no infrastructure, no water,no caffe or restaurant, no buses...
on the streets you can notice lovely houses like this one. Its a pitty their are old and not recovered. but time has to be given to people get on with their lives and then worry about stuff like this of course.
To visit the historical places in Tetovo among which are: Arabati Baba Teqe building (known as "Teqe compund") which is worth visiting since it is an old cultural center built during the 17th century which is historically used as a religious base for the Bekteshi Islamic clerics.The center also serves as a site for cultural and artistic exhibitions over the years.
Turkish bath- is another building which shows that people of this area have fanatically saved and have taken care of the historical buildings.It was also built during the Ottoman Empire! Now it's turned to a restaurant!
Just about 100m from the Sarena Mosque you will find this old stone bridge over the river Pena.
The Church of St Bogorodica lies in the north-west part of Tetovo, south of the river Pena.
It was closed at the moment of visiting.
In my opinion, the painted mosque is the most beautiful thing to see in Tetovo. I know from a picture (see next tip) that it is also beautiful inside....though I have not yet gone in !!
I saw this picture on the internet ... and have to include it here so that you will know why you must go inside !!
The small stone bridges, old Turkish bath, and lively (but muddy and bumpy) streets make a walk through Tetovo interesting.
Its a must if you're interested in art. you can see studios of many painters, both professional and amateur.