Since August 2013 there is a self-guided Skopje City Walk available in English and Dutch.
The guide contains two walks of about 1.5 hours: One walk through the old part, and one through the new part of Skopje.
It is up-to-date, well written and informative, yet does not contain so much information that you have to read all the time during your city trip.
The guide is available in a digital format for only 2.25 euros or $2.99, a very friendly price!
See the official website for more information.
The Church of Rodestvo na Presveta Bogorodica was built in 1835 on the place of an older church from the 13th century.
It was destroyed during the earthquake in 1963 and restored in the beginning of the 21th century.
It is also called Church of the Most Holy Theotokos.
St. Demetrius Church is a unique symbol of interfaith cooperation in Skopje. Although it is a Christian church, it is located on the outskirts of Carsija, the predominantly Muslim bazaar community. In order to emphasize religious tolerance and meet the needs of the local community, the church tolls a traditionally Christian twelve bells every day at noon, while throughout the day they also announce the Muslim call to prayer. Interestingly, locals believe that a miracle has occured inside this church, and the halos on the interior frescoes have apparently been miraculously getting brighter and cleaner. If any church deserves to be home to miracle, certainly it is one such as St. Demetrius which demonstrates acceptance of all.
The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO or IMRO) was founded in 1893.
Its purpose was to obtain autonomy for Macedonia from the Ottoman empire.
In 1903 this resulted in the Ilinden Uprising.
The founders are Hristo Tatarchev, Dame Gruev, Petar Pop-Arsov, Andon Dimitrov, Hristo Batandzhiev and Ivan Hadzhinikolov
In August 2012 this monument was still under construction. Its is part of the Skopje 2014 project.
The statue represents self-sacrifice in the form of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods.
Funny story: Prometheus was first naked, but after complaints by women's organizations they gave him underwear.
This statue was erected in 2012 for the prestigious Skopje 2014 project.
It commemorates the establishment of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People's Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) in 1944.
The first plenary session of ASNOM was convened underground on the symbolic date of August 2 (Ilinden uprising day) 1944 in the Monastery of Prohor Pcinjski in nowadays Serbia.
I've read that the monument cost almost 2 million euro, so enjoy it!
Nikola Karev was born in Krusevo in 1877. He was a Macedonian revolutionary and socialist and president of the Krusevo Republic.
In 1903 he opposed the decision for raising the Ilinden Uprising, as he felt that the people were not prepared yet for an uprising against the Ottoman occupation.
Nevertheless, the uprising happened anyway in 1903, led by Nikola Karev, and Krusevo was liberated.
Nikola Karev wrote the Krusevo Manifesto, which outlined the aims of the Uprising and asked the Muslim population to join forces with the government in the struggle for freedom and independence.
He died in 1905 in a fight with the Ottoman army near Kocani.
The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle is located at the Vardar river next to to the Stone Bridge.
It is scheduled to open end of 2011 (Picture taken August 2011)
See here for a 2012 review of the finished museum.
Pictures of the Triumphal Arch under construction (2011) and finished (2012) in the center of Skopje, close to Makedonija Square.
Erected for the 2014 project, the Triumphal Arch or "Porta Macedonia" commemorates the Macedonian struggle for independence.
You can go inside as well, there is a gallery and souvenir shop according to Wikipedia. However, when we visited in 2012 it was closed (again) due to construction.
Dimitar Popgeorgiev Berovski (1840 - 1907) was a revolutionary born in Berovo, Macedonia.
Another statue of Dimitar can be found in his place of birth, Berovo.
The statue was raised during the prestigious Skopje 2014 project.
This enormous statue of Alexander of Macedon (Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC) is located on Makedonija Square.
It was placed there in 2010 or 2011 for the prestigious Skopje 2014 project.
The fountain underneath the statue is impressive as well, it makes very nice water-patterns.
These little souvenir shop / tourist information offices suddenly appeared like mushrooms all over Macedonia.
To me it appears that their main function is a souvenir shop, since the ones that we visited could not really give us any valid information, not even on opening times of the nearby museums.
The employees may not speak English.
However, the offices are very well air-conditioned, so a welcome stop during the hot Macedonian summers!
We visited the health resort and spa at Katlanovska Banja during our stay in Skopje in March 2012.
Katlanovska Banja is located about 30km outside of Skopje, near the village of Katlanovo, and can easily be reached on bus number 53 from Skopje's central bus station. The journey time is around 50 minutes and a one way ticket costs 35 MKD (£0.45). The bus drops passengers off at the entrance to the health resort; it is then a simple 5 minute walk to the spa facilities.
The complex enjoys a quiet setting beside a river and is surrounded by trees and mountains. It is easy to see why it is such a popular retreat for those seeking recuperation.
We were a little concerned when we first arrived. The main building looked like a hospital and there were lots of elderly and infirm people sitting around in the shade wearing robes or hobbling around on crutches. It felt more like a convalescent home than a luxury spa resort.
We made our way past this area and located the reception area of the far more modern and appealing Wellness & Spa centre.
There are a huge choice of treatments and massages available and the prices are very reasonable compared to those in Western Europe. Despite the best efforts of the staff to convince us to have massages, we didn't have sufficient time and we were more interested in the thermal baths and detoxification treatments.
We hired the Private Pool at a cost of 1,000 MKD / £12.50 per hour, per couple and it was great value for money. We were shown into a private room which contained a plunge pool, a couple of sun loungers, a shower, towels and robes. The water in the plunge pool was as warm as bath water and we could feel the minerals in it. There was a fountain in one corner of the pool which could be turned on and off as desired. The pool was surrounded by tea lights and incense sticks and the atmosphere was very relaxing. We hadn't pre-booked the pool, so we were quite fortunate that it was available when we turned up.
After an hour of relaxation in the pool we went for our detoxification treatments. We booked a couple of treatments and we were under the impression that we'd both undertake each treatment. However, after we'd both had our first treatment we learnt that we had misunderstood and that it was only possible for us to have one treatment each (any more would have been unsafe apparently).
I had an Ionic Foot Detoxification Bath at a cost of just 600 MKD / £7.50 and Emma spent 30 minutes in an Oxygen Chamber for the same price.
After watching the chamber close on Emma, I was led to a cubicle where I was wired up to some form of detoxification device. I had no idea what was happening or what to expect, but I took off my shoes and socks and placed my feet into a bowl of water that contained some kind of toxin drainage unit. This unit was connected to a monitoring device which in turn was connected to a wristband that had been placed around my wrist. The monitoring unit didn't give me any clues as to what was happening; I could see that "Mode A" was set at 3 and "Mode B" was set at 1 and a digital display showed me that the "Amperage" kept climbing from 0 to around 2.2 before beeping and resetting itself, but none of that meant anything to me!
I was left alone with a selection of magazines written in Cyrillic and a slight fear that I might be about to be electrocuted. The nurse came to check on me every 10 minutes or so to ensure that I was still ok.
After a few minutes the water (which had been perfectly clear when I put my feet into it) started to turn yellow. Before long it was similar in appearance to a yellow lager and by the time my 30 minutes was up it resembled dark brown coffee. I don't know whether it was toxins leaving my body through my feet that caused the change in water colour (I had indulged in a fair bit of Macedonian red wine during the week!) or whether the machine was doing something that caused the water to turn brown. Either way, and maybe it was just psychological, I felt as though I had been detoxified after the treatment.
Following our treatments, we went for a short walk by the river before purchasing healthy fruit juices from the on site cafe while waiting for our bus back to Skopje.
Katlanovska Banja offers a wide range of thermal baths, detoxification treatments and massages at very reasonable prices. It's only a short bus ride from Skopje and well worth a visit!
When I plan the itinerary, wineries usually do not rank high on the list but in the case of our trip to the EuroMeet 2011, I would have missed one of the best meals of that trip which included Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia as well as Macedonia.
The Tikves winery is, not at all surprisingly, located in the Tikvesh wine district, recognized as the most important quality vine growing region in Macedonia, is home of the Tikves Winery. This is where the Mediterranean climate from the south meets the continental winds from the north, creating superb wine growing conditions to produce fruit forward, lively, temperamental, and complex wines. On average, the Tikvesh Winery processes 30.000 tons of grapes annually. Located over an area of 100.000 square meters, Tikves Winery employs 350 people and markets its wine throughout Macedonia and in over 15 foreign countries, making it the largest wine operation in Macedonia.
With a passion for the natural gifts of climate and soil with which God has endowed Macedonia and a vision to create world-class wines, to be consumed and enjoyed by both novice and expert alike, Tikveš today is a winery that is moving forward. They seem to have learned from experience that quality is what counts and because of that, they have invested heavily in their lovely winery and glorious vineyards. They have an enviable record of building sustainable partnerships with suppliers and business partners and striving for constant quality improvements.
At the 2008 Wine Innovation Forum in Paris, Tikves was ranked among the top 30 global wine brands. Tikves Winery was the only winery from South East Europe so recognized. Although I have a diploma from the California Wine Growers' Association, I do not consider myself a wine afficionado but I do know a little bit about food and the lunch which we enjoyed after our winery tour was little short of amazing.
Having said all of that I must return to my opening comments. They do not operate a restaurant, as such, but after our winery tour, we were treated to a mid-afternoon meal of unbelievable quality and character and it was served by a very well trained and smoothly efficient and attentive wait staff.
My girlfriend and I spent a sunny Sunday afternoon at Skopje Zoo during our visit to the city in March 2012.
The walk from the centre of town (Old Stone Bridge and Macedonia Square) to the zoo is a pleasant one; along the southern banks of the Vardar River, past the Philip II of Macedonia Arena (the national sports stadium) and through City Park.
Skopje Zoo is fairly small by international standards, but the entrance fee is also very low by international standards – just 50 MKD / £0.65 for an adult ticket. Considering we had paid 17.50 Euros to enter Lisbon Zoo earlier in the year, we didn't expect too much from Skopje Zoo.
It was better than we expected. There weren't that many animals, and it did feel a bit like a farm in parts, but we saw a small selection of lions, tigers, leopards, bears, hippos and zebras. We spent a while fascinatedly watching the meerkats in their enclosure and we fed dried apple and corn to the goats.
There was a heart-in-the-mouth moment when one of the goats got its head stuck in the railings. It looked as though it was going to damage its horns as it panicked and struggled to get free, but thankfully a zookeeper came to its rescue and freed it without harm.
The zoo was open until 6pm in March 2012. There was a shop selling refreshments and souvenirs.
A great place. I had a longer stay since working on the employment project was few months. Staff was...more
Well we had quite a nice room with a balcony and quite large enough for the suitcases. There was...more
Great service and location. I was very surprised to find out that they also offer short term...more