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Скопје

Pictures from Skopje’s Old Bazaar

The center of town might be south of the Vardar, but Skopje’s most picturesque neighborhood is on the northern side the bridge. The Old Bazaar, also called the Čaršija, extends roughly from the Kale Fortress to the Bit Pazar. With its mosques, antique shops, baklava bakers, hamams and tea gardens, the Čaršija might as well […]

Skupi: Digging Up Skopje’s Ancestor

On the western edge of Skopje, we came across an archaeological dig in full swing, with dozens of laborers hard at work dusting off rocks, writing in notebooks, and carting away earth-laden wheelbarrows. This was the site of the ancient Roman city of Skupi, and the archaeologists were in the process of exposing its massive […]

Skopje’s Museum of Contemporary Art

After a devastating earthquake nearly destroyed Skopje in 1963, the international community came to the rescue, contributing aid in the form of money, materials, manpower… and art. A Contemporary Art Museum was among the principal projects for the post-earthquake city, and the artists of the world were determined to help make it something special. The […]

Skopje’s Turkish Trading Inns and the Bezisten

Among the Ottoman-era buildings still standing in Skopje’s Old Bazaar are three Turkish trading inns and an old covered market called the Bezisten. We visited them all, to see how these ancient buildings have been incorporated into the modern city. At its height, the Ottomans controlled a vast empire stretching from Budapest to Baghdad, and […]

The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle

Located in a grand neoclassical building set along the banks of the Vardar River, the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle opened its doors on September 8th, 2011: the twentieth anniversary of the country’s independence from Yugoslavia. The Macedonian Struggle, as we learned during our guided tour through the museum, has been as much about establishing […]

The Kale: Skopje’s Medieval Fortress

Thought to have been built in the 6th century AD, Skopje’s fortress is its most famous symbol. The Kale (pronounced “kah-lay,” not like the vegetable) is located atop a hill on the northern side of the Vardar River, providing it a commanding view over the old town. Scholars believe that the fortress was constructed under […]

Skopje’s Bit Pazar

Whether you’re in the market for fresh fruit, cheap clothing, or simply a rollicking good time, head over to Skopje’s Bit Pazar, at the northern end of Čaršija. This is one of the largest outdoor markets in the Balkans, with a history dating back to the 14th century, when Skopje was firmly within the Ottoman […]

In with the New: The Skopje 2014 Project

Skopje’s got construction fever, there’s no denying it. Statues and monuments have sprouted up like weeds in the city’s parks, and the banks of the Vardar River have been given over to glorious new museums and government buildings. It’s all part of Skopje 2014, an ambitious urban revival project. We had the misfortune of arriving […]

The Mosques of Üsküb

Skopje has only been the capital of an independent country for around twenty years. That’s nothing in comparison with the 520 years it spent as part the Ottoman Empire, a period during which it was known as Üsküb. Five centuries of Muslim rule were enough to leave a lasting impression. With mosques, bath houses, tea […]

The Millennium Cross of Mount Vodno

Stretched out along the Vardar River, Skopje is a long and narrow city whose expansion to the south is hindered by the presence of Mount Vodno. We took a cable car to the mountain’s summit for a close-up look of the Millennium Cross, and for a birds-eye view over the region. Erected to commemorate 2000 […]