Macedonia – a small state with a big history

Macedonia – a small state with a big history

1. Macedonia – a small state with a big history

Macedonia is a small state in the Balkans in the southeast part of Europe, is a republic. The natural beauties and riches, the ancient monuments are something this country is famous and proud of.

The government prioritizes the care of the natural wealth of the country. This allowed to preserve the beautiful lake in Ohrid in its original form. There are many national parks in Macedonia. Such as Galichica, Mavrovo and Pelister make the stay of tourists on their territory the most comfortable: special zones are provided for pedestrians and cyclists.

Connoisseurs of various styles of architecture and antiquities will find much to interest them in Skopje, Bitola and Ohrid.

2. Ohrid Waterfront

The Macedonian city of Ohrid, located in the lakeside part of the lake of the same name near the Albanian border, gained the reputation of the most beautiful city in the country. Partly because of its cozy waterfront. From the shore depart from the piers, on which you can walk over the surface of the water or take a mini-cruise on the lake on a boat. Or you can walk across the bridge of wishes. It is believed that the wish will come true, if you touch the plate placed here with your sign of the zodiac, think about a wish and throw a coin into the water.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

2. Ohrid Waterfront

The waterfront is adjacent to the oldest district of Ohrid. From here you can see the fortress of King Samuel and the church in the cave.

Lovers of romance can spend time in the cafes along the promenade.

3. Monument “Warrior on Horseback”.

The bronze sculpture, weighing 35 tons and 28 meters in height, was installed by tower crane on the main square in Skopje in October 2011. The installation of the monument took place 20 years after Macedonia gained its independence.

The monument is a figure of a horseman with a sword, dressed in antique clothes. “Warrior on horseback” bears a strong resemblance to Alexander the Great on the Bucephalus.

The composition is crowned by a pedestal, which is an ancient column, with the figures of soldiers at the base. The column has ornaments in the form of embossing and bas-reliefs.

The monument has aroused the discontent of Greece, which has referred the Macedonian to the historical past of the Greek people.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

3. Monument “Warrior on Horseback”.

Amphitheatre in Ohrid

The amphitheater, which up to this day has served as an arena for performances, has been preserved in antiquity. It is located in the open air and is a theater of the Hellenistic period. There are three other arenas in Macedonia, but their history dates back to Roman rule.

At the time of the birth of the amphitheater the town of Orchid had another name-Likhindos . Today it is the most ancient structure of the city.

Nowadays in the amphitheatre various cultural events take place. It is built in such a way that the sun never dazzles the spectators. In the past the spectators had a good view of the lake. Now, because of the dense buildings, it is visible only from the upper rows. From here you can also get a good view of the city panorama.

Every year in summertime Orchid Music Festival is held here.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

Amphitheatre in Ohrid

5. The clock tower Saat Kula

It is the oldest clock tower not only in Macedonia, but also in Turkey, which was built in the 16th century. In those days the striking of the tower clock served as a call to prayer.

The clock mechanism for the structure was brought from the Seget. The tower is very unusual, especially for the time of its construction. It has a hexagonal shape and a roof in the tradition of Russian architecture of the Middle Ages.

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The building, badly damaged by fires and earthquakes, has been restored, the clock was replaced by a Swiss clock in the early twentieth century.

Today it is a recognizable architectural monument.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

5. The clock tower Saat Kula

6. The Church of St. John the Evangelist

The temple of St. John the Evangelist, that combines the Byzantine and Armenian architectural traditions, is located on a hill near Lake Ohrid, in Kaneo.

According to the assumptions of experts, the year of construction of the unusual cross-shaped church building is 1447.

The frescoes on the walls of the sanctuary were made in different times: there are Byzantine paintings and works by artists of the XIX century.

In the XIX century, the entire church was rebuilt, the iconostasis was rebuilt. From the inside of the dome of the temple was painted Christ surrounded by eight angels, above the altar was placed the fresco with the scene of “the Communion of the Apostles. A large image of John the Theologian was painted on one of the walls.

The church is still active today.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

6. The Church of St. John the Evangelist

7. Macedonia Square

Located in the capital of Macedonia, Skopje. It is of great size due to the earthquake of 1963 that destroyed a number of buildings there. This square is full of monuments and statues dedicated to historical figures and saints. They coexist with modern cafes, shopping malls, clubs and restaurants.

At the heart of the square is a monument to the great military leader Alexander the Great. Other sculptures on the square include statues of King Samuel and Maria Theresa. Monuments to the heroes of the Macedonian liberation movement, Dama Gruev and Goce Delchev, are installed at the entrance to Kameni Bridge, which connects “Macedonia” with the opposite bank. It consists of stone blocks and is still preserved, although it was built in the 15th century.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

7. Macedonia Square

8. Lake Ohrid

It is the most ancient and deepest lake of the Balkan Peninsula and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

The area of the lake, which is located in the border zone between Macedonia and Albania, is 2,600 square kilometers. It is situated at an altitude of 700 m. The depth of the lake is 2800 square km. The depth of this giant reaches 288 meters. Partly because of its size, the lake has been able to maintain its ecosystem. It is full of inhabitants – from phyto- and zooplankton, planaria and sponges to predatory fish.

The city of Ohrid, located on the shore, is affectionately called “Jerusalem in the Balkans” because of the many monuments it is rich in.

On the slopes near the lake is Ohrid National Park.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

8. Lake Ohrid

9. Samuel Fortress

The Fortress of Samuel has long attracted visitors due to its age – it is more than 1000 years old – and to the number of ancient towers preserved in the territory of the fortress (there are 18 of them left). That’s not insignificant, given the age of this fortified fortress-fort. The colorful fortress wall, 3 km long, also survived.

Excavations are carried out on the territory of the fortress and as a result have discovered objects of the V century.

Macedonia - a small state with a big history

9. Samuel Fortress

This building is one of the few in Europe that has survived.

Tourists find many unique things in Macedonia, in addition to architectural and natural attractions.

Some people value this country for its quality shoes. Others take home Ochrid pearls, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else. Others buy national embroidery, icons and local wine.

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Macedonia – a small state with a big history

1.Macedonia is a country located in the south of the Balkan Peninsula.

2. Macedonia is a small European state located on the Balkan Peninsula, on the border with Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece.

3.There are several Macedonias: Pirinia is a region in southwestern Bulgaria, Aegean is a region in northern Greece, and Vardar partially belongs to Serbia.

4.The modern state of the Republic of Macedonia lies between all these countries and occupies a territory that is historically called Vardar Macedonia – after the name of the river Vardar.

5. Macedonia is the only country that gained independence from Yugoslavia peacefully. It became a separate state in 1991.

6.Although Macedonia is now a very small state, it used to be the greatest empire that conquered most of the world.

7. it is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. The first settlements on the territory of this country date back to 5000 B.C. However, the first traces of organized cities date back to 808 B.C., when the area was controlled by the Argead dynasty.

8.The name of the country comes from the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, which was named after the ancient Macedonians. The name Μακεδόνες (Makedónes) comes from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός (makednós), which literally translates to “high.” The Macedonians may have received this name because of their physical characteristics, or their mountainous regions of habitation.

9.For more than five centuries, until 1912, Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, some of the local traditions, dishes, and even music resemble those of Turkey.

10. Macedonians have always been eager to gain their independence, so they often rebelled heroically against the Turks.

11.In memory of one heroic uprising a huge monument was erected – “Makedonium” in the town of Krusevo, where in 1903 the Ilinden Uprising broke out, which led to the establishment of the Republic of Krusevo. The republic did not last long – after ten days, the Turks quashed the uprising, killing all the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries became heroes, their names are mentioned in the national anthem, and August 2 (Illya according to the church calendar, “Ilinden”) is celebrated on a grand scale every year.

12.After the fall of the Ottoman Empire Macedonia had no statehood, and its fate was decided by its neighbors, who defeated the Turks in the First Balkan War and then quarreled among themselves.

13. Macedonia is the second most mountainous country in the world. About 85% of its territory is covered by mountains. It is second only to Montenegro with 89% of its territory consisting of mountains.

14. The country has 34 mountains, each of which exceeds 2000 meters above sea level.

15. Macedonia is a country with a territory of 26 thousand km2 and a population of just over two million people, of which about 500 thousand live in the capital – Skopje.

16. The city of Skopje has experienced many destructive earthquakes throughout its history. The most serious earthquakes occurred in 518 and 1963. These earthquakes almost completely destroyed the city.


17.Now Skopje has been completely restored and has the unofficial name of “the city of monuments” because monuments are found practically at every step on its territory.

18. In Skopje is the Church of the Holy Savior with its unique iconostasis, dating back to the 6th century.

19.Skopje is a city where winters are colder than the rest of Macedonia and summers are hotter. Macedonia has a warm and dry climate, with 300 days of sunshine a year. In winter the temperature is at least -5, usually 0 to +5, in summer it is +25+35, sometimes up to +40. If there is a thunderstorm, lightning is sure to strike.

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20.In the mountains of Macedonia it is colder and there is snow. The ski resorts are Mavrovo, Krushevo, Popova Shapka. Mavrovo National Park is open to tourists in the summer as well.

21.The mountainous northwestern regions of Macedonia have large areas of forest vegetation. The lower slopes are dominated by deciduous forests. At altitudes up to 2000 meters above sea level, coniferous forests predominate.

22.These forests are home to a large number of wild animals, such as wild pigs, wolves, bears, lynx and others.

23. About 67% of Macedonians are Orthodox Christians and 30% are Muslims.

24.Orthodox Macedonians’ ancestors were Slavs, who came, according to a local history textbook, from behind the Carpathian Mountains in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.

25. Macedonians speak Macedonian. There is such a language. Everyone understands and communicates freely with Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, Bulgarians, they are different languages, but they are similar. The younger generation in the cities speaks English. The older generation once learned Russian in school, but usually no one remembers anything.

26.Despite the modest size of the country, there are many different dialects of Macedonian, which can be very different from the literary one.

27.This may seem surprising, but until relatively recently the citizens of this country could not write in their own language. Until the mid-20th century, Macedonian was mostly a spoken language, so citizens of this country could not write it down because there was no written form of it.

28.Formal languages such as Greek and Church Slavonic were often used for writing by this nation. The Macedonian alphabet was not created until 1945.

29.Macedonian is now one of the most difficult languages to learn.

30. Macedonia is a predominantly agricultural country, fully self-sufficient in food. The main crops grown in this country are tobacco, fruits (mainly apples and grapes), various vegetables, wheat, rice, and corn. Viticulture is well developed in Macedonia.

31.There are fields and vineyards everywhere, among the hills and low mountains, in valleys and along roads.

32. Ohrid is a small town in the southwest of the country. There are 365 churches in this city (one for each day of the year). Several of these churches have been abandoned, but Ohrid is still the town with the most churches, if not in the world, at least in Europe.

33. On August 26, 1910, Agnes Gonje Bojadjiu, now known to the world as Mother Teresa, was born in Skopje. Today you can visit her house-museum in the center of the capital.

34. In 30 km from Kumanovo, at an altitude of 1030 meters is located the oldest observatory in the world – Kukino. Its age is about 4 thousand years. This is the most important of the discovered archaeological monuments in Macedonia.

35. The Millennium Cross in Skopje is the highest in the world. It is 66 meters high and is located on top of Mount Vodno (1,066 meters). It was built for the 2000th anniversary of Christianity in Macedonia.

36. Macedonia is landlocked, but has many lakes, of which the most famous is Lake Ohrid.


37. Lake Ohrid is the oldest and deepest in the Balkans, it is 750 meters above sea level, about 300 meters deep, according to scientists it is about five million years old. Also, Lake Ohrid is home to more than 200 endemic animal species.

38. The water in Lake Ohrid is very clean. No sewage is discharged into it, even the river that flows into the lake is cleaned of debris before it.

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39.The waters of the river Crni Drin, which flows into Lake Ohrid, do not mix with the waters of the lake, and from a height you can see how it flows through the turquoise water with a black ribbon and flows out from the opposite side.

40.The city of Ohrid, on which the lake is located, is famous for the first Slavic university, a large number of churches, a beautiful monastery that towers over the water, and an ancient amphitheater. The city of Ohrid and its lake were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.

41. Every well-to-do Macedonian has a house or apartment in Ohrid where they come for the weekend, but they prefer to spend their holidays in Montenegro or Greece because the sea is warmer than the lake.


42.Ohrid resembles the Adriatic coast: beautiful promenade, many restaurants and hotels. The beaches are located outside the city. There are sunbeds for guests near the water, restaurants and cafes just behind them, every 50 meters there are modern toilets, which have never been paid for. Sun beds are also free, you must only order a drink in the cafe. There are wild beaches, but they are unpopular.

43.The locals are very friendly. They are very fond of tourists. Many offer tourists accommodation. Others take tourists on a boat. On the waterfront they sell souvenirs, soda, baked corn, glazed donuts, books, antiques.

44.There are very few Russian tourists in Ohrid. Many Germans, Belgians, Swiss, Danes, tourists from the Baltic and Scandinavian countries.

45.After Macedonia became an independent country in 1991, the small village of Vevkan, located in the mountains north of Lake Ohrid, proclaimed itself the first micronation on the Balkan Peninsula, even though all residents of Vevkan were ethnic Macedonians. The inhabitants of this village had their own flag and currency, but the so-called “republic” did not last long.


46. In this state there is a system of caves Vrelo, located near Skopje, whose depth reaches 230 meters. They are now the deepest caves in the Balkans and the second deepest in Europe.

47. Alexander the Great was an ancient Macedonian, not a Greek. The Greeks even refused to let him participate in the Olympics, citing that only Greeks were allowed to participate.

48.The Greeks managed to get the Macedonians to change their coat of arms by appropriating the rights to “Alexander’s Sun.” But patriots still decorate rooms with it and even make tattoos with the coat of arms and various phrases whose meaning is: “we will die, but we will not change our name”.


49. In the center of Skopje they recently erected a huge monument to Alexander the Great, but not to anger the Greeks, they called it “Warrior on Horseback”.

50. In the city of Bitola the ruins of Heraclea, the palace of Phillip II, father of Alexander the Great, have been preserved.

51.Very often in this country the construction of any object, house or garage is interrupted because of an accidental important find and archaeological excavations begin instead. There is even a joke: “Don’t make me angry, or I will plant an amphora in your garden and you will receive archaeologists in the morning”.

52.Macedonians are very patriotic citizens. Every home has a flag, souvenirs or clothes with national symbols, they adore their food, music, soccer team and believe that everything Macedonian is the best.

53. 8:00 p.m. – time for the evening news, the whole of Macedonia falls down to the TV screens. Special joy in the population is caused by news from other countries mentioning Macedonia, even if someone just found their state on the map.

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54.The Macedonians make unique blankets from sheep’s wool, which look like a bear’s skin, they are called yambolija. They dye them in different colors and lay them on the couch, and when the yambolia wears out, they throw them on the floor instead of a rug.

55.In Macedonia there are three directions of popular music: folk popular music, popular music, and children’s pop.

56.Macedonian folk music is very patriotic, sounding like the wedding music of Western Ukrainians and Moldovans.

57.The children’s variety consists of several festivals where children of different ages perform, it is all shown on local television. Thus, children have their own, children’s idols, favorite songs on children’s themes.


58.The town of Struga becomes the site of poetry evenings every year, to which poets from all over the world flock.

59.The town of Prilep is known for its summer beer festival, where Balkan pop stars perform.

60.Socialism in Yugoslavia was much different from Soviet socialism, land was not taken from the people, private enterprise was allowed. In Macedonia, many family businesses were inherited by the present owners from their grandfather-great-grandfather, such as all sorts of workshops, vineyards, stores, and land.


61.In central Macedonia, since the eighteenth century, a common livelihood has been the cultivation of tobacco. They pick it, thread it on long needles, then on threads two meters long and dry it outside, then keep it in the attic until winter, and in winter they deliver it to the tobacco factory. This is very hard work. All members of the family from the age of four or five are involved in this labor.

62.Macedonians grow more than 40 types of peppers of different sizes, colors, shapes, tastes, and sharpness. It can be said to be one of the staple foods along with wheat, feta, and tomatoes.

63.There are no buckwheat or herring in Macedonia. Herring is disgusting to Macedonians.

64.There are villages in the mountains of Macedonia where there are thousands of times more sheep than people.

65.Macedonia has marble deposits. Whole mountains of marble. Therefore, a completely marble central square of a small town is not uncommon, it is not expensive here. In the process of extraction of marble, there remains a lot of marble scrap – crooked slabs of different sizes, marble crumb. Slabs of the locals lined their yards, you can often find an ordinary house with a beautiful marble courtyard.

66.The Macedonian diaspora exceeds the population of the country itself. Most Macedonians are in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Germany. They have emigrated in several waves since the 19th century, fleeing poverty and Ottoman oppression.

67.Foreign Macedonians, as they are called in the country, come to their homeland regularly, marrying similar foreign Macedonians met “dolu” (“down”) in their homeland.

68.Macedonians will proudly show a foreigner both their home and the home of their neighbor, and the city, and they will tell the history of the country, and all this with pride.

They treat Russians with respect. They consider all citizens of the CIS countries to be Russians. And they scare little naughty children with the Russian Mafia.

70.What is impossible to convey in words is the atmosphere in the country. The unhurried rhythm of life of the proud Macedonians. Magical sunrises and sunsets against the backdrop of endless mountains. The sweet smell of a hot Macedonian summer. Macedonia must be felt, and for this you must come here.

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