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City Guide: SkopjeSkopje, the capital city of Macedonia, sits on both sides of the only large river of the country, the Vardar River. The city, in which Albanians and Muslims live on one side and Orthodox Christians on the other, is also a historical Ottoman settlement. Following Macedonians, Albanians and Turks are the second and third largest ethnic groups in the city, respectively. The city is called Skopje in the Macedonian language as well. There is much debate about the name of the country. While Turkey and four other permanent members of the United Nations recognize the country as Macedonia, another group of countries, under the influence of Greece, insist on recognizing the country as the Former Yugoslavia Macedonian Republic. This situation creates problems especially when passing from Greece to Macedonia.
Tourist AttractionsIn addition to being a historical city, Skopje is the largest city of the country. While this fact affects the architectural style in two ways as modern and traditional, because the country was a part of the Soviet Union, the architectural style of that system is also reflected.
The Old Bazaar of Skopje is also called the Turkish Market. That is because the majority of the tradesmen there, are Turkish and the Turkish language is spoken most. The bazaar is very similar to other examples in Anatolia. Stating that you are Turkish is an important key for an enjoyable chat and shopping trip.
Among the historical buildings that you should see are , again examples of the Ottoman architectural tradition, Mustapha Pasha Mosque, Kursumli Han, Suli Han, and Daut Pasha Hamam. You can also come across examples of old Turkish houses.
The symbol of the city, Stone Bridge was built in the 15th century. The bridge which was built during the rule of Sultan Murad the 1st and which remains to be a unique architectural example with its 13 sources, is one of the rare structures that still stand after the earthquake in 1963 which destroyed eighty percent of Skopje entirely.
The Skopje Kale Fortress, which was in ruins until a few years ago is back in its old days after undergoing a restoration project. Its magnificent park also attracts attention. A wonderful view of Skopje is waiting for you on top of the Fortress.
Even though the old train station of the city is partially broken down, it is recovered as the National Museum today. You can find historical and cultural clues to Macedonia there.
The newest cathedral of the city, the Cathedral of St. Clementin, is right next to the Vardar River. You can also tour the Clock Tower in Skopje, see the Sveti Spas Monastery, visit the Hunkar, Yahya Pasha, and the Murat Pasha Mosques, and stop by Cifte Hamam.
If you would like to visit other merits of Macedonia once you are in Skopje, a bit of a trip is in order. If you have a couple of hours to spare, you can visit Tetova, where most of the Turkish population reside. The Turks know there as Kalkandelen. The lake and city of Ohrid, which is one of the most beloved places for Macedonians and which they proudly present, is about 150 kilometers away. Ohrid, the deepest lake in Europe, is similar to a sea and has as many as 365 churches surrounding it.
Culture & EntertainmentThe city hosts the Macedonian, Albanian and Turkish cultures in the best way. While the part where the Christians live is similar to modern and developed European cities, the parts where the Muslim population live are humbler and more traditional. Christians and Muslims peacefully live together and treat each other with respect. However, it is a fact that the Christians have risen a monumental cross on a hill that can be seen from any point in the city.
Yahya Kemal Beyatli, one of Turkey’s famous poets, was born in Skopje. The poet defines the city as “the cemetery of the saints of the Fatih era.” The reason for that is the belief that there are many saints in the region and the large number of tombs.
There are many pars surrounding the Vardar River which divides the city into two. The people of Skopje walk and exercise in those areas. Especially the areas in which the Macedonian people live are the entertainment centers with its cafes and nightclubs.
Food & DrinkDue to its mountainous structure, raising livestock and growing vegetables are the areas which have developed. This affects the cuisine of the region. The weight is on meat and meatball dishes. The local trout from the Ohrid Lake is also very delicious. Restaurants and cafes are very economical. You can enjoy large plates of meat dishes for a couple of euros.
The dessert “Kaymakcina” has the first place among the most beloved foods in the local cuisine. The dessert is made of milk, eggs, sugar, and flour. “Manca” which is also known as “the Yugoslavian Salad” and “the Koprulu Salad” is prepared with eggplant, tomatoes, green peppers, garlic, and olive oil. “Macedonian Stew” which is made of boneless lamb is another famous dish. Also, a delicious bean casserole is made in the city.
ShoppingThe best place for shopping is, of course, the Turkish Market. You can find many souvenirs of both the old and new Skopje. The Market is also a place where fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Macedonia and tobacco are sold. There is a large modern shopping mall downtown. The large number of imported products stands out in the stores of this crowded mall.
Route Map: Istanbul – Skopje Flight
In Skylife Skopje
The Balkans Without a Visa
The Balkans Without a VisaSister city: Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Capital of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo is a historic city brimming with vestiges of Ottoman culture. Perched on the two banks of the Miljacka River in a valley flanked by mountains, it exhibits a quintessential Balkan cultural synthesis. At one end of the avenues you can see historic mosques and khans; at the other, examples of classic European architecture. The main market, or Bashcharshi to the locals, is an historic district where the city’s character makes itself felt. Aka the Turkish Quarter, it is reminiscent of an old Anatolian town. In the center of market square, which is surrounded by wooden houses with tile roofs, stands an historic shadervan or fountain with pool. The jewelers, leather dealers and other artisans in the market, which also boasts an Ottoman period clock tower, practice their arts today as they did in the past.
• Library Building
• Latin Bridge
• Tunnel Museum
Salute to Rumeli:
skopje (Macedonia)Capital of Macedonia, Skopje lies in the upper reaches of the Vardar River. With traces of settlement going back six thousand years, the city was under Ottoman rule for more than five centuries. The 15th century Mustafa Pasha Mosque is one of its finest examples of Islamic architecture, and the multi-arched Stone Bridge has joined the two halves of the town for centuries. Skopje Castle is one of the first structures to attract attention in this city where modern and traditional exist side by side. Built by the Byzantines in the 6th century, its walls offer a fabulous view. The Old Bazaar, one of the Balkans’ most colorful open-air markets, promises a pleasant tour with its cobbled lanes and pastel-painted shops. The Church of Sveti Spas (Holy Salvation), whose courtyard houses the tombs of Macedonia’s national heroes, attracts visitors with its intricately carved wooden altar screen.
Skopje was the birth place of one of the leading lights of Turkish literature, Yahya Kemal Beyatlı (1884-1958). A poet, Beyatlı is best known for his poems The Dome of Our Own Sky and Glorious Istanbul.
• The Old Bazaar
• Skopje Castle
• Mustafa Pasha Mosque
Enjoying kafana in Belgrade
Capital of Serbia, Belgrade is a city worth seeing for its two-thousand-year history, its architectural wonders and its fascinating museums. And the quarter of Skadarlija is the best place for partaking in the extended pleasures of the traditional Slavic coffeehouse known as Kafana. Don’t miss the flea market in Novi Belgrad either.
On to the Adrıatıc: Tirana (Albania)
Capital of Albania, Tirana lies in the foothills of Mt. Daiti, a well-known national park and ski resort. The heart of the country’s culture and economy, the city is only 25 kilometers inland from the Adriatic. This city of green mountains and cultural diversity with a majority Muslim population is undergoing rapid change today. Old buildings are being razed and the beauty of the Lana River being laid bare. Parks are being enlarged, dining and shopping venues diversified. Scander Beg Square at the city center is encircled by museums and opera houses. All the avenues are laid out to end at this square. A portion of the upwards of a thousand Ottoman monuments in the country are in Tirana. Among them the most famous are Ethem Bey Mosque, Taner Bridge, the Clock Tower and Kaplan Pasha Tomb. Dubbed ‘the Pyramid’, the culture center meanwhile is one of the city’s most popular meeting places.
Young capital: Prishtina
Main artery of Prishtina, capital of Kosovo, Mother Theresa Boulevard is the city’s shopping, eating and drinking, and entertainment district. Other must-see sights here include the New Born Obelisk, symbol of independence in the city center, the National Museum, the University of Prishtina, and the Old Town with its traditional buildings.
• Ethem Bey Mosque
• Tirana Archaeological
• The Big Lake Park
Museum city: Zagreb (Croatia)
On the banks of the Sava River facing the southern slopes of Mt. Medvednica, Zagreb is the capital of Croatia. The city, which consists of two main districts very different in character, stands out for its museums, art galleries and dynamic urban lifestyle. Trg Bana Jelacica, the city’s main square, is a good place to start a tour. The old town, Gronji Grad, is famous for its colorful market place and elegant buildings. Lotrscak Tower, built in the 13th century to defend the city gates, is ideal for a pleasant view. Donji Grad, Zagreb’s other historic district, is proud of its fashionable squares, broad avenues and tasteful gardens. Laid out on a grid plan, the district is also home to several museums. The Archaeological Museum, famous for its mummies, Croatian Natural History Museum full of remains from prehistoric eras, and the City Museum which chronicles the Zagreb’s development from the Romans to the present, are all worth seeing. Eastern Europe’s biggest park, Maximir, is also worth adding to your list.
• Medvednica Nature Park
• St. Catherine’s Church
• Arts and Crafts Museum
Confluence of rivers:
Capital of Montenegro, Podgorica is one of the oldest settlements in the Balkans. Home of the Illyrian tribes in antiquity, the city still exhibits traces of the Ottomans, who ruled here for four hundred years starting from the 15th century. Sahat Kula is one of the first structures you will encounter on your tour of the old city (Stara Varos). Commissioned by Hajji Pasha Osmanagich, this clock tower is a historic and cultural monument. Sveti Djordje Church at the city center goes back to the Middle Ages. A large number of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts are exhibited at the City Museum. The Natural History Museum informs visitors about the richness of nature in Montenegro. The Petrovic Palace, noteworthy for its 19th century architecture, has been converted into an art center. With its broad squares and government buildings, the Nova Varos District symbolizes the city’s modern face. And Millennium Bridge over the Moraca River complements this beautiful scene.
• Dajbabe Monastery
• The Ruins of Duklja
• The Town of Nemanjin Grad
Ticket Sales Offices: Skopje
|Address||DAME GRUEV 3/2 1000 SKOPJE|
|Phone||(+389-2) 3117214 / 3116149/ 3214899|
|THYSKP@THY.COM / SKPSALES@THY.COM|
Saturday : Closed
Sunday : Closed
|Address||SKOPJE ALEXANDER THE GREAT AIRPORT 1043, PETROVEC-MACEDONIA|
Weekdays: 9:00 - 17:00. Saturday-Sunday closed
|AERODROM PETROVEC INFORMATION DESK|
|Address||AERODROM PETROVEC 1000 SKOPJE|
|Phone||2 389 2148333|
Skopje: Airport Map Information
Address : Skopje Airport, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia Phone : +389 2 562 053
Skopje: Airport Map Information
- Mon 29°C
- Tue 30°C
- Wed 29°C
|Monetary Unit||:||Macedonian Denar|
|Phone Code||:||+389 91|
Last Visited Destinations
TAV INVESTMENT HOLDING Co. Istanbul Ataturk Airport International Terminal 34149 Yeşilköy/ Istanbul/ Turkey
Skopje Airport, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia,+389 2 562 053