Skopje is a place full of history, dating back to six millennia. Once it was home to Romans, Bulgarians, Ottomans, Communists and it was destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1963. It is a city of contrasts and a variety of different cultures came to live here, resulting in a vibrant mix!
You can explore most of the sights on foot but there are also some interesting places outside of Skopje’s city center. Let’s see a list of museums, attractions and galleries in Skopje that are definitely worth a visit.
Memorial House of Mother Teresa
The Mother Teresa Memorial House is dedicated to the humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa and is located in her hometown Skopje, in Macedonia, where she lived from 1910 to 1928. The memorial sits on the site of a much earlier church, where Mother Teresa was baptized; a plaque around the corner commemorates the spot where she was brought into the world.
Old Bazaar (Стара Чаршија)
The Old Bazaar area is one of the largest and best collections of Ottoman architecture and history. It was an important center of commerce during Ottoman times when it enjoyed its peak importance. The Ottoman heritage is predominant here: there are roughly 30 mosques, three caravanserais, and a few hamams (Turkish baths) still standing. Despite the earthquakes and various other disasters Skopje has seen, the neighborhood is in very good shape.
Sveti Spas Church
This church is a must visit when you are exploring the Old Bazaar. Partially submerged 2m underground (the Ottomans banned churches from being taller than mosques), Sveti Spas Church dates from the 14th century and is the most historically important in Skopje. This small church is notable for its unusual wooden bell tower and easily overlooked if you’re not paying attention. The church is also the final resting place of the revolutionary martyr, Goce Delcev.
Plostad Makedonija and the “Skopje 2014” Monuments
The “Plostad” or Main square of Skopje is gigantic square which is the center piece to Skopje’s audacious ‘Skopje 2014‘ project and has massive statues dedicated to national heroes in it, as well as a Triumphal Arch in the southeast corner. These new built monuments, buildings and statues changed the character of the inner city and stay in contrast with the Old Bazaar’s authentic old buildings.
Kale Fortress is a 6th-century AD Byzantine (and later, Ottoman) fortress, an easy walk up from the Old Bazaar. It offers a great view over Skopje and the river. Go for a walk along the little walkway along the walls inside the fortress and enjoy relaxing at the park surrounding the fortress.
Church of Saint Clement of Ohrid (Соборен храм Св. Климент Охридски)
The Church of Saint Clement of Ohrid is the largest cathedral of the Macedonian Orthodox Church today. The church is composed only of domes and arches and it is one of the most interesting architectural examples in recent Macedonian history. The main church is dedicated to St. Clement of Ohrid, and the church below to the Holy Mother.
Mustafa Pasha Mosque
Standing on a plateau at the very top of Skopje’s Old Bazaar, the Mustafa Pasha Mosque is a working mosque where you can see locals come and go for prayers. Although the mosque dates to 1492, it was heavily restored over a three-year period from 2008 to 2011 with help from Turkey.
Out Of Town:
Makedonsko Selo (or Macedonian Village) is situated on Mount Vodno, about 20 minutes drive from the city center. It is complex of hotel accommodation and restaurants, built in the traditional spirit of the Macedonian architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries. Composed of sixteen authentic houses, the complex is also an outdoor museum with a number of workshops where visitors can learn about the traditional crafts. Enjoy the clean mountain air, traditional ambiance, delicious food and numerous activities.
St. Pantelejmon Monastery
The Church of St. Panteleimon in Gorno Nerezi is a small 12th century Byzantine church located in a monastery complex. The church and monastery are dedicated to St. Panteleimon, the patron saint of physicians. The monastery is just a few meters away from Makedonsko Selo, so make sure to visit it if you are in the complex.
Skopje Aqueduct (Скопски аквадукт)
The aqueduct is also an archaeological site located in the village of Vizbegovo, 2 km (1.2 mi) northwest of Skopje. The Skopje Aqueduct is the only one in Macedonia, and one of three largest and well preserved in the former Yugoslavia.
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