10 o’clock in the morning. Sun is already up in the beautiful city of Prilep. What can be better than starting our working day by visiting and discovering a nice place of Prilep? So, we took our “small” cameras and our notebooks and went to Mogila park, a place where we have been before but without knowing many things out it.   Mogila park, was seen by us mostly  just a green recreation area of Prilep with not many other information about it.

 

                Mogila Park is not so far to the center, perfect to enjoy the nature. You can see when you arrive the flag of Macedonia, flying in the air. You can find all the elements of the nature : vegetation in different forms, the soil (sometimes red), the stone and the wood, water with some fountains and finally the air, not so far from the city the Mogila Park is perfect to take a break, and stay relaxed or just to run. Now you can see around the park a few animals, sports courts where you can play football or basketball.

                But today we discovered more than the recreational part of the Park. The park  has a historical significance and different monuments that speak about Yougoslavian communist time and World War II.  According to our Macedonian “guides” years ago there was not exactly a park with playing ground, exotic bird or benches but you could find there some of the historical monuments.

                We knew that Prilep is City Hero, for the contribution of 8000 soldiers and 15 national heroes against the fascist occupation. For that, the park is called Park of Revolution. Silvia’s belief about that part of history in Macedonia  “I am really impressed for it: I am Italian and although  I didn’t live during the World War II, I really like this part of history and I know it well. Knowing that Macedonian people refused the Fascist occupation is for me reason of pride: I am really happy to be host for few months in this country!”

                Prilep heroes that fought in the World War II have their names  listed on  a memorial war monument with marble plaques  exactly at  one of the entrances in the beautiful park of Mogila. Prilep was one of the important places in Macedonia for the starting of the Revolution.

                This part of the park is really interesting, full of history but also very well placed, you can have different views of Prilep mountains, city, or cemeteries where are the soldiers from different countries.

                Exactly in front of the crypt marble monuments with the heroes’ names we could  see the beautiful landscape with  8 big marble urns and Markovi Kuli mountain as the background a lot behind. If you are a passionate photographer Mogila Park would be for sure a place where you can have great photos.

                As curios EVS volunteers exploring the history and culture of Macedonia we were always wondering the significance of the 8 marble urns and the symbolism of the shape of those monuments. As the perceptions may be different to some of us, they were looking like stylized frogs, which was funny for our Macedonian guides to hear.

Melody stated “ In the background some big statues in white, catch your eye, you can think at the beginning they look like “frogs with 2 faces”, really funny to see this, but in reality they have a story, they look like an army. You can see one of this statue in the flag of Prilep also.”

                But let’s try to be serious about history: We discovered that they symbolize the formation of partisan units and military formations. The biggest marble is a symbol of eternal flame as a disobedience of Macedonian people.  

                What was interesting and somehow striking was to find out that on the other side of the road on the hill there is a cemetery with the thumbs of people from other armies such as German army for example.

                From the marble urns “army” we  found a very quiet place, in a small alley, surrounded by trees you can see a small amphitheater with a star on the ground that reminds you of the country's communist past. “ For me when I walk in this park, I can feel all the history of the city” stated Melody.  What was interesting to find is that during Tito period the place was used sometimes for the begging of the scholar years by the pioneers. The children in school during communism rulership were named pioneers. Normally children enter in the organization of pioneers in the elementary school and they continue till adolescence. Unfortunately now the little amphitheatre is left in decay although it could be used for small cultural events in the city. 

                After the amphitheater walking around the park it came the surprise. Guess who said “Hy” to us. The Mogila lame. Even if the smell was not the best part of the walk there, the lame was our funny part of the day.

                Well, pretty impressive untill now, isn’t it? So in our way to the other entrance of the park we started to let’s say debate about historical facts and why in many countries as well as Macedonia some parts of the history are being ignored or forgotten almost at all, as the communist or fascist in today modern society.

“ For me it has been an interesting hour where I discovered more about history of Prilep and Macedonia and I took some pictures. But there is something that struck me more: it is the interest of the government on building those monuments but the total indifference of people to keep the meaning of those alive. I mean: we are here because of our past and our history. If it likes or not, we should know it and keep it alive, permitting everybody to know what happened in the past. The history of Yugoslavia and Communism has been so important for this country, but sometimes I feel as it is not important anymore and it doesn’t need to pass on these information. “ thought Silvia.

 We concluded that even if we don’t agree with those we should accepted as being part of our history. That was a pretty deep discussion but we enjoyed it.

                Silvia emphasized very good our feeling about the park, the city and what we feel it can be improved.  “The park is beautiful and big: it is used for several activities and it is crowed during summer. I would like to see the interest in the youngsters to know and understand more about the meaning of this, and not just using it as a place where to meet and stay with friends.  My impression of this country and city is always positive: although every day I discover new things, I am still impressed and astonished for all of the similarities with my own culture. I really feel at home!”

                Our last “destination” was another entrance in the park with the half-length portrait statues of national personalities that contributed to the develop of the country. If you ask us they look pretty much the same so we were kind of joking about that.

                Our journey is done now so we should come back to the office! But wait, wait… not before taking a picture of the horse in front of the park. What is interesting in Macedonia is how you can see an expensive car and just near a horse with a dray. So as we said, photo of the horse shouldn’t miss from your photo album of Prilep.

 

 

Melody, Silvia and Alexandra 

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