Last weekend my friends and I decided to visit around Macedonia. We started by the capital Skopje. Hopefully we were lucky to find the sun in the city and leave rainy Prilep. Since some recent years Skopje has really changed, now the old city stand alongside the new and white buildings. With its big American malls and all those restaurants which propose English menus and food came around the world, Skopje reach a totally different atmosphere than the other Macedonian cities.

A nice hostel…

First of all we booked one night in a very nice hostel near to the city centre called the “Shanti hostel”. The place was very pleasant and peaceful and we could find the good ambiance that usually have in international youth hostel and speak with other foreigner travellers and students. The owners decided to decorate their guest house in a very comfortable and cosy way.

I recommended the Shanti hostel if you want to travel in Skopje, spend a good night and have proper breakfast without spend lot of money: http://shantihostel.com/

 

 

Visiting Skopje…the city where two different worlds were put together…

Since the project “Skopje 2014” the city is becoming totally new, the history of Macedonia is now set in stone. Giant and white monuments and buildings were built in the heart of Skopje with the main purpose of giving the capital a more classical aspect.

The main symbol of the project is without any doubts the “Warrior on a horse”, this huge column with on the top Alexander the Great on his horse. This statue was officially completed on September 8, 2011 to commemorate 20 years of the independence of the Republic of Macedonia.

We admired also, a big Arch which was raised on the honour of the VMRO, called “Porta Macedonia”, and symbolize the triumph of Macedonian nation on her oppressors and the long strike for the independence. It could remembered French “Arc de Triomphe” or “Brandenburg gate” in Berlin.

There are several other news monuments dedicated to the history of Macedonia like the statue of Justinian I or the building dedicated to Mother Teresa.

 

 

 This classic style is confronted with some bronze statues very modern, which give to the city a funny touch. I particularly enjoyed this one:

 

The discovery of another city just by crossing the Stone Bridge…

In the oldest part of the city we discovered a totally different atmosphere over the Stone Bridge, in the medieval part of Skopje called “Old Bazaar”.

The streets are smaller, and we enjoyed at every corners of those streets the smell of the grilled meet. There are also lot of shops full of “wedding bling bling dresses”, and many jewelleries.

This part is more typical and more representative of the Albanian community. The ottoman architecture is predominant but nowadays, many of the historic buildings of the bazaar have been transformed into museums or galleries.

During our trip we had the chance to discover the “Kapan Han”, one of the three remaining caravanserais in Old Bazaar which was built in the 15th Century. On the top of Old Bazaar, at the east of Kale Fortress, we visited the “Church of Holly Salvation” which was built in the 16th century. The most outstanding thing was without doubt the iconostasis. In the yard of the Church we found also a white sarcophagus containing the remains of the revolutionary Goce Delcev.

After this long afternoon it was nice to seat at one of those several restaurants in order to taste famous and delicious grilled meat.

We ended the weekend with the visit of the “Kale Fortress” located in the highest hill of Skopje.

Skopje abounds with treasures to discover, it depends the atmosphere that you would like to feel, I just put a little summarise of my weekend and I think I have lot of places to explore again.

Written by Ameline Berthonnaud

  

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