According to Country Learning, the ancient land of Macedonia, the birthplace of the ancient Macedonian civilization and proud people, the birthplace of Orthodox writing and one of the cleanest countries in Europe, is still poorly studied by tourists today. Meanwhile, this is one of the most interesting countries in the Balkans and one of the youngest states on the continent. In all Macedonian cities, many architectural monuments of the Middle Ages and antiquity are carefully preserved, and the unique natural environment allows us to consider the country one of the best European centers for active recreation – hiking and mountain tourism, caving, rafting and sport fishing. Skopje The capital of the country is Skopje, as the city has been known since the time of the Roman Empire. The modern capital of the country is divided into two parts – the Old City, populated mainly by Muslim Albanians, and the New, “Zarechny Skopje”, populated by Macedonians. After the devastating earthquake of 1963, when Skopje was destroyed by almost 70%, the architectural appearance of the city has changed a lot – rebuilt “by the whole world” under the leadership of the Japanese architect K. Tange, it still has unrestored quarters surrounded by houses of ultra-modernist architecture, rising above the narrow winding streets of the old districts. From old Skopje, only the central part, adjacent to the Kale fortress (XI century), has survived – Charshia, which has recently turned into a colorful market area, considered the best eastern bazaar in Europe. Of interest are the Turkish baths Daud Pasha (1466, part of the building given over to the City Art Gallery), the tiny Orthodox Church of St. Spas (XVII-XVIII centuries) with a carved iconostasis (1824), the Mustafa Pasha Mosque (1492), a colorful Turkish stone bridge (XV century) across the Vardar, caravanserai Kurshumli Khan (1550, served as a prison in the XIX century), Suli Khan and Kapan Khan, the Sultan Murat Mosque and the Clock Tower, the Museum of Modern Arts and Museum of Macedonia, Theater of National Minorities, Macedonian National Theater and University.
In the new part of the city, it is worth seeing the Orthodox Cathedral at the corner of Paritzanski Odredi and Arm boulevards, the building of the Academy of Sciences with the Concert Hall behind it, the City Museum on the street. M.H.Jasmine, Macedonian Parliament Building, Skopje Historical Archive, Museum of Contemporary Art, National Museum of History, National Art Gallery, Gallery of Culture, Museum of Natural History of Macedonia, Macedonian Tourist Information Center and the gypsy suburb of Suto Ornzari. Near Skopje are the ruins of the Roman city of Skupi, the center of the province of Dardania. On the slopes of the nearby Vodno mountain rises the Church of St. Panteleimon (1164), decorated with frescoes of exceptional artistic value. Also nearby are the monasteries of Sveti Nikita (1307-1308), Marko (XIV century), Sveti Andrey (XIV century) and Matka (XV century), as well as the Church of St. Anastasia (XVI century). decorated with frescoes of exceptional artistic value. Also nearby are the monasteries of Sveti Nikita (1307-1308), Marko (XIV century), Sveti Andrey (XIV century) and Matka (XV century), as well as the Church of St. Anastasia (XVI century). decorated with frescoes of exceptional artistic value. Also nearby are the monasteries of Sveti Nikita (1307-1308), Marko (XIV century), Sveti Andrey (XIV century) and Matka (XV century), as well as the Church of St. Anastasia (XVI century). Bitola Bitola is the second largest city in the country, located in the very south, near the border with Greece. The main attraction of the city are the ruins of the ancient Heraclea Lincestis, founded by Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BC. BC e. No less interesting is the Doyran Lake in the east of the country, whose surroundings can be considered one of the most beautiful in the country, the Debar mineral springs, the picturesque canyons of the Matka and Treska rivers, the most beautiful canyon in Europe – the Radika Gorge and the waterfall of the same name – the highest in the Balkans, the most beautiful cave area in Bistra mountains, caves Vrelo (“spring”), Krshtalnya and Ubava (“beautiful”) in the Treska canyon, Lake Matka and nearby monasteries Matka (XIV century), St. Andrew (1389) and St. Nikola Shishovsky (XIV c.), the monastery of St. Jovan Bigorski with his unique wooden iconostasis, Ohrid The real pearl of Macedonia is Lake Ohrid (area 358 sq. km., depth up to 285 m), located at an altitude of 695 m above sea level near the Albanian border, and, apparently, connected by underground karst cavities to Lake Prespa. This is one of the most beautiful and cleanest lakes in Europe, one of the oldest lakes in the world and a popular resort area. The average water temperature in summer here is around +21 C, and near the coast – up to + 24-26 C, so the swimming season lasts from May to September. The entire coast is built up with sanatoriums and hotels offering the entire conceivable range of entertainment.
According to the unique composition of its ecosystem, Lake Ohrid is close to Baikal, therefore, on the slopes of the Galichitsa ridge adjacent to the lake, the National Park of the same name was created, and all household waste undergoes mandatory treatment with the help of two specialized plants. Located on the shore of the lake, the city of Ohrid is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans. Ancient Lychnis, which flourished during the time of Great Macedonia, during the time of the Roman Empire guarded the shortest route from Rome to Asia Minor – Via Egnatia, and later only strengthened its position. Neither numerous wars nor earthquakes could cause any noticeable damage to the city, which is why even today Ohrid is one of the most interesting cities in the Balkans. The Slavic tribes who settled in this area at the beginning of the 7th century began to call it “A-Hrid” (“on the hill”), from where the modern name came from. Ohrid is famous for its architectural monuments – the real masterpieces are the fortress of Samuil (XI century) with walls 16 m high, the Gorna Port gate (XVIII century), the basilica of Sveti Sofia (XI century, the church itself was rebuilt by the Turks into a mosque) in the old city center, the Church of Sveti Kliment (Church of the Mother of God Periblepta, 1295, restored in 2002) with unique frescoes and a gallery of Ohrid icons of the 11th-19th centuries, Robevu Palace (1827, now here is the Archaeological Museum), the Imaret Mosque (the monastery of St. Panteleimon, rebuilt by the Turks, IX century), the ruins of an early Christian basilica with amazing mosaics with anthropomorphic descriptions of the four rivers of paradise (V century) in Plaosnik, the dwelling of St. Panteleimon (currently a museum) in the park under the fortress of Samuel, the church of Sveti Jovan Kaneo (XIII century) on the cape of the same name, the National Museum of Ohrid with an excellent antique collection and the ruins of the ancient theater in the central part of the city (Varosh). Along the coast of the lake, many small Orthodox churches with medieval frescoes have been preserved, among which the famous monastery of Sveti Naum (29 km from Ohrid, X-XII centuries) stands out on the southern shore of the lake – the most important medieval center of Slavic writing and Orthodoxy in the Balkans. Both the city of Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were listed by UNESCO as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site in 1979.