SITES AND ATTRACTIONS OF SKOPJE

Aqueduct / Cifte Hammam / Clock Tower / Daut Pasha's Hammam / Feudal Tower

Holy Saviour Church (Sv.Spas) / Kale Fortress / Kapan An / Kurshumli An

Monastery of Marko / Matka Canyon / Millenium Cross / Mustapha Pasha Mosque

Saint Clement of Ohrid Church / Saint Pantelejmon Monastery / Saint Nikita Monastery

Scupi / Old Bazaar / Stone Bridge / Vrelo Cave

(please click on the name)

  

Aqueduct

Located north-west from Skopje, the aqueduct was built of stone and bricks with 55 arches supported on massive pillars. According to one group of archeologists, it was built during the 6th century AD, during the rule of Justinijan First, for water supply of his town Justiniana Prima, while according to other group of arheologists it was built during the Ottoman period by Isa Bey of Mustapha Pasha.

In 1669 the traveler Dr. Brown has noted that the aqueduct is a wonderful old object, which brings a great respect to Skopje. The historians have quoted the famous chronic from the period of Justinian Procopius, whoe notes that it was build between 527-565 AD.

Many archeologists beleive that, due to the similarities with the Kursumli An it dates from the Ottoman period (late 15 century). The Skopje aqueduct was used to supply water from the gorge Lavovec in Gluvo village, to the part of Skopje, which now is the Old Bazaar and Bitpazar district. Interesting to mentioned is that, in former Yugoslavia there were only 3 aqueducts remained, one in Macedonia and two in Montenegro.

back to top


Cifte Hammam

Built by Isa Bey in 1531. The bath is the second largest in Skopje from that time. It is divided into two parts with separate bathing entrances for the men and for the woman, that's how it got its name, that translated from Turkish means double bath. As the previous, it is turned into an art gallery.

back to top


Clock Tower

The Clock Tower was built between 1566 AD and 1572 AD, most probably on the foundations of an already existing building. Initially, the upper part of the Tower was made of wood and the clock mechanism was brought from the city of Siged in Hungary. Writers that visited Skopje in the 16th and 17th centuries, noted that the Turks even brought a clock-master from Siged for the clock's maintenance. This was of great importance for the accurate performance of the five daily prayers. Many travelers mention the clock tower in their journals, as a large and important building in Skopje and add that its sound can be heard several kilometers away.

back to top


 

Daut Pasha's Hammam

Daut Pasha's Bath is one of the most prominent monuments of the Islamic profane architecture. The Turkish bath was built by the grand vizier of Rumelija, Daut Pasha in the 15th century. In the first time it was used for the needs of its harem, and later it served as a public bath. Today, the Turkish bath is turned into an art gallery with a wide choice of Macedonian icons of the 14th to the 19th century, collective works of Macedonian artists - pictures, sculptures, graphics, and drawings and more recently in the rooms of the Turkish bath also concerts are held, promotions of books, theater performances with chamber orchestra etc.

back to top


 

Feudal Tower

The feudal tower of Skopje makes part of the House of ARM, the unique preserved monument in the new part of the city, by the monument of "Mother Teresa". The time when it was built and the one who built it are not known. Most probably it is a feudal tower of some Turkish bay. Today it is in good conditions.

back to top


 

Holy Saviour Church (Sv.Spas)

It was built in the beginning of the 17th or 18th century, upon foundations on an older church. Part of the fresco painting on the southern side was found from this older church which origins from 16th century. In contrast to the modest outside appearance of the church, after one enters inside, he immediately becomes astonished in front of the beauty of the iconostasis on the eastern side.

The 19th century iconostasis of the church of the Holy Savior, carved in walnut, combines a profusion of plant and animal motifs with the figures of saints in local costumes. This realistic high-relief carving is the work of skilful craftsmen of the Debar area, who included their own figures in one corner of the iconostasis. The iconostasis is 6 meters high and 10 meters long. On this space, the carving group managed to show numerous scenes from the bible, important geometrical ornaments and figures from the flora and the fauna. The iconostasis at this church is one of the finest samples of traditional woodcarving which can be found on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia along with the iconostasis of St. Jovan Bigorski Monastery.

Goce Delčev (1872 Kukus/Kilkis, Greece - 1903 Serres, Greece), an important revolutionary hero and member of IMRO from the period of the Macedonian struggle for liberation from the Ottomans, is to be found in the yard.

back to top


 

Kale Fortress

Kale fortress has the dominant place in Skopje. It was built of stone blocks from the ruins of the city of Scupi, during the rule of the Byzantium Emperor Justinijan the 1st.

The ramparts of the Skopsko Kale are 121 meter long and today one square, one rectangular and one round tower are saved. It originates from the 6th century, while it's presents appearance is from the Ottoman period. The great complex since 1392 was stationary of the Turkish army until 1913, when Skopje falls under Serbian authority. And in the period from 1913 to 1953 here was settled the Yugoslav army.

Today in the space of the fortress is an arranged park, which serves for recreation and fun, and in the evening hours besides the sounds of the Macedonian folks music, the visitors have a wonderful view on the city and the river Vardar from there. Currently this fortification is being reconstructed.

back to top


 

Kapan An

Standing in the old bazaar. The ground floor used to house the horses and the goods of the merchants that visited the bazaar and the city, while on the first floor were the rooms where the people slept. The han was built in the 15th century. Today it houses a nice restaurant.

back to top


 

Kurshumli An

Memorial of Mula Musledin Hodza. Acts impressively and delightfully with its monumentality, decoratively built walls and the numerous domes in shape of pyramids. The yard of Kuršumli An during the summer period is being used for organizing of cultural events: dramatic performances, concerts, literature readins.

back to top


 

Monastery of Marko

Located outside Sushica village on Kitka mountain. It was founded by king Volkashin in 1345 and finished by his son King Marko in 1366, who is also the donor of the frescoes painted between 1366 and 1371. It is unknown why the monastery is built in the vicinity of Skopje instead of Prilep the capital of their medieval kingdom. It is presumed that the grave of king Marko is here but it was destroyed by the Turks.

back to top


 

Matka Canyon

The Matka canyon is located in the lower course of river Treska, 15km southwest of Skopje. With it's geological, geomorphologic and hydrological characteristics, and the flora and fauna, it is an exceptional object of nature. The main phenomenon of this natural treasure is the canyon, a distinguished geomorphologic entity with well preserved natural and geographic characteristics in which rare and endemic species find their escape. This outstanding work of nature, with sides 1000m high and step notches of over 250m, was created by vertical erosions of the Treska river during the long geological history.

A part its natural values, the Matka canyon with its immediate surroundings, is valuable treasury of Macedonia's cultural heritage, presenting to us antiquities from the different time periods. Remains of many ancient and medieval settlements and fortresses and a great number of well preserved medieval churches and monasteries are discovered. Many of this discoveries are of precious value. Most of them are: the monastery of St. Andrea from the 14th century, the church St. Nikola Šiševski from the 13th-14th century and the medieval town of Matka with the church St. Nedela from the 14th century and St. Bogorodica from the 14th century.

back to top


 

Millenium Cross

The Millennium Cross is a 66 metre-high cross situated on the top of the Vodno Mountain in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. The cross was constructed to commemorate 2,000 years of Christianity in Macedonia and the world.

The construction of the cross began in 2002 and was funded by the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Macedonian government and donations from Macedonians from all over the world. The cross was built on the highest point of the Vodno mountain on a place known since the time of the Ottoman Empire as "Krstovar", meaning "Place of the cross", as there was a smaller cross situated there.

back to top


 

Mustapha Pasha Mosque

Mustapha Pasha mosque is located in the vicinity of Kuršumli-an, in the old part of the city this monument of the Islamic culture attracts the attention with its size and beauty. The mosque was built by Mustafa Pasha in 1519, the vizier of the Sultan Selim 1st. Particularly attractive part of this building is the tall minaret, made of cut stone, whereas the expanded part is decorated with ornaments.

back to top


 

Saint Clement of Ohrid Church

This church 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. At present it is the largest Orthodox temple of the Macedonian Orthodox Church today.

back to top


 

Saint Pantelejmon Monastery

The Saint Pantelejmon monastery church was erected by Alexis Comnenus in 1164, during the Byzantine rule of Macedonia which came under the Comnenus dynasty. The frescoes in the Saint Pantelejmon monastery date from the time of the construction of the church but there are others from the 15th, 16th, and 19th centuries. In addition to its beautiful frescoes, the Saint Pantelejmon monastery at Nerezi had a marble iconostasis dating from the 12th century. The iconostasis didn't remain intact when the church was damaged although some fragments have survived. It was reconstructed in 1932.

The frescoes found in the Saint Pantelejmon monastery church make it one part of the most remarkable monuments in Macedonia. An important epoch in the history of this church was the period form 1923-1926, when the Russian savant prof. Nikola Okunjev succeeded in uncovering of the old 12th century frescoes in one part of the church. The conservation work which followed from 1954-1957 completed the removal of the late frescoes and the total exposure of the old. The Saint Pantelejmon monastery suffered damage during the 1963 earthquake in Skopje but it was soon repaired. The frescoes in Saint Pantelejmon have an important place not only in our medieval art but in that Byzantine painting of the time. The Nerezi artist, by his virtuosity in drawing and his rich color succeeded in painting a whole gallery of saints and figures. These frescoes represented a break with the contemporary painting because the painter didn't depict the saints in the customary representative-type manner but introduced figures from the real life.

The frescoes in the Saint Pantelejmon monastery brought a big changes in the development of the Byzantine art and Macedonian in particular and gave a basis to suppose that local painters, though reared in the tradition of decorative Byzantine painting, could make brave steps even in the 12th and the 13th centuries towards a new art which was later, in the 14th and the 15th centuries known as Renaissance Art.

back to top


 

Saint Nikita Monastery

On the rising ground between the vilages of Gornjani, Banjani and Chucher the monastery of Nikita is situated.
The church and a chapel dedicated to St. Jovan the Baptists were erected by the Serbian King Milutin in 1307-1308. This church is well known for its frescoes - the work of the famous painters Michailo and Eutihie, who also painted the frescoes in the church St. Clement of Ohrid.

Whereas at St. Clement's ceratin monumental feeling characteristics of frescoing in earlier periods still predominates, here at St. Nicolaus, tendencies towards a general narrative quality are clearly expressed. The compositions are distinctly less elaborate but the of figures has increased. Here the artists has freed himself from the Byzantine iconographical tradition and has chosen free motifs for characterization.

back to top


 

Scupi

The Roman ruins at Scupi date from the second century BC and were built upon an earlier, Dardanian settlement. Scupi was designated as Colonia Flavia Aelia Scupi and became the new home for many veterans of the Roman legions.

Under the Flavian emperors Scupi was granted municipal status, essentially entitling it to run its own affairs. Scupi prospered and seemed to become a city of some prestige. Although it suffered under the Gothic ravages of the 3rd century.

In the 4th century once again the city prospered, - it served briefly as the headquarters of emperor Theodosius. But with the 5th century barbarian raids returned and, alas, in 518 AD a devastating earthquake destroyed it. After Scupi was ruined by the earhtquake of 518, all the building material was used in the building of Justinijana Prima.
There is almost nothing left except for part of a street, a bath, and a basilica (newest researches have proven a larger settlement).

back to top


 

Old Bazaar

On the left side of the river Vardar, in the ancient part of Skopje is the old Skopje bazaar. Up to the present time the bazaar has experienced several changes in respect of the appearance and the organization, but it has still kept the spirit of the past. In the small innumerable handicraft shops, the Skopje's handicraftsmen can still be seen, tailors, cobbler, quilt makers, shoe makers, tinsmiths etc.

The old market place is still alive and full with a vivid atmosphere which radiates from the small shops, coffee and tea rooms which are always full with tourists which are delighted from the appearance and the life of this part of the city. Today most of these crafts are produced in factories, so only a few of the craftsmen remained keeping their jobs. Most of the shops here are for clothing, shoes, jewelries, restaurants, cafe-bars and tea-bars.

The Old Skopje Bazaar as a larger district include several cultural-historical monuments. Most of them are restored like: St. Spas church, Mustapha Pasha mosque, Čifte Amam, Daut Pasha Amam (amam-bath), Kapan An, Suli An, Kuršumli An (An-Inn). This district is one of the oldest in the city. Every corner here, tells his own history.

back to top


 

Stone Bridge

According to certain data the Stone Bridge of Skopje was built in the 6th century, whereas in its present form it was raised upon the old foundation in the time of the Sultan Murat 2nd in the first half of the 15th century. It was built of well worked out stone blocks and has 12 semicircular arches. This monumental building has undergone larger repairs through the centuries, but today the bridge has still kept the primary shape and form.

back to top


 

Vrelo Cave 

The Vrelo cave is hidden along the Matka canyon which is comprised of the Matka lake and Treska river. Accessible only by a boat.

back to top