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Skopje is situated in the Skopje valley, on the banks of the biggest Macedonian river Vardar. The climate is modified continental with slight sea influences felt along the Vardar valley. The maximum summer temperatures reach 41oC, while in the winter the lowest goes down to evev -27oC. As already mentioned, Skopje is the capital but also the biggest poolitical, economic, cultural, social and university centre of the state. It is very rich in cultural and historical monuments from various  historical periods. 
Skopje has had a railroad conection to Thessaloniki since 1873. The station building had been built in the period 1871-1873, on  the place where teh City Museum stands today.
This old building had been pulled down in 1935 and in 1938 Skopje obtained, the most beutiful railway station on the Balkans.
The clock over the main entrance door is preserved to this day. It stopped at exactly 5h 17minutes, the moment when - in the morning of the 26th July, 1963- a disastrous earthquake demolished the city, together with the eastern wing of the station building.

1070 people were killed in the earthquake, and 3.000 were enjured. More than 80% of the survivors were left with o housing.‚Äč
With the help of 87 countries from all around the world. Skopje was rebuilt and became the symbol of worldwide solidarity.
Since 1970, the demolished station was turned into a Museum of the city of Skopje. In the beginning 2000, a permanent exhibition entitled "Skopje, from the prehistoric times untill now" has been set. It contains 300 extremely significant exhibits.
Through the centuries the Stone Bridge connected the two banks of the river Vardar in the city centre, part of the walking zone of Skopje. Accordnig to Turkish sources, the bridge had been built of well processed stone blocks, during the second half of the 15th century. The massive construction is supported by solid pillars, linked by 13 semi-circular arches. It is long almost 214m and 6,33m wide. With the sole aim of restoring the original look of the bridge, reconstruction works started in 1992.
In the direction of the Old Bazaar, on the right side is the Daut-Pasha amam. Due to its size and artistic value it represents a pearl, a master-piece of the monumental Islamic profane architecture. The amam occupies 900m2. It was built, probably, in the middle of the 15th century. In 1689 it was damaged badly in a fire and began to decay. After the Second world war it was rearranged into an art gallery, one of the largest one in the Republic of Macedonia.

 

The Fortress Kale
The Fortress kale is on the peak of the highest hill in the Skopje valley. In the past, this fortress used to have an excellent strategic position, as it gives the possibility to control a big part of the valley.
The first facts regarding this fortress date back to the year 536 A.D. After the disastrous earthquake that hit and destroyed the ancient settlement of Skupi in 518 A.D., its inhabitants decided to build their new settlement on the place where nowadays fortress Kale is situated. Part of the building material for the ancient settlement of Skupi.
To this day we have preserved 120m of the oldest wall, huge inserted stone blocks are still visible. The wall that can mainly be seen nowadays originates from the late Ottoman period.
Today, the Fortress Kale is established in a pleasent place to stay.

 

The Old Skopje Bazaar
The Old Skopje Bazaar is around 1.000 years old. It used to represent a suburb of the - at the time - "Upper town". There is an abundance of bulidings from many different periods in time: mosques, ans, amams, churches, a bezisten and many craftsmen's shops.
Nowadays, this part of the town is one of the most picturesque ones, with its narrow little streets. Altough the shops are not always in the best of shape, old forgotten crafts are still alive, and the goods can be seen to be displaed outside on the street itself, or from ceiling to floor in the shop. The buildings still carry the charm of the times past, one can still feel the scent and the spirit of the Orient.

 

The church Saint Saviour
This church was built in the beginning of the  19th century. Inside tha church one can see the exquisite wood carved iconostasis. The master woodcarvers were Petre Filipovski - Garka, his brother - Marko Filipovski and Makarie Frchkovski.
The craftsmen worked on the iconostasis from 1817 untill 1824. Their extraordinary ability is of high artistic quality and ranks the woodcarved masterpiece among the highest achievements of woodcarving art in Macedonia. On the iconostasis which is 10m long and almost 7m high, scenes of the Old and the New Testament are presented. The space in between the pillaars of the iconostasis is filled with throne icons. Two of them date from 1867.

The master woodcarvers made also the bishope's throne in the church, the stand for kissing the icons, the stand for the religious prayer books and the stand for chanting.
 In the yard of the church of St. Saviour, on the 11 June 1946 the sarcophagus with the remains of Goce Delchev was placed.
Goce Delchev was prominent fighter for the liberation of Macedonia at the end of teh 19th and start 20th century. There is an inscription on the sarcophagus with the yaer of his birth - 1872 and the year he was killed - 1903. The most famous idea of Goce Delchev was: "I undersatnd the world as a field for cultural competition among nations". In the courtyard of the konak of the church, the Museum of Goce Delchev is located.

Millenium cross
For the occasion of 2000 years of the birth of Jesus Christ, on the peak of Mount Vodno, on an altitude of 1066m, the foundations of the so-called "Millenium cross" were set. The consecration took place on the 28th August 2002. The cross is placed on a concrete platform, held by 12 small pillars as symbols of the 12 apostles. The four big concrete pillars symbolize the 4 evangelists. On top of them reaching to the sky is the 66m steel construction divided into 33 parts, symbolizing the 33 years of the life of Jesus Christ. By night, the cross is lit up with 650 light bulbs, which make it visible in a radius of 40km. The "Millenium cross", being 76m high, is the highest landmark on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. 

The Kurshumli Inn
Kurshumli Inn got its name by the lead on its roof which covered it originally, as the Turkish word for lead is "kurshum". It was believed that years later the lead had been used for making bullets, and tiles were placed on the roof instead. The internal courtyard is covered by wide balconies all along the internal walls, supported by massive pillars. There are 28 premises in the lobby used for storing goods, and the 32 rooms on the floor were intended to provide overnight stay for the  guests.  The Kurshumli Inn was probably been built in 1540. The earthquake of 1963 damaged it severely, but it has been completely reconstructed. in September 2001, the Lapidarium was opened. 130 tomb stones, sarcophagus, statues etc. can be seen.
Dating from the Ottoman period, in the Old Bazaar there are two more caravan sarays preserved: the Kapan Inn and the Suli Inn.

Sydney Office

Kire Filipovski JP
Director

Shop 17A 10-12 King Street
PO Box 948
Rockdale NSW 2216
Australia

(02) 9599 6888
0423 852 322

kire@milleniumtravel.com.au

Bitola Office

Leninova 75
Bitola
Macedonia

+389 47 20 33 33