The Republic of Macedonia, is a landlocked country in the Balkans. It is bordered by Serbia and the disputed region of Kosovo to the north, Albania to the west, Bulgaria to the east, and Greece to the south. The constitutional name of the country is the Republic of Macedonia and it is usually called simply Macedonia, despite the disambiguation concerns of the neighboring Greeks in the Greek province Macedonia and the official provisional name the country has under UN.
While easily accessible from all points abroad, and boasting all the amenities of the Western world, the Republic of Macedonia remains one of Europe’s last undiscovered countries: a natural paradise of mountains, lakes and rivers, where life moves to a different rhythm, amidst the sprawling grandeur of rich historical ruins and idyllic villages that have remained practically unchanged for centuries. The majority population is ethnic Macedonian and Orthodox but there is also a significant Albanian Muslim minority. Therefore, one can expect a wonderful mix of architectural and ethnic hertitage. The country represents the Balkans in the truest sense, consisting of a fascinating mix of Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, and Mediterranean influences.
Macedonia is dotted with beautiful Orthodox churches, monasteries, and Ottoman mosques. The territory of the Republic of Macedonia has a proud history. Being under the Ottomans for 500 years caused legendary Macedonian revolutionaries such as Goce Delcev, Nikola Karev, and Pitu Guli to lead uprisings to free Macedonia. Macedonia has been part of many countries, but until its incorporation into Yugoslavia by Tito in 1945 it was never acknowledged as an administrative “state.” Macedonia prospered under Tito’s rule, especially when the capital Skopje was rebuilt after a severe earthquake in 1963 and the Yugoslav government invested heavily in the subsequent infrastructure rebuilding. This may explain why many Macedonians are somewhat nostalgic for Tito’s Yugoslavia.
Skopje is the capital of the Republic of Macedonia; it is in the Povardarie region, and is the largest and most diverse city in the country. Skopje has been occupied by many different peoples since its foundation. This is evidenced by the several Byzantine churches and monasteries around the city, also by a few Roman sites, such as Scupi and Skopje’s Aqueduct. However, the group that left the greatest mark on Skopje were the Ottomans. The Ottomans ruled Macedonia for hundreds of years and built a large number of mosques and other buildings.Today, Skopje is becoming a modern city. Home to about quarter of the entire population of the country, it is also home to many different types of people. Besides the majority Macedonians, many Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs, Bosniaks and others call Skopje home.
Ohrid (Ohrid) is a city of the Republic of Macedonia. The territory of Ohrid hosted ancient Illyrian settlements and later Greek, while the city became one of the cultural centers in the Middle Ages, religious and artistic most important of the Balkan Peninsula and Eastern Slavic. In 1979 the city and its lake were included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Saint Naum also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav (c. 830 – December 23, 910) was a medieval Bulgarian writer, enlightener, one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and missionary among the Slavs. He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. Naum was among the founders of the Pliska Literary School and is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church.
The monastery church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. According to the Chronicle of the monastery in 1833, was built in 1020 by Ivan I. Debranin. The Ottomans destroyed the monastery in the 16th century. The monastery was restored in 1743 by monaco Ilarion, who also built several monk cells. Later, in the period 1812-1825, the monastery was enlarged by Archimandrite Arsenio. One of the most precious treasures of the monastery is the iconostasis created by Petre Filipovski Garkata from the nearby village of Gari.
Bitola is one of the oldest cities on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, having been founded as Heraclea Lyncestis in the middle of the 4th century BC by Philip II of Macedon. The city was the last capital of Ottoman Rumelia, from 1836 to 1867. According to the 2002 census, Bitola is the second largest city in the country. Bitola is also the seat of the Bitola Municipality.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon’s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power . The Romans divided Macedonia into 4 regions and Heraclea was in the fourth region. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road. Objects discovered from the time of Roman rule in Heraclea are votive monuments, a portico, thermae (baths), a theater and town walls.