Macedonia is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of thesuccessor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. It became a member of the United Nations in 1993 but, as a result of a dispute with Greece over its name, it was admitted under the provisional reference of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia sometimes abbreviated as FYROM. A landlocked country, the Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo to the northwest, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. It constitutes approximately the northwestern half of the larger geographicalregion of Macedonia, which also comprises parts of Greece and Bulgaria. The country’s capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to the 2002 census. Other cities include Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani,Gostivar, Kavadarci and Strumica. It has more than 50 lakes and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Macedonia is a member of the UN and the Council of Europe. Since December 2005 it has also been a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.
In antiquity, most of what is now the Republic of Macedonia was inhabited by Paeonians, aThracian people, whilst the northwest was inhabited by the Dardani and the southwest by tribes known historically as the Enchelae, Pelagones and Lyncestae; the latter two are generally regarded as Molossian tribes of the northwestern Greek group, whilst the former two are considered Illyrian.
During the 580s, Byzantine literature attests to the Slavs raiding Byzantine territories in the region of Macedonia, aided by Avars orBulgars. Historical records document that in c. 680 a group of Bulgars, Slavs and Byzantines led by a Bulgar called Kuber settled in the region of Keramisian plain, centred on the city of Bitola. Presian’s reign apparently coincides with the extension of Bulgarian control over the Slavic tribes in and around Macedonia. The Slavic peoples that settled in the region of Macedonia accepted Christianity as their own religion around the 9th century, during the reign of Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria.
With the beginning of the Bulgarian National Revival in the 18th century, many of the reformers were from this region, includingMiladinov Brothers, Rajko Žinzifov, Joakim Krčovski, Kiril Pejčinoviḱ and others. The bishoprics of Skopje, Debar, Bitola, Ohrid, Veles and Strumica voted to join the Bulgarian Exarchate after it was established in 1870.
Several movements whose goals were the establishment of autonomous Macedonia, encompassing the entire region ofMacedonia, began to arise in the late 19th century; the earliest of these was the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committees, later transformed to SMORO. In 1905 it was renamed as Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO) and after World War I the organisation separated into the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) and the Internal Thracian Revolutionary Organisation (ITRO).
Following the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, most of its European held territories were divided between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. The territory of the modern Macedonian state was then named Južna Srbija, “Southern Serbia”. After the First World War, Kingdom of Serbia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929, the Kingdom was officially renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and divided into provinces called banovinas. Southern Serbia, including all of what is now the Republic of Macedonia, became known as the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The concept of a United Macedonia was used by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) in the interbellum Its leaders – like Todor Alexandrov, Aleksandar Protogerov, Ivan Mihailov, promoted independence of the Macedonian territory split between Serbia and Greece for the whole population, regardless of religion and ethnicity. The Bulgarian government of Alexander Malinov in 1918 offered to give Pirin Macedonia for that purpose after World War I, but the Great Powers did not adopt this idea, because Serbia and Greece opposed.
War World II
During World War II, Yugoslavia was occupied by the Axis Powers from 1941 to 1945. The Vardar Banovina was divided between Bulgaria and Italian-occupied Albania. Bulgarian Action Committees were established and prepared the region for the new Bulgarian administration and army. The Committees were mostly formed by former members of IMRO, but some communists like Panko Brashnarov, Strahil Gigov and Metodi Shatorov also participated.
Shatorov as leader of Vardar Macedonia communists switched from Yugoslav Communist Party to Bulgarian Communist Party and refused to start military action against the Bulgarian army. The Bulgarian authorities, under German pressure, were responsible for the round-up and deportation of over 7,000 Jews in Skopje and Bitola. Harsh rule by the occupying forces encouraged many Macedonians to support the Communist Partisan resistance movement of Josip Broz Tito after 1943, and the National Liberation War ensued, with German forces being driven out of Macedonia by the end of 1944.
In 1944 the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) proclaimed the People’s Republic of Macedonia as part of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. ASNOM remained an acting government until the end of the war. The Macedonian alphabet was codified by linguists of ASNOM, who based their alphabet on the phonetic alphabet of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and the principles of Krste Petkov – Misirkov.
The new republic became one of the six republics of the Yugoslav federation. Following the federation’s renaming as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1963, the People’s Republic of Macedonia was likewise renamed, becoming the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. During the civil war in Greece(1946–1949) Macedonian communist insurgents supported the Greek communists. Many refugees fled to the Socialist Republic of Macedonia from there. The state dropped the “Socialist” from its name in 1991 when it peacefully seceded from Yugoslavia.
The country officially celebrates 8 September 1991 as Independence day , with regard to the referendum endorsing independence from Yugoslavia, albeit legalising participation in future union of the former states of Yugoslavia. The anniversary of the start of the Ilinden Uprising (St. Elijah‘s Day) on 2 August is also widely celebrated on an official level as the Day of the Republic.
Robert Badinter as the head of the Arbitration Commission of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia recommended EC recognition in January 1992.
A conflict took place between the government and ethnic Albanian insurgents, mostly in the north and west of the country, between February and August 2001. The war ended with the intervention of a NATO ceasefire monitoring force. Under the terms of the Ohrid Agreement, the government agreed to devolve greater political power and cultural recognition to the Albanian minority. The Albanian side agreed to abandon separatist demands and to recognise all Macedonian institutions fully. In addition, according to this accord, the NLA were to disarm and hand over their weapons to a NATO force.
Macedonians are big gourmands. The Macedonian cuisine, is a representative of the cuisine of the Balkans, reflecting Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern influences and to a lesser extent Italian, Mediterranean and Hungarian ones. The relatively warm climate provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Thus, Macedonian cuisine is particularly diverse.
Famous for its rich Shopska salad (diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, & white cheese), required at every meal, Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its dairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such as rakija and mastika. The Macedonian cuisine uses many spices; but usual in very small quantity.
Museum of the Struggle
The Museum of the Macedonian Struggle is a national museum of the Republic of Macedonia located in the capital city of Skopje. Construction of the museum began June 11, 2008 and it was opened to the public on the 20th anniversary of the declaration of independence on September 8th, 2011. The building is located between the Museum of Archaeology (under construction), the Holocaust Museum of Macedonia, the Stone Bridge and the Vardar River.
Gallery of Macedonia
The National Gallery of is a national art museum of the Republic of Macedonia, located in the capital city of Skopje. Its permanent collection is housed in the 15th century Turkish Bath building known as the Daut Pasha Baths, but the museum also features a smaller exhibition at the nearby Čifte Hammam. Founded in 1948, the museum’s collection dates from the 14th century.
The Contemporary Art Museum of Macedonia is one of the largest and most complete national institution of the Republic of Macedonia. Located in the capital city of Skopje, the museum was founded in 1963 following the disastrous earthquake that hit the city. The building project was donated by the Polish Government.
Museum of Skopje
Museum of the City of is a cultural institution located in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. Founded in 1949, it is located in a former railway station that was partly destroyed in the 1963 earthquake. The museum is home to permanent еxhibitions representing the history of Skopje, from the first recorded settlements around 3000 BC to present.
Holocaust Memorial Center
The Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of is a memorial to the holocaust of the 7,148 Jews from Macedonia and the history of the Jews in the Balkans, located in Skopje, the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia. The Holocaust Memorial Center is a multimedia center, consisting of several functional parts.
The construction works began in 2005. The Memorial Center is located in the so-called Jewish Quarter of Skopje, which was the center of Jewish life in this city until the deportation of the Jews. The museum is located behind the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, which faces the Vardar River.
House of Mother Teresa
The Mother Teresa Memorial House is dedicated to the humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa and is located in her hometown Skopje, in Macedonia where she lived from 1910 to 1928. The memorial house was built on the popular Macedonia Street in the Centar municipality, on the very location of the once Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, where Mother Teresa was baptized. It lies just east of the Ristiḱ Palace and the Macedonia Square. In the first three weeks, the memorial house was visited by 12,000 people.
The Ancient theatre of Ohrid of the Hellenistic period is located in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia. It was built in 200 BC and is the only Hellenistic-type theatre in the country as the other three in Scupi, Stobi and Heraklea Lynkestis are from Roman times.
Astibo or Astibus was a Paeonian and later Roman settlement which is located in the modern city of Štip in the Republic of Macedonia. It is probable that the capital of the Paeonian royal house was in the area of Astibus.
Bara Tumba is an ancient living area from Neolithic times located near the village of Porodin, Macedonia, near Bitola. Discovered in 1953, several objects and some old Neolithic houses have been found. These objects are kept in the Museum of Bitola.
Bargala was a fortified town constructed between the 4th and 6th century, a period spanning Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium. It is located 20 km northeast of the modern city of Štip, Republic of Macedonia on the lower slopes of the Plachkovica mountain. Archaeological excavations have uncovered a basilica, trade quarters, a water tank, a bath, and a fortification system with an impressive main gate and infrastructure.
Bylazora or Vilazora was a Paeonian city from the period of early classic antiquity. It is located near the village of Knezhje, which is part of the municipality of Sveti Nikole in the Republic of Macedonia.
Cerje is an archaeological site dating from neolithic times. Its unique finds include the figurine known as Adam of Macedonia, one of the earliest prehistoric male figurines. Cerje is located near Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.
Church of St. John
Saint John the Theologian, Kaneo or simply Saint John at Kaneo is a Macedonian Orthodox church situated on the cliff over Kaneo Beach overlooking Lake Ohridin the city of Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia. The church is attributed to John the Theologian. The construction date of the church remains unknown but documents detailing the church property suggests that it was built before the year 1447.
Damastion was an ancient city in the area of central Balkans. Various sites in Serbia and Macedonia and Albania have been considered as the location of this ancient town.
The city was in the borderlands of Illyria and Paeonia, more on the side of the latter. The exact site of the city is not yet identified with certainty. Damastion is attested only in Strabo who says that the city had silver-mines.However, he mentions Damastion without giving its position (VII, 7, 8; VIII, 6, 16).
Dolno Gradište is a village located 6 kilometres north of Kočani, Macedonia, at the base of Mount Osogovo and at the northern coast of Lake Gradče. The site is situated on a prominent hill of the same name, located between the gorges of the Mala and Golema rivers which meet form the Kočani River. Many fortification remnants are found on the hill.
Estipeon is the name of an early Byzantine (Late East Roman) settlement, in the Republic of Macedonia dating from the 3rd to the 5th centuries AD. It is located approximately on the same territory as the modern city of Štip. The Byzantine settlement was destroyed between the 5th and 6th centuries AD after a succession of joint Slavic and Avar attacks.
Golem Grad , meaning Big Fortress, also known as Snake Island, is an island in the Republic of Macedonia. The island covers an area of more than 20 hectares. It is located in Lake Prespa, a few kilometers from Greek andAlbanian territory. Golem Grad is home to several ancient ruins and churches. It is also home to several different communities of animals, especially snakes. In August 2008, the island opened to tourists.
Heraclea Lyncestis also spelled Herakleia Lynkestis , was an ancient Greek city inUpper Macedonia, ruled later by the Romans. Its ruins are situated 2 km south of the present-day town of Bitola, Republic of Macedonia. It was founded byPhilip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC, after he had conquered the surrounding region and incorporated it into his kingdom of Macedon. The city was named in honor of the mythological Greek hero Heracles.
Kočani medieval towers are located in Kocani, Republic of Macedonia. They were probably built in the second half of the 17th ceAccording to current findings, in Kočani and its immediate surroundings were built three medieval towers, two of which are located in the city, situated on both banks of the Kočani river, while the third is located in the village of Dolni Podlog. Those were bey’s residential towers. In fact, those residential towers had defensive position, and one of them was used as a clock tower. It is located near the elementary school “Rade Kratovce and served to indicate the hours by sound in earlier times.ntury, when the city was under Ottoman administration. Impact in construction had oriental architecture.
Kokino is a Bronze Age archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia, approximately 30 km from the town of Kumanovo, and about 6 km from the Serbian border, in the Staro Nagoričane municipality. It is situated between about 1010 and 1030 m above sea level on the Tatićev Kamen summit and covers an area of about 90 by 50 meters, overlooking the eponymous hamlet of Kokino.
Ohrid is a city in the Republic of Macedoniaand the seat of Ohrid Municipality. It is the largest city on Lake Ohrid and the eighth-largest city in the country with over 42,000 inhabitants as of 2002. Ohrid is notable for once having had 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as a “Jerusalem (of the Balkans)”. The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments, and tourism is predominant. It is located southwest of Skopje, west ofResen and Bitola, close to the border with Albania. In 1979 and in 1980, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Plaošnik or simply Plaoš is an archaeological site and holy place in Ohrid, 250 meters below Samuil’s Fortress. In the future, the whole complex will have konaks (mansions) as in the time of Saint Clement of Ohrid, together with several surrounding objects.
Prosek also known as Stenae , is an archaeological site located in the Demir Kapija Canyon, in Republic of Macedonia. This ancient settlement had an excellent strategical and war position. It was discovered in 1948. Some things that have been found here include four towers that remain standing today, many ceramic objects, jewellery, coins, and a few acropoli and neocropoli.
Saint Erasmus is an ancient Christian basilica and necropolis located near Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia, along the Ohrid-Struga freeway. Archaeological excavations have uncovered a three-part basilica and a necropolis with 124 graves dating from the 6th and 12th centuries.
Saint Panteleimon is a monastery in Ohrid,Republic of Macedonia situated on Plaošnik. It is attributed to Clement of Ohrid, a disciple of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius. Archaeologists have come to believe that the monastery was the site where the first students of the Glagolitic alphabet (used to translate the Bible into Old Church Slavonic) were taught.
Scupi is an archaeological site located between Zajčev Rid and the Vardar River, several kilometers from the center of Skopje, in the Republic of Macedonia. A Roman military camp was founded here in the second century BC on the site of an olderDardanian settlement. It became later Colonia Flavia Aelia Scupi and many veteran legionnaires were settled there. A Roman town was founded in the time of Domitian (AD 81-96) and Scupi became the chief center for romanizing Dardania. It was abandoned in AD 518 after an earthquake completely destroyed the city.
Stobi was an ancient town of Paeonia, later conquered by Macedon, and later turned into the capital of the Roman province ofMacedonia Salutaris (now near Gradsko in the Republic of Macedonia). It is located on the main road that leads from the Danube to the Aegean Sea and is considered by many to be the most famous archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia. Stobi was built where the Erigón river (mod. River Crna) joins the Axiós river (mod. Vardar), making it important strategically as a center for both trade and warfare.
Trebeništa is an ancient necropolis located in Macedonia, dating from the Iron Age around the 7th century BC. It is located near the town of Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia. It is believed that the necropolis was used by the people from the ancient town of Lychnidos. Trebeništa was discovered in 1918 by Bulgarian soldiers. The government sent archaeologist Karel Škorpil to organize excavations. The artefacts were later researched by Bogdan Filov. Since then, large amounts of graves, five golden masks, and some iron earrings and plates have been found. These finds are housed in the Archaeological Museums in Ohrid, Sofia and Belgrade.
Pelister National Park is a national park in the Municipality of Bitola, Republic of Macedonia. The park is located in the Baba Mountain massif and covers an area of 171.5 square kilometres (66.2 sq mi). The altitude of the park varies between 927 and 2,601 m (3,041 and 8,533 ft) above sea level and is filled with exquisite flora and fauna. Among flora elements, the presence is especially significant of the five-needle pine molica, Pinus peuce – a unique species of Cenozoic age being present on only a few mountains in the Balkan Peninsula. The beauty of the landscape is enhanced by the diversified wildlife: bears, roe deer, wolves, chamois, deer, wild boars, rabbits, several species of eagles, partridges, redbilled jackdaws, and the endemic Macedonian Pelagonia trout.
Mavrovo National Park is the largest of the three national parks of the Republic of Macedonia. It was founded in 1949 and is located in the western part of the country between the Lake Mavrovo and the Albanian border.
The national park, the lake, and the Mavrovo region are named after the village of Mavrovo.
The floral life in the Galičica National Park represents over 1000 species, of which a large number of relicts and endems have the final frontier of its range exactly on the mountain Galičica. There is characteristically presence of up to now 11 discovered local endems to be found exclusively on the slopes of Galičica and nowhere else, this illustrates the specifically floristic composition of this mountain. At the moment, it is intensively worked on the flora of the National Park and there are indications that the number of endems will be even bigger.