A phoenix is a mythical bird that is able to rise from its ashes. It is a symbol of overcoming difficulties in order to rise to great heights. Skopje is like a phoenix. In 1963, the city was thoroughly destroyed by an earthquake. With a growing self-awareness, the reconstruction of the city was taken up. It is now almost complete, but the city continues to gain height…
Skopje is situated at a crossing of roads on the banks of the river Vardar. The city has an ‘old’ and a ‘new’ part, which are connected by a stone bridge. This bridge was constructed in the 14th century by Sultan Mehmed II who was in power at the time. A 25 metres high statue of Alexander the Great stands nearby. He is not the only Macedonian who is honoured; Mother Teresa also has a connection with Skopje. It is her city of birth and she lived here for eighteen years. A reconstruction has been made of her birthplace.
The Oriental Bazar (Old Bazar) is located north of the bridge. In the Middle Ages this was the economic centre of Skopje; nowadays culture and culinary delicacies are central. A selection of tea houses, bath houses, art galleries, museums and restaurants are accommodated here. There is always something to do and it has a true oriental atmosphere.
The Daud Pasha is located further on in the city. Once a bath house, it nowadays accommodates the National Gallery. High domes and star-shaped windows invariably impress the visitor.
The Sveti Spas is also fascinating. This church was built during Turkish rule and, therefore, it was not allowed to build a church higher than a mosque. And so it was decided to partly place the building in the ground. Even then, difficulties were solved in a creative way. History repeats itself.
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