A melting pot of cultures and religions at the gates of the East.
A place where everything matured by time merges with lively modernity.
According to an ancient legend , in the place where Skopje is built there used to be a block of stone that was thought to be the bewitched head of a giant, rendered blind, deaf and mute by a wizard's curse.
After that, it took a hero with his magic spear to reopen the giant's eyes, ears, nose and mouth, which symbolically represent the routes into the city.
BETWEEN OTTOMAN REMAINS AND MODERNITY
The most charming place to admire the view from above the city and enjoy interesting open-air theatrical performances is Skopje Fortress.
From Macedonia Square , dominated by the enormous bronze monument to Alexander the Great ( Warrior on a horse ) , the best thing to do is take a walk across the Stone Bridge. With its thirteen arches, this is one of the most symbolic places on the Vardar River and separates the Old Bazaar — with its Muslim stamp — from the modern district, redesigned with a Middle European flavor.
Both the Fortress and the Bridge are symbols of the city and, together with Mount Vodno , topped by the Millennium Cross, which is lit up at night and watches over the city, they appear in the Skopje coat of arms.
The Old Bazaar is the largest in all the Balkans and is its ancient heart, overflowing with craftsmen, small picturesque stores, and indoor and open-air cafés. Other famous locations are the Cifte Hamam, Church of Sveti Spas, Mustafa Pasha Mosque, the former Turkish Baths of Daut Pasha and the travelers' inns Suli An, Kapan An and Kurshumli An.
The new part of the town, which is almost completely a declaration of love to cement, contains, as well as luxurious hotels, stores and fashionable bars and restaurants, the monument and memorial house of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Old Station, mainly destroyed in an enormous earthquake, and now the city's Museum.
© Jessica Gardner
© Andrzej Wójtowicz