Skopje, the city of sculptures
I did not really know what to expect from Skopje, but I was pleasantly surprised. The area around the main square has grand buildings all around, and especially along the river.
The Vardar River divides the city in two, the old part and the newer part. The latter has a nice pedestrian street from the Macedonia Square to the old train station. Skopje is the birth place of Mother Teresa, and there is a nice memorial house in her honour and off course a sculpture of her.
And there are many sculptures. Everywhere! Many of great and famous men and women, but also everyday Joe. Quite literally.
The earthquake in 1963 destroyed almost 2/3 of the city. Many new and modern buildings were built, but many of the old were also restored.
The Old Bazaar is one of the best preserved Oriental bazaars in the East Mediterranean. Even though it can give the impression to be quite touristic, it still has a lot of charm with the paved streets and low-built stone houses. There are many sights, such as the Oriental covered market, and the old Daut Pasha Hamam, now housing the Macedonian National Gallery.
Another gem is the church of the Holy Savour. It is built under ground, as the Turks did not allow churches to be taller than the mosques. Inside there are beautiful wood carvings telling different stories from the bible, and impressive painted icons.
I simply love views! But honestly, I was a bit disappointed about the view from the castle. And from Mt. Vodno as well, for that matter. I should however mention that the cable car was closed when we got there, so we did not get all the way to the top. So I will be very careful saying that the view from there is not great. I will definitely try to reach the top the next time I am in Skopje. I have already decided to come back. Hopefully in the summer. But not on a Monday, as the cable car will be closed…