Skopje: Wikis


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—  City  —
City of Skopje
Град Скопjе
Macedonia Square, the center of Skopje


Skopje is located in Republic of Macedonia
Location of the city of Skopje in Macedonia
Coordinates: 42°0′N 21°26′E / 42°N 21.433°E / 42; 21.433Coordinates: 42°0′N 21°26′E / 42°N 21.433°E / 42; 21.433
Country  Macedonia
Municipality Flag of Skopje.png Greater Skopje
 - Mayor Koce Trajanovski
 - Total 1,854 km2 (715.8 sq mi)
Elevation 240 m (787 ft)
Population (2007)[1]
 - Total 506,926
 Density 273.4/km2 (708.2/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal codes 1000
Area code(s) +389 02
Car plates SK
Patron saint Virgin Mary

Skopje (Macedonian: Скопје, [ˈskɔpjɛ]  ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia, with more than a quarter of the population of the country, as well as its political, cultural, economic, and academic centre. It was known in the Roman period under the name Scupi. The city developed rapidly after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. Today Skopje is a modern city with a wide range of cultural monuments.

Skopje is located at 42°0′N 21°26′E / 42°N 21.433°E / 42; 21.433, on the upper course of the Vardar River and is located on a major north-south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens. According to the 2002 census, it has approximately 500,000 inhabitants [1] and is a center for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather, and printing industries. Industrial development of the city has been accompanied by development of the trade, logistics, and banking sectors, as well as an emphasis on the fields of culture and sport.



See also: other names of Skopje
Coat of arms of Skopje on a metal door.

The name of Skopje derives from an ancient name that is attested in antiquity as Latin Scupi, the name of a classical era Greco-Roman frontier fortress town[2]. It may go back further to a pre-Greek, Illyrian name.[3] In modern times, the city was known by its Turkish name Üsküp (Ottoman Turkish: اسكوب) during the time of Ottoman rule and the Serbian form Skoplje during the time of the First Yugoslavia between 1912 and the 1940s. Since the 1950s, the official name of the city in Macedonian has been Skopje (Скопје), reflecting the Macedonian Cyrillic orthography for the local pronunciation. The city is called Shkup or Shkupi in Albanian, Skopie (Скопие) in Bulgarian and Skopia (Σκόπια) in Greek.


Early phase

The site of modern Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC;[4] remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. The settlement appears to have been founded around then by the Paionians, a people that inhabited the region. In the 3rd century BC, Skopje and the surrounding area was invaded by the Dardani. Scupi, the ancient Skopje, came under Roman rule after the general Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus defeated Andriscus of Macedon in 148 BC, being at first part of the Roman province of Macedonia, established in 146 BC. The northward expansion of the empire in the course of the 1st century BC lead to the creation of the province of Moesia in Augustus's times, into which Scupi was incorporated. After the division of the province by Domitian in 86 AD, Scupi was elevated to colonia status, and became a seat of government within the new province of Moesia superior. The district called Dardania (in Moesia Superior), was formed into a special province by Diocletian, with the capital at Naissus. From 395 AD, it passed into the hands of the Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire.

The first known bishop of the city is Perigorius, present at the Council of Sardica (343). Scupi was probably a metropolitan see about the middle of the 5th century (Latin: Archidioecesis Scopiensis).[5]

Medieval era

When the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395AD, Skupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople (today's Istanbul) and became an important trading and garrison town for the region. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-65AD) was born in Tauresium (about 20 km southeast of present-day Skopje) in 483AD, and after Skupi was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 518AD. Justinian built a new town at the fertile entry point of the River Lepenec into the Vardar. Some historians believe this might be the city of Justiniana Prima. During much of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire. From 972 to 992 it was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire.[6] After that, it was a capital of Byzantine administrative region (katepanat) Bulgaria after the fall the First Bulgarian Empire in 1018. Skopje was a thriving trading settlement but fell into decline after being hit by another devastating earthquake at the end of the 11th century. It was a capital of the estate of the Bulgarian feudal lord, later Emperor Konstantin Asen in the middle of 13th century. The Byzantine Empire took advantage of the decline in Skopje to regain influence in the area, but lost control of it once again in 1282 to King Stefan Uroš II Milutin of Serbia. Milutin's grandson, Stefan Dušan, made Skopje his capital, from which he proclaimed himself Tsar in 1346, subsequently making it the capital of the Serbian Empire.

Ottoman era

Ishak Bey Mosque

Rolling back Byzantine rule across much of the Balkans, the Ottoman Turks finally conquered Skopje in 1392 beginning 520 years of Ottoman rule. The Turks named the town Uskub. At first the Ottomans divided the greater Macedonian region into four vilayets, or districts — Uskub (Kossovo), Manastir and Selanik - and as the northernmost of these, Uskub was strategically important for further forays into northern Europe.

Under Ottoman rule the town moved further towards the entry point of the River Serava into the Vardar. It also became predominantly Muslim[citation needed] and the architecture of the town changed accordingly. During the 15th century, many travelers' inns were established in the town, such as Kapan An and Suli An, which still exist today. The city's famous Stone Bridge (Kameni Most) - was also reconstructed during this period and the famous Daud Pasha baths (now a modern art gallery) was built at the end of the 15th century. At this time numerous Jews driven out of Spain settled in Uskub, adding to the cultural mix of the town and enhancing the town's trading reputation.

At the beginning of Ottoman rule, several mosques quickly sprang up in the city, and church lands were often seized and given to ex-soldiers, while many churches themselves were converted over time into mosques. The most impressive mosques erected during this early period include the Sultan Murat or Hjunkar Mosque, Aladza Mosque and the Mustafa Pasha Mosque. In 1555, another earthquake hit the town, destroying much of the centre. The outskirts survived and the town continued, nonetheless, to prosper with traders and travelers. Travel reports from the era number Uskub's population anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 inhabitants. For a very short period in 1689, Uskub was occupied by the Austrian General Piccolomini. He and his troops did not stay for long, however, as the town was quickly engulfed by the plague. On retreating from the town Piceolomini's troops set fire to Uskub, perhaps in order to stamp out the plague, although some would say this was done in order to avenge the 1683 Ottoman invasion of Vienna.

For the next two centuries Uskub's prestige waned and by the 19th century its population had dwindled to a mere 10,000. In 1873, however, the completion of the Uskub—Selanik (now Skopje—Thessaloniki) railway brought many more travelers and traders to the town, so that by the turn of the century Uskub had regained its former numbers of around 30,000. Towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, Uskub, along with other towns in Macedonia - Krusevo and Manastir (now Bitola) - became main hubs of rebellious movements against Ottoman rule. Uskub was a key player in the Ilinden Uprising of August 1903 when the native population of the region declared the emergence of the Krusevo Republic. While the Krusevo Republic lasted only ten days before being quelled by the Ottomans, it was a sign of the beginning of the end for Ottoman rule. After 500 years of rule in the area the Ottomans were finally ousted in 1912 during the first Balkan War.

Balkan and World Wars

As the administrative centre of the region, Uskub also administered the vilayet of Kossovo under Ottoman rule. This did not go down well with the increasingly Albanian population of Kosovo, who preferred to be ruled by Albanians rather than the Turks. The Ottomans were shortly expelled from the city in August 12, 1912 by the local Albanian population when 15,000 Albanians marched on Uskub.[7][8] The Turks, already weak from other battles against the united front of Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria during the First Balkan War, started to flee.

Vardar River in 1913

When Serb reinforcements arrived some weeks later, the 23 October Battle of Kumanovo (50 km northeast of Skopje) proved decisive in firmly driving out the Ottomans from all of Macedonia. Skopje remained under Serbian rule during the Second Balkan War of 1913 when the formerly united front started to fight amongst themselves, until in 1914 the town was finally taken over by the Bulgarians. By 1918 it belonged to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and remained so until 1939, apart from a brief period of six months in 1920 when Skopje was controlled by the Yugoslav Communist Party.

The inter-war period of Royalist Yugoslavia saw significant immigration of ethnic Serbs into the region. An ethnic Serb ruling elite dominated over the rest, continuing the repression wrought by previous Turkish rulers.[9]

In March 1941 when Yugoslavia entered the war, there were huge anti-war demonstrations in the streets of the town.[10] Skopje came under German occupation on 7 April 1941[11] and was later taken over by Bulgarian forces.[12] During the occupation, Bulgaria endowed Skopje with a national theatre, a library, a museum and for higher education the King Boris University.[13] However, on 11 March 1943, Skopje's entire Jewish population of 3,286 was deported to the gas chambers of Treblinka concentration camp in Poland.[14] One month after the communists took power in Sofia and the Bulgarian army was sent to the west front to fight the Germans, Skopje was seized by the People's Liberation Army of Macedonia, and then joined Yugoslavia in 1944, when it became the capital of the newly established People's Republic of Macedonia.

Socialist Republic of Macedonia

From 1944 until 1991 Skopje was the capital of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. The city expanded and the population grew during this period from just over 150,000 in 1945 to almost 600,000 in the early 1990s. Continuing to be prone to natural disasters the city was flooded by the Vardar River in 1962 and then suffered considerable damage from a major earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, which killed over 1,000 people and made another 120,000 homeless. Eighty percent of the city was destroyed by the earthquake, and numerous cultural monuments were seriously damaged. The losses from the quake amounted to a massive 150% of Macedonia's GNP at the time and 15% of Yugoslavia's GNP. A major international relief effort saw the city rebuilt quickly, though much of its old neo-classical charm was lost in the process. The new master plan of the city was created by the then leading Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. The ruins of the old Skopje train station which was destroyed in the earthquake remain today as a memorial to the victims along with an adjacent museum.

Nearly all of the city's beautiful neo-classical 18th and 19th century buildings were destroyed in the earthquake, including the National Theater and many government buildings, as well as most of the Kale Fortress. International financial aid poured into Skopje in order to help rebuild the city. Sadly, the result was the many "modern" concrete monstrosities of 1960s communism that can still be seen today as well as hundreds of now abandoned caravans and prefabricated mobile homes. Fortunately, though, as with previous earthquakes, much of the old Turkish side of town survived.


Panorama of central Skopje
Highrises in Skopje

Skopje made the transition easily from the capital of the Socialist Federal Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the capital of today's Republic of Macedonia. The city livened up considerably when Skopje housed the headquarters of the NATO intervention into Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. The city saw some rioting during 2001 when internal conflict between the Albanian community and the Macedonian majority erupted over lack of Albanian representation in government and other social institutions. Today, Skopje is seeing a makeover in buildings, streets and shops. The new VMRO-DPMNE government elected in July 2006 has pledged to restore the Kale fortress and to rebuild the beautiful 19th century Army House, the Old National Theatre, and the Old National Bank of Macedonia - all destroyed in the 1963 earthquake. Other projects under construction are the "Macedonian Struggle" Museum, the Archeological Museum of Macedonia, National Archive of Macedonia, Constitutional Court, and a new Philharmonic Theater. The city's national stadium Philip II Arena and the city's Alexander the Great Airport are also being reconstructed and expanded.


Skopje from Skopje Fortress
Skopje from sky

Skopje is located in the northern part of Macedonia, in the Skopje statistical region. The Vardar River flows through the city and the rest of the country, passing the border into Greece and flowing into the Aegean Sea. Skopje is located at an elevation of 225 m (738 ft) above sea level. The city's land area is 1,854 km2 (716 sq mi)


The city experiences a continental climate, which is influenced by the humid subtropical climate. The summers are hot and humid, and the winters are cold and wet and often snowy. In summer the temperatures are usually above 30 °C (86 °F), and sometimes, above 40 °C (104 °F). In spring and autumn, the temperatures range from 15-25 °C (77 °F). In the winter, the day temperatures are about 7 °C (45 °F), but in the nights they often fall below 0 °C (32 °F), even below −10 °C (14 °F) on some cold nights. The precipitations are evenly distributed throughout the year, being heaviest, from October to December and from April to June.

Climate data for Skopje
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °C (°F) 4.3
Average low °C (°F) -3.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 33.6
Source:[15] February 9, 2010

Surrounding municipalities

Administrative divisions

Skopje is an administrative division within the Republic of Macedonia constituted of 10 municipalities. As a such administrative unit Skopje is the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. It is part of Skopje statistical region (Скопски регион).

The organisation of Skopje, like a distinct unit of the local-selfgovernment is defined by the Law of Skopje.

Skopje administrative division numbered1.png
Nr. Municipality
3 Grb aerodrom.png Aerodrom (Аеродром) 21.85 72,009
6 Butelski grb.jpg Butel (Бутел) 54.79 36,154
4 Čair (Чаир) 3.52 64,773
1 MMCA(Centar).png Centar (Центар) 7.52 45,412
2 MMCA(Gazi Baba).png Gazi Baba (Гази Баба) 110.86 72,617
9 MMCA(Gjorche Petrov).png Gjorče Petrov (Ѓорче Петров) 66.93 41,634
8 MMCA(Karposh).png Karpoš (Карпош) 35.21 59,666
5 MMCA(Kisela Voda).png Kisela Voda (Кисела Вода) 34.24 57,236
10 Sarajski grb.png Saraj (Сарај) 229.06 35,408
7 MMCA(Shuto Orizari).png Šuto Orizari (Шуто Оризари) 7.48 22,017
Total Coat of arms of Skopje.svg Skopje 571.46 506,926

History of administration


The mayor of Skopje is elected directly. The current mayor is Koce Trajanovski. He was elected in April 2009.


Since the 1990s the city's position as a transportation hub is increasing in Southeast Europe since it stands at an intersection of two main European transport corridors - Corridor VIII (East-West) and Corridor X (North-South). This significance of the city has been enhanced by the construction of new highways on the two transversals, the new Skopje ring road, and the ongoing extension and modernization of Skopje Alexander the Great Airport.


The E65 section of the northern bypass

Skopje has one international airport: Skopje Alexander the Great Airport located in the Petrovec Municipality, about 22 kilometers east from the city center. MAT Macedonian Airlines flies to many international destinations across Europe as well as Ohrid. A variety of other airlines serve the airport. The airport has been given under concession to the Turkish company TAV, which should start works on a new 3 million passengers terminal in late August 2009 and finish it within 20 months.


The E75 highway connecting Vardø in Norway and Crete in Greece runs just east of Skopje, thus linking most of Europe with the Macedonian capital. The E75 highway in Macedonia connects Kumanovo, Veles, Negotino, and Gevgelija.

A bus in Skopje

The E65 highway runs through the northern and western edges of the city and is part of the 26.5 km long Skopje Northern Bypass. The E65 in Macedonia also connects Tetovo, Gostivar, Kičevo, Ohrid and Bitola


The Skopje Central Railway Station is approximately 2 kilometers east of the city center. It's part of the "Transportation Center" Complex built in the 1970s. It has 10 platforms and is suspended on a massive concrete bridge about 2 km long.

Taxis and Buses:

The Skopje main bus station is 2 kilometers east of the city center located in the Transportation Center housing also the central railway station. Buses run through the whole city connecting different areas; the average price for a ticket is 30 denars or about 0.5 euro. Taxis are all over the city, they go between the city center and the airport frequently. The price for a drive to or from the airport is about 17 euro or 900 Macedonian denars. The average price going through the city is 3 euro or 160 denars. Taxis can also drive to other Macedonian cities but it is usually costly for an average Macedonian.


According to the 2002 census,[1] the population of Skopje was 506,926 people. The main ethnic groups are Macedonians - 338,358, who make 66.75% of the population, followed by Albanians - 103,891 (20.49%), Roma - 23,475 (4.63%), Serbs - 14,298 (2.82%), Turks - 8,595 (1.70%), Bosniaks - 7,585 (1.50%) and Aromanians (Vlachs) - 2,557 (0.50%) and others - 8,167 (1.61%)

97.5% of the population over the age of 10 is literate.[citation needed]



Church Description Picture
Church of St. Spas This church, one of the most famous landmarks in Skopje, was built in the 16th century and is located between the Old Bazaar and the Kale Fortress. The interior of this attraction is significant in art, as it features a giant iconostasis (altar) carved out of wood. Blending biblical figures and local scenery, the depictions themselves are of topical interest. Goce Delčev, a national hero in two countries for his involvement in the late 19th century struggle for Macedonian liberation, is buried in the church backyard. The tomb of Goce Delčev in Skopje.jpg
Church of St. Panteleimon The church of Saint Panteleimon in Gorno Nerezi near Skopje is a superb example of the Comnenian art on the all-Byzantine level. Commissioned by several members of the royal Comnenus family, the church was not finished until 1164. Nerezi is famous for its frescoes, representing a pinnacle of the 12th-century trend of intimacy and spirituality. They are often compared with similarly delicate works by Giotto, who worked 140 years later. These murals underwent serious 19th-century overpainting but were restored lately. Church of St. Panteleimon (Nerezi).jpg
Church of St. Demetrius The church was built in the 18th century on the place of an old church from the 13th century. This church was an orthodox cathedral church before the construction of the present-day cathedral church of St. Clement of Ohrid. Skopje-St-Demetrius-church-back.jpg
Church of the Holy Mother of God This cathedral church, dedicated to the Holy Mother of God, was built on the place of an old church also dedicated to the Holy Mother, built in 1204 and later completely destroyed in a fire. The old church was previously rebuilt and consecrated in 1935, but during World War II the Bulgarian army destroyed it on 7 April 1944. The church was set on fire, the iconostasis has been destroyed and many valuable church items have been stolen and taken to Bulgaria.[16] The present-day church's reconstruction began on 2 October 2002. SvBogorodicaSkopje.JPG
Church of St. Clement Built in 1972, the Orthodox church in one of few in the world to be designed in modern contemporary architecture. The main Macedonian orthodox cathedral church was consecrated in 1990, on the 1150th anniversary of the birth of the church patron, St. Clement of Ohrid. The iconostasis icons were painted by Gjorgi Danevski and Spase Spirovski and the frescoes were painted by the academic painter Jovan Petrov and his collaborators. Soborna Church Skopje1.JPG
Stone bridge at night

Stone Bridge

The Stone Bridge in the city square is built under the patronage of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror between 1451 and 1469. This bridge represents the connection between Skopje’s past and present and today is featured as the emblem of the city of Skopje. The bridge was partially renovated in the 1990s.

Old Town

the entrance to the Old Town

The Old Town is situated in an area between the Stone Bridge and the Bit Bazaar, and between the Kale fortress and the Vardar River. In the past all economic activities in the city were taking place in this part of it. In the period between the 16th and 17th centuries, the Old Town reached its urban and economic zenith, developing into one of the largest and most significant oriental old bazaars in the Balkans. It is full of bustling shops that beckon visitors. This bazaar is an interesting mixture of Eastern and Western culture.

Macedonia square

This square is the largest and most important of Skopje’s squares. It is dramatically widened by the destruction of the massive neoclassical National Bank and Army House during the 1963 earthquake. The most remarkable building is the Ristić Palace. However, the focus of the square is still the Stone Bridge, and it’s a pleasant place to spend time in good weather. During the warmer months concerts are performed in the square.

Kale Fortress

Skopje Fortress

This fortress is situated in a hill above the city and there were settlements that existed before the Turks created the extensive castle walls that survived until today. The present fortress was originally built by the Byzantines in the 6th century. It is supposed that the stone blocks used in this construction were taken from the destroyed city of Skupi nearby. After the 1963 earthquake, Kale’s circular, rectangular and square towers were conserved and restored. Today this fortress is the one of the best sightseeing spots in Skopje.

Old railway station in Skopje

Old Railway Station

The clock on this old train station stopped at 5:17 am since the morning of 26 July 1963, when this piece of the grand modernist station of Skopje was one of the few parts of the city that remained standing after a massive earthquake crushed the city. It measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, killed nearly two thousand people, and left over a hundred thousand homeless after destroying about 80% of the city. It's a reminder of a tragic moment in Skopje's history.

Millennium Cross

The Millennium Cross, situated on the peak of the mountain Vodno, is a tourist attraction. At 66 m (217 ft) high, it is the biggest cross in the world and can be seen from 30 km (19 mi) away. It was built to celebrate 2000 years of the existence of Christianity and of Macedonia as a biblical land.

Kuršumli An

Kuršumli An

This former Turkish inn features architecturally interesting arches and domes. Because lead was used to top the structure, it became known as the Lead Inn (Kursumli An, in Turkish "Kurşunlu Han"). Now it is sharing its location with a national museum for Macedonia. This type of structure, once common in Islamic cities, is known as a "caravanserai". Its appearance is identical to those of the caravanserais that were built in the Islamic urban centers of these times. It is an impressive building with decorated walls and numerous small domes of a pyramidal shape. Its roof was covered by lead, and this is how its name originated (kurşum is a changed form of kurşun which means lead in Turkish language).

Mustafa Pasha Mosque

Mustafa Pasha Mosque

Of the old mosques in the city, Mustapha Pasha Mosque is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings of Ottoman architecture in Skopje. Located on a hill facing Fort Kale, this mosque dominates the whole surroundings and was built in the last decade of the 15th century when the military spahi system of Osmanli Turkish feudalism had reached the peak of its development. It is an endowment of Mustapha Pasha, an eminent figure in the Turkish state during the rule of Sultan Bayezid II and Sultan Selim I. The year of Mustapha Pasha's death is engraved on the entrance of his mausoluem, which is located by the mosque. It shows him to have died in 1519. The mausoleum and the mosque were both badly damaged in Skopje's 1963 earthquake, and restoration and conservation work was started in 1968. The interior of the mosque, like that of the porch, is mostly decorated with stylized plants. On the walls of the praying space are calligraphic inscriptions (lehve) with the names of Allah, Mohammed and his followers (Ebubekira, Ali, Osman and Omer) and quotations from the Qu'ran. The painted decorations are more recent, mainly from 1933 when the mosque was renovated. This can be seen from the intense blue and black color of the ornaments, which are often a confusing mass of color. Most of the city's 1930s 'Balkan Art Nouveau' buildings were also destroyed in 1963 but some characteristic examples remain. Non-worshippers are not always granted access, but the building is at least lovely on the outside, with well-maintained gardens.

Mother Teresa sites

There are several landmarks of Mother Teresa in Skopje, the city where she was born, including a marker of her birthplace, a statue, and a memorial house. The Memorial House of Mother Teresa in Skopje was opened in early 2009.[17]

Skopje Aqueduct

An ancient Roman aqueduct survives to the north of the city, near the village of Vizbegovo. One of stone bridges connecting both side of Vardar River dates back to the reign of Stefan Dušan.


The Museum of Contemporary Arts Skopje, is one of the most important institution of Macedonia in discovering, treasuring and preserving the Contemporary Arts. Тhe international community manifested an exceptionally wide solidarity in assisting the reconstruction of Skopje. An important part of that solidarity was also the action initiated by the International Association of the Plastic arts which on its convention held in October 1963 in New York, called upon the artists of the world to assist in creating a collection of works of art by which they would support the vision of the city reconstruction. The building project was donated by the Polish Government which made a national competition to this and where the joint work of the Polish architects: J. Mokrzynski, E. Wierzbicki and W. Klyzewski was accepted. Having a total area of 5000 sq. m., the Museum building is made up of three connected wings which include the halls for temporary exhibitions, the premises for the permanent exhibition, the hall for lecturers, film and video presentation, the library and the archives, the administration, the conservation workshop, the depots and other departments. The great park areas, that enable the installation of various sculptural projects, as well as the spacious parking further relate to the immediate environment of the Skopje Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Skopje Jazz Festival is one of the most important jazz events in Southeast Europe held annually ever since 1981. The artists` profiles include fusion, acid jazz, Latin Jazz, smooth jazz, and avant-garde jazz, which brings a great variety and richness to this festival. Ray Charles, Tito Puente, Gotan Project, Al Di Meola, Youssou N'Dour, just to name few, have taken part at this festival. The Skopje Jazz Festival is part of the European Jazz Network and The European Forum of World Wide Festivals. It is held in October.

The Skopje Cultural Summer Festival is renowned cultural event that takes place in Skopje each year during the summer. The festival is a member of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and it comprises musical concerts, operas, ballets and plays, art and photo-exhibitions, movies, performances and multimedia projects, that gather each year about 2 000 participants from around the world (United Kingdom, Germany, France, USA, Russia, Canada, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, Iran etc), including St Petersburg Theatre, the Chamber Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, Irina Arkhipova, Aleksandar Shilo, Viktor Tretiakov (Russia), The Theatre of Shadows from Tehran (Iran), Sophie Boulin, Michel Dalberto (France), David Burgess, Nan Hughes, William Feasley (United States), Vassilis Rakopoulos (Greece), Roger Woodford, the Sirinu Ensemble (United Kingdom) and Izumi Tateno (Finland).

Blues and Soul Festival is a relatively new event in the Macedonian cultural scene that occurs every summer between July 1 and 4, as a part of the Skopje Cultural Summer Festival. Many important blues and soul figures have been guests, including Larry Coryell, Mick Taylor & All Stars Blues Band, Candy Dulfer & Funky Stuff, João Bosco, The Temptations, Tolo Marton Trio, Blues Wire, Phil Guy, Nick & The Backbone, Blues Company, Vasil Hadzimanov Band, Mama’s Pit, Nico Wayne Toussaint, Kimbiza, Rod Barthet Band, Mr. Lucky and Sen-Sa-Shun Band, Juke Joint Express, Muscle Theory, and David ‘’Honeyboy’’ Edwards.

May Opera Evenings is a festival that occurs in Skopje since 1972 and it is dedicated to opera and making opera more popular among the public. It has evolved into a stage on which artists from some 50 countries across the globe have performed with distinction to high international standards.

The Open Youth Theatre Festival is established In May 1976 by a group of young enthusiasts. More than 250 theatrical performances have been presented at this festival so far, most of them by alternative, experimental theatre groups engaging young writers and actors. Recently, the festival became a member of the Brussels Informal European Theatre Meeting (IETM). Within the framework of the Open Youth Theatre, a Macedonian National Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) was established, and at the 25th ITI World Congress in Munich in 1993, it was received as a regular member of this theatre association. Now, the Open Youth Theatre festival is an international festival representing groups from the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, the United States, France, the Soviet Union, Russia, Spain, Japan, Poland, Italy, the United Kingdom, India and other countries.

Philip II Arena in Skopje.


As the capital and most important city in Macedonia, Skopje is home to several sports teams and venues. FK Vardar and FK Rabotnički are the two strongest and most popular football teams, whilst RK Kometal Gjorče Petrov is the most popular handball team. Skopje has four major sports indoor halls, of which the Boris Trajkovski Sports Arena is the biggest. The main stadium is the Philip II Arena and it hosts the Macedonia national football team.

Famous people from Skopje

Notable people from Skopje include:


Politicians and businessmen:



Some notable people born in Skopje or its surroundings also are:

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Skopje is twinned with:[18]



Panorama of Skopje's center
Panorama of river Vardar




  1. ^ a b c 2002 census results in English and Macedonian (PDF)
  2. ^ Watkins, Thomas H., "Roman Legionary Fortresses and the Cities of Modern Europe", Military Affairs, Vol. 47, No. 1 (Feb., 1983)
  3. ^ Babiniotis, Λεξικό της Νεοελληνικής Γλώσσας
  4. ^ Град Скопје. "Official portal of City of Skopje - History". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  5. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Scopia.
  6. ^ Pavlov, Plamen (2002) (in Bulgarian). Цар Самуил и "Българската епопея". Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo: VMRO Rousse. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  7. ^ Jacques, Edwin E. (1994) The Albanians: an ethnic history from prehistoric times to the present McFarland, Jefferson, North Carolina, page 273, ISBN 0-89950-932-0
  8. ^ Jelavich, Barbara (1983) History of the Balkans: Twentieth Century (volume 2 of History of the Balkans) Cambridge University Press, New York, page 89, ISBN 0-521-27459-1
  9. ^ Rossos, Andrew (2008) Macedonia and the Macedonians: A History Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, California, page 135, ISBN 978-0-8179-4881-8
  10. ^ Jancar-Webster, Barbara (1989) Women & Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945 Arden Press, Denver, Colorado, page 37, ISBN 0-912869-09-7
  11. ^ Schreiber, Gerhard; Stegemann, Bernd and Vogel, Detlef (1995) Germany and the Second World War, Vol. 3. The Mediterranean, south-east Europe, and North Africa (translated from German) Oxford Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, page 504, note 38 citing a Werhmacht report, ISBN 0-19-822884-8
  12. ^ Mitrovski, Boro; Glišić, Venceslav and Ristovski, Tomo (1971) The Bulgarian Army in Yugoslavia 1941-1945 (translated from Bugarska vojska u Jugoslaviji 1941-1945) Medunarodna politika, Belgrade, page 35, OCLC 3241584
  13. ^ Phillips, John (2004) Macedonia: warlords and rebels in the Balkans Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, page 32, ISBN 0-300-10268-2
  14. ^ Mitrovski, Boro; Glišić, Venceslav and Ristovski, Tomo (1971) The Bulgarian Army in Yugoslavia 1941-1945 (translated from Bugarska vojska u Jugoslaviji 1941-1945) Medunarodna politika, Belgrade, page 80, OCLC 3241584
  15. ^ "Skopje-Petrovec, Macedonia". 
  16. ^
  17. ^ MIA: Пет дена подоцна во Скопје ќе биде отворена Спомен-куќата на најпозната скопјанка и нобеловка Мајка Тереза
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Official portal of City of Skopje - Skopje Sister Cities". © 2006-2009 City of Skopje. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  19. ^ daenet d.o.o.. "Sarajevo Official Web Site : Sister cities". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  20. ^ "Dresden - Partner Cities". © 2008 Landeshauptstadt Dresden. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  21. ^ "City of Belgrade - International Cooperation". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  22. ^ "Sister Cities of Istanbul". Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  23. ^ Erdem, Selim Efe (2003-11-03). "İstanbul'a 49 kardeş" (in Turkish). Radikal. Retrieved 2009-08-05. "49 sister cities in 2003" 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Skopje, Macedonia's capital city, located in the Povardarie region, 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 Islamic 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.


The city of Skopje is divided into ten municipalities. They are:

  • Aerodrom
  • Butel
  • Čair
  • Centar
  • Gazi Baba
  • Gjorče Petrov
  • Karpoš
  • Kisela Voda
  • Saraj
  • Skopje/Šuto Orizari


The 26th of July 1963 is one of the worst dates in the history of Skopje. An earthquake struck the city at 5:17AM. 75% of the buildings in the city disappeared in just a few seconds. After that, the big rebuilding project began, trying to make Skopje the model city of the socialist world. The plan was drawn by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, who also designed the new railway station. The plan was never fully carried out. Lately many reconstruction projects have started. Some towers of Kale Fortress and the old cathedral are being reconstructed, and the old theater is also under reconstruction. Skopje is an ecclectic mix of Christian and Islamic culture, with both vying to make themselves visible. However, this cultural mix has also spawned a lively and varied society, you can see people playing chess in the morning in the numerous cafés and green spaces in the summer. In the evening, Skopje comes to life as the locals dine in the cafés before heading to the bars and live music clubs, most of which are open until 1AM or later.


Apart from being the capital of the modern Republic of Macedonia, Skopje has always been a center of power long coveted by various empires.The city founded by the Dardanians in the 3rd century B.C.E. under the name of ‘Skupi’ was prized for its strategic location, in a long valley between two hills, situated on the banks of the Vardar River, a vital trade route. Under the Romans, Skopje was made administrative center of the Dardanian Province. The city’s prestige grew when the Orthodox Church made it an episcopal seat during the early Byzantine Empire. The arrival of migrating Slavic tribes from the Carpathians in the 6th century C.E. changed both the city’s name and the composition of its people were assimilated by the Slavic newcomers. Throughout the remaining Byzantine centuries, Skopje continued to be an important mercantile center, situated as it was at the crossroads of Balkan trade and communications routes. It was celebrated for its urban life and fortress, and renowned for having the most beautiful church in the region. In 14th century, Skopje became the capital of the strongest Empire of Serbia, which was one of the largest and strongest Europe's countries that period. At the very end of the 14th century, Skopje and all of Macedonia fell under the rule of the Ottoman Turks. In the ensuing centuries, the look of the town changed with the construction of many mosques, Turkish baths, bridges, and other buildings attesting to the new Oriental influence. Today, the Ottoman legacy remains extremely visible in Skopje’s architecture and small Islamic minority. After Macedonia was liberated from the Turks in the early 20th century, became a part of Kingdom of Serbia, then it became a republic of the Yugoslav Federation, with Skopje as the capital. At that time, the prosperous city boasted many ornate, Neoclassical buildings laid out harmoniously in a more or less Central European style. However, in 1963 a disastrous earthquake leveled much of the regal old city, and Skopje was reborn in the imaginative, futuristic style in vogue at the time. Today, Skopje is a modern city and Macedonia’s major political, economical, educational, and cultural center.

Get in

By plane

Skopje's airport, Skopje Aleksandar Makedonski International Airport (Alexander the Great) (IATA: SKP), is 20km from Skopje. Cities that are connected to Skopje are: Ljubljana, Milan, Vienna, Sarajevo, Sofia, Split, Zagreb, Prague, Cologne, Bonn, Zurich, Belgrade, Ohrid, Dusseldorf, Budapest, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Istanbul, Paris, and Rome. Airlines that serve Skopje are: MAT(Macedonian Airlines), Adria Airways, MALEV, Austrian Airlines, Cirrus, Alitalia, B&H Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Czech Airlines, Helvetic Airways, Jat Airways, LTU International, and Turkish Airlines. The airport is accessed by the main highway Belgrade-Skopje-Thessaloniki which connects it directly with the city. Unfortunately there is no public transport that connects the airport with Skopje so you would have to take a taxi or arrange personal transportation.

By train

To come to Skopje by train you could come either from Serbia or Greece. Skopje is connected on the main line Belgrade-Thessaloniki. From Belgrade it will take 9 hours by train. On the other hand from Thessaloniki it takes 5 hours by train. There is one daily train from either direction. If you come from Greece, you have to give your passport to a policeman at the border (in the train). Then you have to get out of the train and go into a small house outside the train station, to get your passport back again. If you don´t know what to do, ask other passengers and look at what they are doing. Usually they are very friendly and want to help you. The transport center includes the train and the bus station together. They are located in the center of the city near the National Central Bank.

By bus

There are buses to Skopje from Sofia, Pristina, Belgrade, Thessaloniki (Mon. and Wed. only), Istanbul, Zagreb, Austria, Germany, Dubrovnik, and Podgorica. The buses arrive in the bus station which is below the train station. All the domestic and international buses arrive in the bus station. It is a new bus station and very modern [1], tel. (+389) (2) 246 60 11 (speaking english)

Get around

By taxi

Taking a taxi in Skopje should normally not cost much more than a few hundred denars.50 denars start including 2km.

From the train station to the center of the city is 2km that is 50 denars less than 1 euro. Never let yourself be talked into going somewhere where you did not plan to go in the first place.


Most people in Skopje just see the concrete buildings and run away, but if one looks deeper one will find some excellent examples of Ottoman architecture and much more. Most of the sights in Skopje are situateded in and around the old bazaar.

  • Kale Fortress - it stands on the highest hill in the Skopje valley and it offers great views over the city. The oldest section of the fortress is within the presentday fortifications. It is 121 meters long and is built in opus qvadrum style (huge stone blocks on the outside and small stones inside). It was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian who was born in the village of Taorion near Skopje. After the great earthquake of 518 when ancient Skupi was destroyed, Justinian decided to do something for his birthtown and built Justinijana Prima on the site of presentday Skopje. Unfortunately no major archeological work has been done for discovering the remains of Justinijana Prima. Most of the presentday fortifications originate from the 10th century (the square tower) and 13th century (the round tower). It was reinforced during them turkish rule when the number of towers was up to 70 (today there are just 3 standing) and the fortress went down to river Vardar and up on the hill where today the Museum of Conteporary Art stands. The small gate from the side of the old bazaar is the only gate still standing and it was built in 1446. The fortress was badly damaged in the fire in 1689 and even more during the eartquake of 1963.
the Stone Bridge
the Stone Bridge
  • Stone Bridge - The Stone Bridge was built in the 6th century by the Byzantine emperor Justinian. Since then it has been the symbol of the city and every ruler tried to leave a mark on it, even Skopje's last major who has been restoring it for 10 years now. The biggest reconstruction of the bridge was made in the second half of the 15th century by Sultan Mehmed II. The stone fence and guard tower were added then. Unfortunately the guard tower fell down during the most recent restoration and is waiting to be reconstructed. It still is the main connection of the main square and the old bazaar. While walking over it try to notice the 6th century big stone bloks. The bridge has 13 arches and is 214 meters long.
Suli An & Mustafa Pasha Mosque in the old bazaar
Suli An & Mustafa Pasha Mosque in the old bazaar
  • Kapan An - is one of the three remaining medieval hotels still standing in the old bazaar. The ground floor used to house the horses and the goods of the merchants that visited the bazaar and the city, while on the first floor were the rooms where the people slept. The han was built in the 15 th century. Today it houses a nice restaurant.
  • Suli An - a medieval hotel, was built in the first half of the 15th century by Ishak beg. It was badly damaged during 1963 earthquake and today it houses the arts faculty of Skopje University. It also houses the Old Bazaar Museum.
  • Kurshumli An - is the largest and the most beautiful of the three remaining medieval hotels. It was built in 1550 by Mula Musledin Hodza, son of Abdul Gani scientist on the court of Sultan Selikm II. Both the ground and the first floor are made of stone and beautiful arches line the courtyard. The han has two courtyards, the second one was used to house the horses and the goods of the merchants and the guests, while the rooms around the first courtyard both on the ground and the first floor housed the guests. There is a water fountain in the middle of the first courtyard. The roof was covered with lead, and that is how the an got its name (lead is used for making bullets, and bullet is called kurshum in Turkish). Next to the han is where a mosque and an amam (turkish bath) used to stand, they both suffered in the big fire of 1689 and the earthquake of 1963, so today the mosque is gone and the amam stands in ruins. Today the Kurshumli Han is on the grounds of the Macedonian National Museum and houses the lapydarium.
  • Daut Pasha Hamam - Daut Pasha was the grand vesir of East Rumelia in the second half of the 15th century. He was based in Skopje and the legend goes that he built the hamam (turkish bath) for the needs of his harem. Before he left, he donated the hamam to the city. It was a double bath both for males and females (who bathed separately of course), the male and the female part going parallel next to each other. The two big domes in the front covered the two dressing rooms, which had water fountains in the middle. Each of the small domes covered a separate room for bathing. The heating room was on the end. Today the bath serves as a national gallery with a great collection of late 19 and 20 century art, and even if you are not interested in the art, you should go inside to see the elaborate decorations of the domes.
    Skopje's Old Bazaar & Double Hamam
    Skopje's Old Bazaar & Double Hamam
  • Double Hamam - The Double Hamam was built in the middle of the 15th century by Isa beg. It was used as both male and female bath, but unlike Daut Pasha Hamam where both parts go parallel to eachother, here the heating room is in the middle and the entrances are on the opposite sides. Today is used as a gallery for temporary exhibits.
  • Bedesten - The most precious goods, like silk, spices, jewelry and perfumes, were sold in the bedesten, an object within the old bazaar, with gates which were closed in the evenings so the goods would be protected. Evlija Celebija who visited Skopje during the 17th century wrote that the only bigger and more beautiful bedesten from the one in Skopje was the one in Damascus. It was covered with 12 valutes and it held a whole bazaar inside. Unfortunately that bedesten disappeared in the fire of 1689. After the fire Skopje became much smaller and lost its importance as a trading center, so somewhere in the beginning of the 17th century the present bedesten was built. It is small and it is not even covered, but it still has a lot of atmosphere in it. It has just 5 short streets, small shops and four gates. In the past it was covered with wine grape, so it would protect the shoppers from the sun and the rain.
  • Macedonian National Museum & Icon Gallery - it is divided in three departments: Archeological, Historical, and Ethnological (the same ticket covers them all). It is highly advise to visit the eyhnological section, since it is a very good one. It has about 70 original national costumes from different parts of Macedonia, all decorated with highly stylezed patterns. Look for the wedding dress from Mariovo, it is 40 kg heavy, and the wig that the bride had to wear for a month after the wedding as a symbol of her virginity. Also different customs are explained, and there is also a good presentation of traditional architecture through models and photographs. The archaeological section has a rich collection of objects from the neolithic times 5000 years B.C. up to the 7th century. Unfortunately many artifacts have been taken to Belgrade or Sofia through the years and they have never been returned. The highlights are the Tetovo Menada figurine (from the 6th c. BC) and the prehistoric figurines of the Great Mother. Unique are the 6th century terracotta icons from Vinica (icons like this have been found only in Tunisia and Macedonia). The historic department is not as interesting, but also presented here are copies of the best frescoes from all around Macedonia (which is good if one is interested in Byzantine art but doen’t have time to travel around). The gallery of icons is also here, it has icons from the 10th to the 19th century, and even some of them are the best ones from Macedonia (including the Bogorodica Pelagonitisa), but the Ohrid collection is still much nicer and more valuable.
  • Mustafa Pasha Mosque - it stands on a plateau above the old bazaar and is one of the most beautiful Islamic buildings in Macedonia. It was built in 1492 by Mustafa Pasha, vesir on the court of Sultan Selim I. The mosque is quite elegant and intact, and no additions have been made through the years. The interior is beautiful, simple, and spacious. Take few steps back to observe the game of the domes of the fountain, the porch, and the mosque. In the turbe next to the mosque, the daughter of Mustafa Pasha is buried. The mosque has a pleasant rose garden and it offers fine views over the bazaar. Free entrance.
  • St. Bogorodica - This church was built in 1835 and was the cathedral church in Skopje. It was also known as the protector of the city. The iconostatis was finished in 1842. On April 7th, 1944 the cathedral church, was burned down by fascists. The entire iconostasis was burned, while important subjects were stolen. It's located on the Krste Misirkov bvd., opposite of the Macedonian Academy of Science and Art (MANU).
  • St. Saviour Church - Just few steps below Mustafa Pasha mosque. The church is tiny and it has a pleasant courtyard. In the courtyard is the grave of Macedonia's greatest national hero who was leader of the national movement for liberation from the Turks, and Macedonian independence, Goce Delchev. There is a small museum about him in the buildings around the courtyard (you have to enter the museum to buy a ticket for the church). Among the paving of the courtyard there are some 18th and 19th century gravestones. Turks didn’t allow building of new churches during their occupation, but as the empire was weakening in the 18th century they started giving permitions for building of churches to keep the population happy. There were many rules to be followed like the exterior had to be without decorations and the floor of the church had to be at least one meter below the ground so the church wouldn’t dominate the skyline of the city. St. Saviour Church is example of one of these churches. It was built in the beginning of 19th century on the site of a church destroyed in the 1689 fire (as you enter, turn right to see remains of the frescoes and the level of the earlier church). The church is famous for its interior and wood carving. The iconscreen is work of Petre Filipovski Garkata and Marko and Makarie Frckovski, the best wood artists in the 19th century in Macedonia. In 1926 a British museum offered a blank check for the iconscreen, the state to fill in the amount if they decide to sell it. The beauty of it is that it is a deep wood carving from whole wood boards (the figures are not attached to eachother), and it is not covered with golden paint, as it is tradition in Orthodox churches so the game of light and dark shades is quite dramatic (the doors into the altar and the cross on the top are covered with gold paint, so you can compare). The iconscreen was made from 1819 to 1824 and is 10 meters long and 7 meters high. There are scenes from the old and the new testament. The figurines are 7 cm tall. Look for the creation of Adam and Eve on one of the columns next to the doors of the altar and the dance of Salome, where she dances for king Irod so he would give her the head of St.John the Baptist (she is dressed in traditional a dress from Galichnik). All around there are flowers and animals typical for the region presented. On the far right look for the self-portrait of the artists presented as they are working on the iconscreen. The icons are some of the best of the Byzantine revival.
  • Bit Pazar - it is the biggest of the food markets in Skopje. It begins where the bazaar ends and has existed on the same spot for hundreds of years. A walk around can be fun, but you can also get cheap fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, cheese, teas, spices and flowers. Another good food market to visit is the Green Market (Zeleno Pazarce), near the Parliment Building and Bunjakovec Market near the Cathedral.
  • Clock Tower - every bazaar in Macedonia has a clock tower, as muslims had to close their stores five times a day to attend prayer. Working hours were introduced in the old bazaar, and nobody had a chance to work and earn more than the other, so the clock towers were built. Skopje’s clock tower is the first one ever to be built in the Ottoman Empire, which show us the importance of Skopje as a trading center. It was built during 1566-72. It has more Islamic appearance than the other clock towers in Macedonia. The clock on the clock tower was brought from Szeged, Hungary. Unfortunately the clock disappeared during the chaos after the earthquake and today is in a clock museum in Switzerland.
  • Bey's Tower - A 14-metre high residential tower from the 17th century, this is the oldest building in Centar Municipality (central Skopje). Built for defense, with 1,5-metre thick walls, a high door and small windows on the lower floors, the tower would protect the family living here against all attackers. In the tower are the Mother Teresa memorial and the National Museum shop. The square in front of the tower was the location of the small catholic Church, which was destroyed in 1963.
  • Sultan Murat Mosque - tel. 077 633 267 The biggest mosque in the Balkans. It was built with money donated by the Sultan himself and when ever adjustments or repairs were needed it was his responsibility (Sultan Suleiman the Great donated money for the repairs after the fire of 1537, and Sultan Ahmet III for the repairs after the fire of 1689). It was built in 1436. The unusual 3 naved basilica shape and the flat ceiling (instead of domes) comes from the fact that it was built (or adjusted) over St. George monastery, the main monastery in Skopje before the coming of the Turks. It stands on a plateau next to the clock tower (built 1566). The fortifications of the monastery still stand around the plateau. The main architect of the mosque was Husein from Debar. The imam Liman Ismail likes to introduce the mosque to visitors (in English, Turkish) against a donation for the mosque.
  • Ishak beg Mosque - on the end of Bit Pazar is Ishak beg Mosque, built in 1438 by Ishak beg, a commander in the Turkish army. He leaded the army that conquered Macedonia and after he retired he settled in Skopje. The mosque was beautifly decorated with glazed tiles in different shades of blue, but it suffered greatly during the fire of 1689, and was rebuilt afterwards without the tile decorations. The six sided turbe (grave mausoleum) that stands next to the mosque didn’t suffer in the fire and it still has the tiles. The turbe was built just for the aristocracy, usually for the one who donated the money for the mosque to be built or for members of his family, but Ishak beg was so grateful to his accountant that he built this turbe for him.
  • Isa beg Mosque - Isa beg Mosque was built in 1475 by Isa beg. It is the only seljuk mosque in Europe. The difference of this mosque is that it has two main domes (two joined rooms). It has a 5 domed porch. The mosque is situated behind the Čair Hospital across the street from Bit Pazar.
  • Jahja Pasha Mosque - it is in the beginning of Čair quarter close to the Bit Pazar. It was built in 1504 by Jahja Pasha, a commander in the Turkish army and son in law of Sultan Bajazit II and vesir on his court. The mosque is interesting because the roof is in the shape of a pyramid instead of the usual dome. The minaret is the tallest one in Skopje, it is 50 meters tall, and has been hit by a lighting twice.
  • Macedonia Square - even though most of the interesting sights are on the other side of the Stone Bridge, there are couple of interesting sights around Macedonia Square. The square has changed a lot after the earthquake, most of the neoclasical buildings are gone except for a small section of houses in the center. Some more are on Maksim Gorki street and around (look for the Italian Embassy and the Arabian House Hotel). From the main square when you turn to enter the shopping mall look for a marked place. This is the place where the house of Mother Theresa used to stand. She was born in this house and lived here until she turned 18 when she left first for Ireland and then for India.
  • Parliament Building - across the street from the shopping mall is the Parliament building. It was built in 1933 by Viktor Hudak in modernistic style.
  • City Hospital - the City Hospital is diagonal from the Parliament Building. It was built in 1931 by the Croatian architect Drago Ibler and is the most beautiful example of modern architecture in Skopje.
  • St. Kliment of Ohrid Cathedral - Back on the main square, about a 5 minute walk is St. Kliment of Ohrid Cathedral. After Virgin Mary Cathedral was burned by the fascists on the end of WWII, and St. Dimitrie church was unable to meet the needs of the people, building of the new cathedral started in 1970. The architect is Slavko Brezovski, and it is a bold and contemporary interpretation of Orthodox architecture. The Jesus Pantocrator fresco painted in the main dome covers area of 70 meters squared and just his eye is 1,5 meters long.
  • Feudal Tower - Back on the main square, take Macedonia Street leading towards the Old Railway Station. The street has a couple of nice cafes. Right after you pass the crossroad look left to see the Feudal Tower. It is not known when was it built or what its purpose was. It probably served as a defence tower on a property of a Turkish aristocrat. Today it serves as a souvenir shop and you can enter and see it from the inside. Right in front of it on the site of the old catholic church (distroyed in the earthquake) there is a monument to Mother Theresa.
  • Old Railway Station – Skopje City Museum - the Old Railway Station stands half ruined as a monument to the earthquake of 1963. It was built in 1938 by Velimir Gavrilovik in a modern style with Byzantine decoration. Today it houses an exhibition gallery and a small city museum (it can be a good substitute if you don’t have time for the National Museum).
  • Museum of Contemporary Art - the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art has a collection of 4,800 artworks, out of which 1,760 are gifts from artists from 61 countries, including Picasso, Aleshinski, Leze, Sulaz, Lui Can, Hartung, Gaitis, Buri, Millares, Kemeni, Kalder, Vasarely, and others. All these artists donated their works to the city after the earthquake in 1963 for the new art museum. The building itself is a gift from Poland. Around 1,600 works are from Macedonian artists. With all of this Skopje actually has the most complete and biggest collection of contemporary art in Southeastern Europe. Unfortunatly because the building badly needs repairs just parts of the collection are periodcaly on display.
  • Natural Science Museum - located within the zoo, this museum was made by Stanko Karaman in the 1920s. Here you can see the petrographic-mineralogy exhibition, botanical exhibition, palaeontology exhibition, entomological exhibition, and vertebrates’ exhibition, exhibition of indigenous fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and animals. The museum is one of the richest in the Balkans with palaeontology materials of fauna from the Pickering region.
  • Macedonian National Theatre - was made in 1945. With its big white walls, and almost without windows and with an incline, it is known as "the bounce board." It was made by Stefan Kacin, Jurij Princes, Bogdan Splindler, and Marjan Urshic. The theatre has a large stage and seats for 850 spectators, and also a small stage for 200 spectators. The State Ballet is also stationed in this building. This theatre holds theatre, opera, and ballet performances all year round.
  • City Park - a large green area in the center of Skopje. A part of it is a museum, with several monuments within. It is a nice place to go for recreation, as there are pathways around the small lakes, tennis courts, the children’s amusement park, cafes, restaurants, etc. The city Zoo and stadium are also within the park. In the summer, the Skopje's nightlife concentrates on the several nightclubs in this park.
Outside the city center
  • Aqueduct -
    Skopje's Aqueduct
    Skopje's Aqueduct
    is situated on the exit of Skopje towards Kosovo, right before the village of Vizbegovo. Turn right at the first traffic signal you encounter on the road to Kosovo (you can only turn right). Turn right again immediately at the first opportunity. The pavement ends abruptly. Follow the unpaved road to the left that runs alongside the canal. After about 300 meters, you will see the aqueduct in front of you. It is still not known when it was built. Many people claim it is from Roman times but it goes opposite of Skupi so that theory doesn’t make much sense. It was probably built during Byzantine times and it is sure that it was still used during Turkish times when it provided water for the public baths. 55 stone arches of the Aqueduct are still standing.
Young Roma are transporting a concrete mixer on a mobile buzz saw
Young Roma are transporting a concrete mixer on a mobile buzz saw
Provisional shelter since 1963
Provisional shelter since 1963
  • Šuto Orizari; also called Šutka is one of the largest Roma settlements in the world with about 30.000 inhabitants. Neither pittoresque nor romantic, it is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in Roma life and culture. The settlement developped from a small village where only a few Roma families were living before the 1963 earthquake. After the earthquake many Roma families who had lost their living quarters settled there - or were settled there. Many of the corrugated iron shacks that were donated by US aid organisations are still in use. After the closing of the big state factories unemployment among the Skopje Roma soared. At most 30% of the employable population have jobs. The others are looking for casual labor (e.g. in building), or are working in the formal or informal service sector (hair dressers, car wash, repairs of all kinds), are trading (street vendors, market traders, import export of textiles) or recycle garbage. Many families are depending on welfare. The biggest economic factor is the great textile market. Customers from all over Macedonia go there to get cheap clothes or shoes that come mainly from Turkey or Bulgaria. Poverty is ominpresent in Šuto Orizari but you can not categorize it as a slum. You can find small palaces belonging to wealthy merchants or musicians. You can find nice cottages belonging to families who used to work or are still working abroad as "guest workers". There are the shacks and containers already mentioned. And in the outskirts you can find absolutely miserable slum areas.
  • Explore Matka Canyon - Some twenty minutes outside if Skopje you can visit the narrow Canyon of Matka, with a lake and a hydrodam. Climbers enjoy a variety of tours of varying diffculty there. If you go don't miss the restaurant "Bear's Cave" (in Macedonian: Mechkina dupka) near the cayak trail which is built into a cave.
  • Kadina Reka Hunting Site - On the mountain massif of Mountain Karadjica, part of Mountain Jakupica, Dautica and Aliagica, on a total area of 21.100 Ha, only 25 km of Skopje, the hunting area Kadina Reka is located. The relief of the mountain massifs in the hunting area is characterized with heterogeneousness and significant differences in altitude of 2240 m, which enables zonal distribution of the game.
  • Skopje Summer Festival - The epithets such as the most abundant, the most various, the longest and, according to many authorized marks, one of the most qualitative cultural manifestation of international character which is held in Macedonia, characterize Skopje Summer. This manifestation has even received an acknowledgement of its reputation outside the Macedonian borders which is verified by the membership of the International Festivals & Events Association - IFEA.
  • Offest - This festival takes place on several locations in Skopje, such as the Universal Hall, Skopje Square, the Youth Cultural Center, and many attractive night clubs in the city.
  • Skopje Jazz Festival - For one week every October, Skopje hosts eminent jazz musicians from all over the world. The Skopje Jazz Festival is considered to be one of the best of its kind in Europe.
  • May Opera Evenings - The May Opera Evenings have been one of the most visited events in Skopje. Over the years, the stage of the Macedonian Ballet and Opera Theatre has hosted a number of ballet performances, operas, and many concerts. This event represents a true professional challenge for the artists and a wonderful musical experience for the audience.
  • Autumn Music - This manifestation traditionally takes place in November. It is organized to enrich the music life with its genres and themes in accordance to its conception and to provide another place for the performances of the native and foreign artist. There is the classical music as a base of this manifestation’s programme, yet it always leaves space for the other types of music genres such as jazz, popular song, ethno music etc.
  • VINO SKOP - Skopje Wine Festival, including wine tasting, vineyard visits, live musical entertainment from international artists in the heart of the city. October 16th -19th 2008.
  • BuskerFest-Skopje, street performers Festival, starting for three years now, at the end of May till June for 10 days. From 2009, will tour Macedonian cities, Budva Montenegro and Sibenik Croatia.
  • PIVOLEND-Gourmet weekend with beer, first time in Skopje, Macedonia, in September 2008.

14th January: Vasilica, New Year, celebrated in the home.

The families exhibited the sacrificed sheep
The families exhibited the sacrificed sheep
  • Herdelezi or Djurdjevden - Spring festival on 8th of May, celebrated at home and in public. Usually crowned by a great open air concert. After herdelezi the wedding season begins. Almost every day you can meet a wedding procession or a procession accompanying the gifts for the bride.
  • Ss. Cyril and Methodius University - The Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje was founded in 1949 consisting three faculties and today it represents a family of twenty-three faculties, ten institutes and other institutions. The present structure of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University can be illustrated with the following figures: over 36,000 students from the Republic of Macedonia as well as over 700 foreign students are enrolled at all faculties; over 2,300 teaching and scientific staff and associates are engaged in the teaching, educational and scientific process at the faculties and over 300 at the institutes.
  • University American College Skopje - an institution for higher education, that combines the best of the American and European educational experience.


The currency is "Macedonian Denar". You can get it from one of the many ATMs around. 61.5 denars are approximately one euro, 39 denars are approximately 1 U.S. dollar, and 77 denars are approximately one British Pound. Make sure you don't take out too many at once, as when you leave the country you won't find many places that will exchange them for you !!!

Old Bazaar

Even though some parts of the old bazaar have been destroyed to make streets and parking lots, it still is the largest one in the Balkans. It has developed and changed during the centuries but it still has its original use as a shopping place. The old bazaar was never used for living, it always was a shopping area and contact zone of the christian and the muslim population as they lived in separate parts of the town. It is a structure of many streets lined with small shops. The crafts were divided between the Christians and the Muslims. All the shops used to be same size no matter if they belonged to a Christian or a Muslim. Each street hosted different craft, and all stores from that craft were on one street (for example gold street, shoes street, pots street, dress street, etc). The stores were closed with wooden shutters which were lowered when the stores were opened and the goods were displayed on them. The old bazaar was surrounded with markets. Hygenical care was taken and different markets were placed on opposite sides of the bazaar (for example the food market was on the opposite side of the bazaar from the animal market; milk, milk products and honey market opposite from the wood matket etc). Beside the stores there were other objects in the old bazaar too, like amams (turkish baths), hans (hotels), mosques, and some churches. The outside walls were usually were surrounded with stores so no space would be wasted. Even today it is hard to spot some of this object.

  • GTC - this is the biggest shopping center in the city. It was made in the 1970s by Zivko Popovski. It includes cafes, restaurants, bars, banks, shops,and even has a bowling court.
  • Ramstore Mall - if you are looking for an American looking mall, this is where you'll want to go. It has shops, restaurants, cafes and cinema.
  • Biser - a new shopping center with very nice cafes, bar, and shops. Many young people from the city come to spend their extra time here.
  • Bunjakovec - this is one of the malls were everybody can find something to buy. It is in one of the busiest thoroughfares in Skopje. In includes many shops and boutiques.
  • City Gallery - new shopping center in Skopje with lots of high quality fashion stores and very interesting structure,like a labyrinth


Macedonia’s capital offers something to satisfy all modern tastes and appetites. Make sure to try the famous Macedonian foods such as burek, Shopska Salata, and others.

Skopje’s eateries are almost beyond number, and offer a diverse range of local and international flavors. International cuisine is well represented in Skopje with Chinese, Italian, Indian, Greek, Mexican, Middle Eastern and French restaurants all found within the city center. In addition, pizza and fast food places abound, as do small bakery cafes selling pastries such as the ubiquitous burek (a flaky filo pie stuffed with meat, cheese or spinach).

Some popular restaurants in Skopje include:

  • Uranija, Tel: 389-3118-030.
  • Tri Biseri, Tel: 389-2461-171.
  • Kamnik, Tel: 389-2523-522 Fax: 389-2580-540.
  • Gino Italian Restaurant, Tel: 389-3121-109.
  • Sofka, Tel: 389-3224-225.
  • Marakana, Tel: 389-3221-548.
  • Irski Pab(Irish Pub), Tel: 389-3220-431 Fax: 389-3128-289.
  • Enriko, Tel: 389-3061-273.
  • Ezerce, Tel: 389-3122-389.
  • Makedonska Kuka, Tel: 389-3296-415 Fax: 389-3296-416
  • Restaurant 14, Tel: 389-3076-411. Location: Taftalidze, near the green market, a few minutes drive away from the center of the city. Beside the traditional Macedonian food, macrobiotic and vegetarian dishes are available for the guests.


While most cafes and bars will have foreign beers, the local ones are tasty and much cheaper, and most outlets will carry either Skopsko or Zlaten Dab. There's no shortage of places to drink them, most cafes expect you to take at least one beer with your meal. Its not hard to find good cafes but a good place to start is by the riverside near the old bridge, and at night this becomes a lively party area as well. In addition to local cafe's, you'll also find the city's Irish bar where you can go if you feel the need for a more familiar drinks menu. London Pub - On the "Macedonian" side of the river opposite the old bridge, a fine selection of imported lager.

  • HoteL NewStar Restaurant, Vizbegovo, Tel:02/2600-601,2600-333.  edit
  • The Imperial Hotel, Tel: 389-2-273 60 53(Fax: 389-2-273 50 53, email: This comfortable hotel that offers excellent accommodation is located just 1.5 km from all the shopping malls and the Skopje Square.The Hotel offers free 24 hours wifi/wlan internet and free laundry service.
  • Hostel Hostel, Tel: +389 23 222 321, email:, [2]. Admittedly, it doesn't have the most original name, but this friendly little hostel is a great place to stay if you're on a budget. Nice and warm, free internet and friendly staff. Recommended for any backpacking in Skopje.
  • Holiday Inn Skopje, Vasil Agilarski 2, Skopje 1000, Tel: 389-2-3292929 (Fax: 389-2-3115503), [3]. It's next to the river, situated at the end of stretch that has all the bars and restaurants which are great in the summer.
  • Hotel Stone Bridge, Tel: 389-3244-900 (Fax: 389-3244-901). The rooms and suites, many with superb views of the Vardar River, Stone Bridge, Square Macedonia with modern city, Fortress Kale, Old City with Churches and Mosques, are spacious and luxurious, giving an extremely comfortable and elegant feel.
  • Hotel Continental, Tel: 389-3116-599. Hotel Continental is the largest luxury Hotel located in the city, in a 10000 m2 landscaped garden, adjacent to the Skopje Fair, 5 minutes from downtown Skopje.
  • Hotel Aleksander Palace, Tel: 389-3092-392. This 5-star hotel is probably the finest and most expensive in all of Skopje. It is about a five minute drive from the center.
  • The Ambassador Hotel, Tel: 389-3212-353 (Fax: 389-3121-383, email: This modern hotel is in the center of Skopje in a quiet neighborhood close to the St. Kliment of Ohrid cathederal.

HoteL NewStar Restaurant Vizbegovo Tel:+3892 2601-600,2600-333

  • Урбан Хотел Скопје (UH Skopje), ул. Партизанска 48 (near the Universal Hall), n/a, [4]. The new Star Hotel in Macedonia. Business Hotel Reinvented!  edit
  • Hotel Square, Nicola Vapcaov 2 6.floor, +389 (0) 23 225 090. The top floor of a office building. Very nice rooms, friendly staff, and a open air balcony with a excellent view to Square Macedonia and the stone bridge. Rooms with air-con and TV. 45,00 euro.  edit
  • Hotel Arka ***** (Hotel Arka), Bitpazarska 90/2 (in the Old Bazaar), +389 2 3230603, [5]. Arka is modern, luxurious and comfortable five star hotel. Its interior is furnished according to newest trends in the modern interior architecture. It is situated in the historic nucleus of the Old Skopje Town. 88 euro and up. (42.0016,21.4387) edit
  • Hotel (Kapistec), Mile Pop Jordanov 3 (Skopje), +38923081424, [6].  edit

Šuto Orizari

The best way to meet the inhabitants of Šuto Orizari is to stay there for a couple of days. There are no hotels or hostels, only private rooms. Here you will be lovingly cared for and you will get more than just a glimpse of family life. Interestingly you can to turn the youth and education center AMBRELA for arranging accomomdation. The reason for this is that educational opportunities of the children are closely connected to the general social conditions, so AMBRELA is also trying to implement income generating activities for the population. If you are looking for accommodation in Šuto Orizari you can use this mailform to contact them.

Stay safe

Skopje, just like most of the rest of Macedonia, is a relatively safe place. But, the usual rules about common sense apply here as they would anywhere. The places were crime occurs most often are in the places where tourists have little reason to be at. Night time in the old market may have roving bands of youth. Exercise a high level of caution in these areas or avoid this area at night. Like many other parts of Eastern and Central Europe, there are Roma (often referred to as gypsies) who will beg around the major tourist sites and sometimes engage in pickpocketing.

  • Дневник (Dnevnik) - [7] - is a daily newspaper in the Republic of Macedonia. It is published every day except Sunday. The first issue of Dnevnik was published on March 20, 1996. Its current circulation is 50,000. Its current editor is Katerina Blazevska.
  • Нова Македонија (Nova Makedonija) - [8] - is the oldest daily newspaper in the Republic of Macedonia. It was established with decision of the presidium of ASNOM and remained a state owned newspaper, promoting the government line. The first edition was in 1944, in Gorno Vranovci, and contitutes the first document written in the literary standard Macedonian language.
  • Утрински Весник (Utrinski Vesnik) - [9] - the first issue of Utrinski vesnik was published on June 23, 1999. Its current editor is Erol Rizaov. It is published every day except Sunday.
  • Вест (Vest) - [10]
  • Време (Vreme) - [11]
  • Шпиц (Spic) - [12]
  • Вечер (Vecer) - [13]
  • Skopje Diem - [14] Provides daily news from Macedonia in English, as well as many usefull info for expats in the country. The Team used to be NATO Press Centre in Skopje, and provides daily info on Macedonian matters for almost all embassies, international organisations and foreign media.
  • Marko’s Monastery is an active monastery situated outside Sushica village on Kitka mountain. It was founded by king Volkashin in 1345 and finished by his son King Marko in 1366, who is also the donor of the frescoes painted between 1366 and 1371. It is unknown why the monastery is built in the vicinity of Skopje instead of Prilep the capital of their medieval kingdom. It is presumed that the grave of king Marko (who died in Romania fighting the Turks) is here but it was destroyed by the Turks. The architecture of the church is a cross in square with a central dome and a blind dome in the narthex. The elegant exonarthex (open porch) was added in 1830 by Hamzi Pasha, who was a generous donor of the monastery throughout the 19th century. It is quite surprising a Turkish aristocrat to be a donor of an Christian monument. The frescoes are work of more artists with different skills and are well preserved. Visible is the tendency for adding dramatization and narrative painting of the scenes. Most interesting is the unique scene The cry of Rahela (Mathew 2:18). On the southern facade the portraits of king Volkashin and king Marko are painted. There is a bus going to the village but just few times per day. From the village there is half hour walk to the monastery. Behind it there is a river and a small picnic area. While in the area also visit St.Bogorodica church (also referred as St.Nikola church) in Sushica village, built in the 13th century.
  • Skopska Crna Gora and its medieval churches and monasteries – even though Vodno is the most popular hiking option in Skopje, a fun and educational day trip from Skopje is visiting the villages, churches and monasteries on Skopska Crna Gora Mountain. Easiest way to do it is with a car, but also one can take a bus to one of the villages like Banjani or Kuceviste, and hike to the surrounding points of interest. St.Nikita monastery in Banjani village was built in by Serbian king Milutin in 1307-08 on a site of an earlier church. It is a single domed church of a written cross architectonical solution. The frescoes are work of the famous Ohrid painters Mihailo and Eftihie. Unfortunately they lack the energy and the technique of Bogorodica Perivlepta church in Ohrid. It is quite probable that by now they had a big group of students around them and they just controlled the work. If one looks carefully one can see where them two picked up the brush and corrected the work. Most significant fresco is the Pursuit of the Merchants from the temple where one can see the human elements characteristic for their work.
    • St.Bogorodica Church in Kucevishte village the naos was built closely before 1348. The narthex was built somewhere between 1355 and 1358 by local aristocrat Radoslav and his wife Vladislava. Above the nathex there is a grave chapel for Radoslav and Vladislava. The painter of the frescoes of the naos is quite good, educated, well acquainted with the work of Mihailo and Eftihie, quite probable their student. Still his work doesn’t reach their energy, colors and elegance, but he is quite good in composition and placing figures in it. Like his teachers he did sign his name on the northern column by the iconscreen, his name is Grigorie. The frescoes of the narthex have been damaged by fire and the grave chapel was painted by a less skilled painter. Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel Monastery in Kucevishte village was built towards the end of the 14th or maybe the beginning of the 15th century. The church is threeconhos with a dome, and elaborate ceramic decorations on the facades. There are two inscriptions dating the frescoes from 1631 and 1701. The figures are presented small in size, poor in colors but with bold drawing with an attempt to present landscape. Most famous is the large presentation Tree of Jesse. ** St. Nikola church in Ljuboten village was built in 1337 by Mrs. Danica a local aristocrat whose sons had important positions (something like mayors or governors) of strategic positions on the entrance of the city. She built the church in honor of her passed husband. It is a single domed church of a written cross architectonical solution. Parts of the frescoes are in bad condition. Influenced by the works of Mihailo and Eftihie. The Serbian royal family is presented (king Dushan, queen Elena and prince Urosh), it is interesting that the painting treatment of them, especially the colors are different than those for the saints. Unfortunately the village was part of the 2001 conflict and many of the frescoes were damaged by Albanians who used the frescoes of the saints for shooting practice.
  • Tumba - an archaeological site from the Early Stone Age. Ceramic models of houses formed in the shape of the female body are among its valuable finds.
  • Cerje - an archaeological site from the Early Stone Age. Its unique finds include the figurine known as Adam from Govrlevo, one of the earliest prehistoric male figurines.
  • Gradishte - a fortified settlement from the Early Byzantine period. It is believed to be Taoresion, the native town of Emperor Justinian.
  • Marko's Castle - An Early Byzantine fortress, heavily fortified with 40 towers. It was the site of the medival town of Crnce.
  • Matka - A gorge in which a rich complex of medival monasteries and remnants of a fortress remain.
  • Skupi - the ancient city of Skupi is almost not worth the effort to reach. There is almost nothing left except for part of a street, a bath, and a basilica. After the city was ruined by the earhtquake of 518, all the building material was used in the building of Justinijana Prima (one can see almost all of the seats of the Roman theatre incorporated in Kale Fortress). It is interesting that even though the earthquake was very strong and completely ruined Skupi there were almost no casualties. The inhabitans fled the city just two days before fearing from Avar atacks and settled in the small fortresses they had built on Vodno and in Matka.
  • Vodno Mountain - 1066 meters above sea level it towers over Skopje. It is popular hiking place with marked paths leading through the woods and there are a couple of rest areas. On the top of Vodno the Millennium Cross was built to mark 2000 years of Christianiy in Macedonia. It is 66 meters high and it is the highest structure inÜsküb
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun




  1. The capital of the Republic of Macedonia (the country also known known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

Derived terms



Proper noun


  1. Skopje

Simple English

Skyline of Skopje
File:Flag of
File:Coat of arms of
Location of the city of Skopje (green) in Macedonia
Municipality File:Flag of Greater Skopje
 - Mayor Trifun Kostovski
 - City 1,854 km2 (715.8 sq mi)
Elevation 240 m (787 ft)
Population (2007)
 - City 700 000[needs proof]
 Density 273.422/km2 (105.568/sq mi)
 Metro 850.000[needs proof]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
Postal codes 1000
Area code(s) 02
Patron saint: Virgin Mary

Skopje (Macedonian: Скопје; transcribed Skopje) is the capital and the largest city in the Republic of Macedonia. The city is the administrative, cultural, economic and academic centre of the country. In the past, the city has been known by various names such as: Üsküp (Turkish) or Skoplje (Serbo-Croatian)[1]. The city has been build upon the ancient city of Scupi[2]. In 2002, the city had population of 506,926 citizens[3].



Skopje is located in the north of Macedonia. Through the city flows the river Vardar, the biggest river in Macedonia. Skopje is located on 255 metres above the sea level and it coves 1, 854 km² or 715.8 sq mi. Northern of the city is the mountain Skopska Crna Gora and on the south is the mountain Vodno.

Administrative divisions of the city

The city of Skopje is administratively divided into 10 municipalities, of which one is the whole city named Greater Skopje. The city is part of the Skopje statistical region in the Republic of Macedonia.

1 . File:MMCA(Centar).png Centar
2 . File:MMCA(Gazi Baba).png Gazi Baba
3 . File:Grb Aerodrom
4 . [[File:|20px]]Čair
5 . File:MMCA(Kisela Voda).png Kisela Voda
6 . File:Butelski Butel
7 . File:MMCA(Shuto Orizari).png Šuto Orizari
8 . File:MMCA(Karposh).png Karpoš
9 . File:MMCA(Gjorche Petrov).png Gjorče Petrov
10 .File:Sarajski Saraj

Sister and partner cities

Skopje is twinned with:

Other pages

Other websites

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Coordinates: 42°00′19″N 21°26′30″E / 42.0052°N 21.4417°E / 42.0052; 21.4417


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