The political capital of Macedonia, Skopje is the country’s cultural center as well and has been for over a full millennium
. A city of seven hundred square miles, with a population of around half a million, Skopje’s monuments reflect and celebrate a rocky and religious heritage.
Many architecturally-dazzling churches that were constructed before the fourteenth-century Ottoman invasion would be available for tourist viewing today had the conquering Turks not destroyed them all. The Holy Mother of God church, built in 1835, was also ruined come World War II and is currently undergoing resurrective architectural surgery.
The Mustafa Pasha’s Mosque is, however, a wonder of Ottoman sacred work. Built in 1492, it has withstood time--which, in Macedonia, has moved at the pace of warfare—lingering to the present day as one of the leading tourist hotspots in the country.
The Skopje Museum, built after the war, houses such an astounding number of archeological finds and artifacts that date from all centuries of the city’s existence that it is must-see for any visitor to Macedonia. There is also an impressive collection of local contemporary art here, as well as one for photography and one for Japanese Ukiyoe prints.
For more art during your stay, check the City Art Gallery.
Another sight worth seeing would be the Skopje Bridge, built under the Ottomans and left standing as a remnant to a Turkish colonial heyday.
For a fuller list of Skopje attractions, check here