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After belonging to many empires over time (including Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and most recently Yugoslavian), Macedonia gained its independence in 1991, and Skopje, with about half a million people, is its largest city and capital. Despite its age, the city looks quite modern, owing to a massive 1963 earthquake that destroyed 75% of its buildings. Skopje has long been shared by Christians and Muslims, who still come together at the fascinating Old Bazaar, one of the Balkans' largest markets.