A phoenix is a mythical bird that is able to rise from its ashes. It is a symbol of overcoming difficulties in order to rise to great heights. Skopje is like a phoenix. In 1963, the city was thoroughly destroyed by an earthquake. With a growing self-awareness, the reconstruction of the city was taken up. It is now almost complete, but the city continues to gain height…
Skopje is situated at a crossing of roads on the banks of the river Vardar. The city has an ‘old’ and a ‘new’ part, which are connected by a stone bridge. This bridge was constructed in the 14th century by Sultan Mehmed II who was in power at the time. A 25 metres high statue of Alexander the Great stands nearby. He is not the only Macedonian who is honoured; Mother Teresa also has a connection with Skopje. It is her city of birth and she lived here for eighteen years. A reconstruction has been made of her birthplace.
Oriental atmosphere in Skopje
The Oriental Bazar (Old Bazar) is located north of the bridge. In the Middle Ages this was the economic centre of Skopje; nowadays culture and culinary delicacies are central. A selection of tea houses, bath houses, art galleries, museums and restaurants are accommodated here. There is always something to do and it has a true oriental atmosphere. The Daud Pasha is located further on in the city. Once a bath house, it nowadays accommodates the National Gallery. High domes and star-shaped windows invariably impress the visitor. The Sveti Spas is also fascinating. This church was built during Turkish rule and, therefore, it was not allowed to build a church higher than a mosque. And so it was decided to partly place the building in the ground. Even then, difficulties were solved in a creative way. History repeats itself.