General data on the City of Skopje

Skopje is a city in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. It communicates easily with the Mediterranean region to the south and the area of Central and Northern Europe to the north. Through the Kacanicka Ravine it connects with the Adriatic Sea. To the east, through Kumanovo and Kriva Palanka it connects with the Republic of Bulgaria, to the west it connects with Polog, Kicevo valley, the Ohrid-Prespa region and the Republic of Albania.


Skopje dates from the pre-ancient period. This city had a strategic significance in the ancient period, when it was known as Skupi. Excavations from the ancient town of Skupi are located in the area of Zajcev Reid above the mouth of the Lepenec River in Vardar, near today’s village of Zlokukani. At that time Skupi was the capital of Dardania.

Skopje’s History

In the Byzantine documents, the city of Skopje was called Skopia, and the Slavs also referred to it as Skopie, Skopje or Skoplje. During the reign of the emperor Samoil, the city belonged to the Samoil’s kingdom, while in the later period it was under Byzantine, Bulgarian and Serbian rule. In 1392, the city was captured by the Ottomans and it was named Uskup (Üsküp).

In 1962 due to heavy rains, the river Vardar flooded Skopje. The flood was an indication of the largest earthquake the city experienced. On July 26, 1963, at 5:17 am, the city was devastated by an earthquake measuring 9 degrees on the Mercalli scale (6.1 according to the Richter seismic scale). Due to the earthquake, 1,070 people have lost their lives, 90% of the city buildings have been demolished, and over 20,000 people have been left homeless. After the earthquake, the city began to be built on a model of the designs of Kenzo Tange and Adolf Ciborovski. The old railway station, today is a museum of the city of Skopje and a symbol of the great earthquake. The clock of the station has forever stopped at the fatal 05.17 hrs. in the morning.


Today, Skopje is considered a city of solidarity due to the fact that specifically with solidarity, the city managed to renew itself. The initial assistance to the citizens came from all Yugoslav republics at that period, and a few days after the earthquake aid and rescue crews from all over the world arrived. Exactly 87 nations in the world provided assistance and helped for the city to be built again.


Main features of Skopje

Places of interest for tourist sightseeing tours are:

  • The Stone Bridge, on the river Vardar is a symbol of Skopje. It was reconstructed in the 15th century and represents a connection between the new and the old part.
  • Fortress Kale – The first walls were built at the beginning of the 6th century. The fortress dominates the left bank of the river Vardar overlooking the old part of the city
  • Orthodox Church “St. Spas”
  • Porta Makedonija (Gate Macedonia)
  • Warrior on a horse
  • Macedonia Square
  • Monuments in the central city area
  • Memorial house of Mother Theresa
  • Cathedral St. Kliment Ohridski (Clement of Ohrid)
  • Old Bazaar
  • Daut Pasha Amam
  • Kurshumli An
  • The City Konak Sully An
  • Mustafa – Pasha Mosque
  • The Clock Tower
  • Skender Bey’s Monument
  • The church St. Spas.
  • Museum of Macedonia.
  • Museum of the City of Skopje
  • Museum of the Macedonian Struggle
  • Memorial centre of the Holocaust of the Jews from Macedonia
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Mountain Vodno
  • Millennium Cross
  • Monastery St. Pantelejmon
  • Canyon Matka
  • Monastery St. Andrej
  • Neolithic village Tumba Madzari
  • The great mother – goddess of fertility
  • Skupi – a city of Roman and late-ancient times
  • Aqueduct in Skopje
  • Katlanovo Spa
  • Marko’s monastery – St. Dimitrij
  • Sports Centre Boris Trajkovski
  • National Arena Philip II of Macedonia

If you want to learn more about what to see and do in Skopje, go ahead and visit the following link