BAY OF THE BONES
Macedonia (/ˌmæsɪˈdoʊniə/ (About this sound listen) mas-i-DOH-nee-ə; Macedonian: Македонија, tr. Makedonija, IPA: [makɛˈdɔnija]), officially the Republic of Macedonia (Macedonian: About this sound Република Македонија (help·info), tr. Republika Makedonija), is a country in the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. It became a member of the United Nations in 1993, but, as a result of an ongoing dispute with Greece over the use of the name "Macedonia", was admitted under the provisional description the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (sometimes abbreviated as FYROM and FYR Macedonia), a term that is also used by international organizations such as the European Union, the Council of Europe and NATO..
Skopje is the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, the City that lies in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, at the crossroad of important communications, a city with a 2000 years old tradition. Skopje is a modern city with population of almost one million and presents Macedonia’s major political, economical, educational and cultural center. It continues to be a focus for new residents, economic development, construction and refurbishment. Skopje urban area extends across the Skopje valley for approximately 30 kilometers (18.75 mi) in width and comprises 10 municipalities.
The city of the immortal Ohrid is the sublime lakeside point that for many represents the culmination of the Macedonian experience, a kingdom of light and water, a repository of ancient ruins from Macedonia’s earlier kingdoms. Ohrid’s major attractions are all located within a remarkably concentrated and eminently walkable area, among and above the narrow streets of the Old Town lined with restaurants and cafés perfectly suited for relaxing in the cool summer evenings. Ohrid’s many café bars and nightclubs also make for a vibrant nightlife. As for the lake itself, it is so large and so deep that one might mistake it for a small sea. Full range of water sports, fishing andboating is available, and numerous churches alongside Ohrid’s lake shores make for fascinating side trips and walks.
Bitola historically known as Monastir or Manastır is known also by several alternative names is a city in the southwestern part of the Republic of Macedonia. The city is an administrative, cultural, industrial, commercial, and educational centre. It is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia valley, surrounded by the Baba and Nidže mountains,14 km north of the Medžitlija-Níki border crossing with Greece. It is an important junction connecting the south of the Adriatic Sea with the Aegean Sea and Central Europe. It has been known since the Ottoman period as "the city of the consuls", since many European countries have consulates in Bitola.
Being the largest and most beautiful out of Macedonia’s three tectonic lakes, Lake Ohrid is about 30 kilometers (18 miles) long and round 288 meters (945 feet) deep. Its astonishingly clean and clear waters, together with the serene stillness of its mountain settings have captivated visitors since prehistoric times. While the lake is filled up by water from three rivers, most of Ohrid’s water comes from another lake - Prespa which is located on the other side of Mountain Galicica. Due to the high elevation, Prespa spills its water down to Ohrid through mountain springs, the most important ones being Ostrovo and Biljana, located near the monastery of St. Naum and Ohrid town, respectively. With its unique flora and fauna characteristic of the tertiary period (2-4 million years ago), Ohrid is one of Europe’s great biological reserves.
According to an old legend, a Macedonian girl named Dojrana was fetching water from special springs that had to be sealed after use. At the very moment Dojrana was filling her jugs, she heard that her beloved had come back from the army and forgot to seal the springs. Lake Dojran was, as the legend says, the result of her careless euphoria. Due to the Mediterranean climate of southern Macedonia and the proximity of the balmy Aegean not far to the south, in the Dojran area vegetation starts blooming n early spring and continues to do so until late autumn. Even though Lake Dojran is only 10 meters (30 feet) deep at its deepest point, it is full of life.
Matka - A gorge in which a rich complex of mediaeval building survives, including churches, monasteries and remnants of a fortress (the mediaeval town of Matka).There are dozens of caves and large number of endemic plants and animals. The Canyon covers an area of around 5.000ha and is located 15km south-west of Skopje. By its morphogenetic characteristic, it is a breakthrough gorge. Krastic form deserve particular attention here-ten caves with their length ranging between 20 and 176 meters and two vertical chasms with a depth up to 35 meters.
Vrelo Cave has many stalactites including a large one in the middle of the cave is known as the "Pine Cone" due to its shape. There are two lakes at the end of the cave, with one larger than the other. The smaller lake is 8 metres (26.2 feet) at its longest length and 15 metres (49.2 feet) in depth at its deepest point. The larger lake is 35 metres (114.8 feet) at its longest length, and 18 metres (59 feet) at its deepest point.Though the exact depth of the cave is unknown, some speculate that it could be the deepest underwater cave in the world.
Kokino is a Bronze Age archaeological site in the Republic of Macedonia, approximately 30 km from the town of Kumanovo, and about 6 km from the Serbian border, in the Staro Nagoričane municipality. It is situated between about 1010 and 1030 m above sea level on the Tatikjev Kamen summit and covers an area of about 90 by 50 meters, overlooking the eponymous hamlet of Kokino.It was discovered by archeologist Jovica Stankovski, director of the national museum in Kumanovo, in 2001. In 2002, Stankovski together with Gorje Cenev (who is the head of a planetarium at a Youth Cultural Center in Skopje) published the claim that the site contains a "megalithic observatory and sacred site”
Markovi Kuli or Marko's Towers (Macedonian: Маркови Кули) are situated to the northwest of Prilep, Macedonia just above the village of Varoš. The towers of Macedonian medieval Prince Marko Mrnjavčević are located on a 120-180 m high hill, surrounded by steep slopes covered with minute granite stones. The upper part of the former settlement can be reached from its north and south side.During the four-decade archaeological research, remnants indicating the existence of an early antique settlement — Keramija, were found. In the Roman period, this small village expanded into the southwest, a fact suggested by the several marble ornaments of an early Christian basilica.
MONASTERY ST. NAUM
Set amidst lush verdure where the River Crn Drim tumbles into the lake, the monastery of St. Naum is a refuge of tranquility at the very southwestern corner of the Macedonian Republic. Situated 29 km (18 m) from the town of Ohrid and only 1 kilometer (0.6 m) from the Albanian border, the monastery brings the Macedonian experience to a dramatic culmination. As with most Byzantine churches, St. Naum was chosen primarily for its location – on a high, rocky outcropping over the lake, above deep forests and life-giving springs of the river Crn Drim. The monastic complex and church of St. Naum were built originally at the turn of the tenth century by the monk that beared the same name; Macedonians believe you can still hear the saint’s heartbeat by pressing an ear to his stone coffin inside the church.
The old city of Stobi “…Stobis, vetus urbs…”, as the Roman historian Livy named it, at the confluence of rivers Crna and Vardar, was the largest city in the northern part of the Roman province Macedonia, later capital city of the Roman province Macedonia Secunda, an important urban, military, administrative, trade and religious center of two large empires: Roman and Early Byzantine. Located in the heart of Macedonia, on the crossroads between the Aegean World and the Central Balkan, during the whole period of its existence it was a place where cultural achievements of the ancient world gathered in a unique way.