Why you should know Macedonia!

Megalithic Observatory Kokino (Macedonian Stonehenge), 20th century B.C. NASA in 2005 officially ranged it fourth place in the world, of its accuracy and importance.

Kokino is an important archaeological site and a megalithic observatory discovered in 2001 in the northeastern Republic of Macedonia, approximately 30 km from the town of Kumanovo, near the village of Staro Nagoričane Latitude: 42.260000N Longitude: 21.850000E. The exact coordinates of the location are 42.263546N, 21.953629E. It is situated 1030 m above sea level on the Tatićev Kamen Summit and covers an area of a 100-meter radius. The site is more than 3800 years old. The oldest archaeological finds date from the Early Bronze Age. Finds from the Middle Bronze Age are the most numerous (mainly ceramic vessels, stone-mills and a few moulds). An agglomeration from the Iron Age has also been discovered.

Kokino consists of two parts. It includes special stone markers used to track the movement of the Sun and Moon on the eastern horizon. The observatory used the method of stationary observation, marking positions of the Sun at the winter and summer solstice, as well as the equinox.

Kokino has been nominated to be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list.

The U.S. space agency NASA included the site on its list of ancient observatories in 2005.

  • Abu Simbel, Egypt
  • Stonehenge, Great Britain
  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • Kokino, Macedonia
  • Goseck circle, Germany

Alexander the Great (of Macedonia), king of Macedonia 4th century B.C. – one of the biggest emperors who created one of the biggest empire in the world – Macedonian Empire

Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedonia. He is the most celebrated member of the Argead Dynasty and the creator of one of the largest empires in ancient history. Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by the famed philosopher Aristotle. In 336 BC he succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne after he was assassinated. Philip had brought most of the city-states of mainland Greece under Macedonian hegemony, using both military and diplomatic means. Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. In 334 BC he invaded Persian-ruled Asia Minor and began a series of campaigns lasting ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.

Subsequently he overthrew the Persian king Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire. The Macedonian Empire now stretched from the Adriatic sea to the Indus river. Following his desire to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back by the near-mutiny of his troops.

According to the Holly Book (Bible, the New Testament) 1st century A.D. First country on European soil to be Christianized (the chapter “The Apostle Paul in Macedonia”); Lydia from Macedonia – the first lady to be Christianized on European soil (by the Apostle Paul)

“During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’. After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Macedonia and Macedonians in the New Testament of the Bible are secondly most mentioned after Israel and Jewish people.

Justinian the First (Justinian Prima) (Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus) 5th – 6th century A.D., a Byzantine Emperor (In the history of law the famous Justinian’s Codex is still taught), born in today’s Macedonian capital Skopje

In the history of law the famous Justinian’s Codex is still taught. It is a collection of laws, which Justinian created and in acted as replacement of the old, most of the time confusing old Roman laws. He hired 10 experts under the guidance of John of Kapadokia, who prepared these laws. The commission ended its work on the 7th of April 529 and the Codex Justinianus was published. After that a number of other laws were enacted concerning taxes and etc.

Homeland of St. Cyril and Methodius brothers and St. Clement of Ohrid

9th century A.D., inventors of the fourth official language and script in Europe, recognized by the roman Pope in 9th century.

They took the Macedonian dialects as a base of this language. Till 9th century, only 3 languages were official (official language was the language of the church) – Hebrew, Latin and Greek. This language today is known as Old Slavonic language, Church Slavonic language etc.

St. Clement of Ohrid University in Ohrid 9th century A.D., it is believed the first university in Europe

In the historic science, this early-middle-age educational and cultural institution was called the First Slavic University, which is the oldest in Europe. It is known that St. Clement and his associates had educated over 3,500 students who, after his death, spread among the Slavic countries and expanded the Christian religion, literacy, and science among the peoples of Slavic origin. The reflections of this University were felt throughout the Middle Age, and they are felt even today in the frameworks of the spiritual traditions that are our cultural and spiritual heritage.

Ohrid Icon Galery Macedonia, icon collection from 11th till 19th century, among the first four in the world of its importance and value, part of many worldwide exhibitions.

The Ohrid Icon Gallery is located in the museum complex of the church Holy Mother of God Perivleptos. It's collection of over sixty icons with the greatest artistic qualities places the gallery among the top two of its kind in the world. The large number of churches that began to spread by the medieval period prescribed the need of producing numerous icons. Most icons in this collection were created from the 11th till 19th century by the Ohrid medieval zographs (icon-painters) while some of them were sent in from the workshops of Constantinople (Istanbul) and Salonika (Thessalonica). The unknown painters have achieved a real perfection in the painting of the icons characterized with refine drawing, soft modelling and harmonious colouring. A special place in this collection belongs to the processional icons painted on both sides, which impress with their plastic treatment and the expression of the inner life of the Saints. The Ohrid Icons have been exhibited on numerous exhibitions in many countries, and have always caused admiration and respect from the public worldwide.

Proto Renaissance frescoes in some of the Macedonian churches 12-13 century A.D., years before official Giotto’s Renaissance in Italy

The existing church of St.Bogorodica Perivleptos (Mother of God the Most Glorious/Peribleptos), is a completely preserved medieval monument located in Ohrid, famous for its extraordinary architecture and fresco paintings. The church was built in 1295 by the Byzantine mili¬tary commander, Progon Zgur, a relative of the Emperor Andronicus II Palalogus. After the church of St. Sophia had been convert¬ed into mosque, this church became the cathedral church of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. The paintings in the church mark a new chapter in mediaeval paintings. They ushered in a new trend in Byzantine art which came to be known as the Palaeologus Renaissance.

Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey was born and finished military school in Macedonia, 19th century A.D., when the province Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire

The very first presentation in Bitola's Museum connected to the famous statesman, the father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, dates from 1978, with the promotion of the first exhibition of photos, documents and facsimiles presenting the life and activities of the great Turkish reformer. As it is known, he graduated from the military high school (Mektebi askeri idadi) in 1899. At that time the high school was housed in the building built for that purpose in 1848 and known as the old Bitola Barracks, where now we have the present day building of the Bitola Museum in Macedonia.

Homeland of Mother Theresa 20th century, she was born and lived in the capital Skopje till her 18.

  • Born: 27 August 1910
  • Birthplace: Skopje, Macedonia
  • Died: 5 September 1997
  • Best Known As: Humanitarian nun of Calcutta, called "The Saint of the Gutters"

Name at birth: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu

Mother Teresa grew famous for humbly ministering to lepers, the homeless and the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. In 1928 Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Lareto, a Catholic order that did charity work in India. She took the name Sister Teresa and for 17 years taught school in the country. In 1950 she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a new order devoted to helping the sick and poor; the order grew to include branches in more than 100 cities around the world, and Mother Teresa became a worldwide symbol of charity, meeting with Princess Diana and many other public figures. In 1979 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, and in 1985 she was awarded the Medal of Freedom from the United States. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 19 October 2003, placing her one step from sainthood in the Catholic faith; after beatification she became known as the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta... Though her parents were ethnic Albanians, Mother Teresa was born in what is now Macedonia and what was then part of the Ottoman Empire. Some sources give her date of birth as August 26th, not August 27th.

Ohrid, the city and the lake of UNESCO, European Jerusalem, a town of 365 churches

Ohrid is a city on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid in the Republic of Macedonia. Ohrid is notable for having once had 365 churches, one for each day of the year and has been referred to as a "Jerusalem". The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments, and tourism is predominant.In 1980, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Ohrid – the old city of light

“This is not a story, But a reality, an eternal one, and one which so far no one has managed to retell. Probably no one hasn’t even tried. There are several places in this world which simply cannot be retold. When standing in front of their monuments, the remains of the civilization of old, and the temples where you forget your identity, the only thing your intellect allows you is respect and contemplation, thinking of the things that are yet to be discovered and explored. Here in Ohrid the smartest and the wisest and the most powerful people throughout the centuries had only one goal – to leave at least their mark. Ohrid simply couldn’t be conquered, but it would immediately become the seat of the most powerful men and it would continue to live its life where the conqueror entering the city wouldn’t charge in, but bow to the city.”

Macedonian wines

The Republic of Macedonia is located on the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula and its territory covers 25.713 km2. Geographically, Macedonian territory spreads between the 40°51` and 42°21`northern geographic latitude. In Macedonian wine production and growing grape vine goes back to ancient times. Numerous objects have been discovered round the archaeological sites in the Republic of Macedonia that doubtlessly point to a great wine production culture. There was an especially marked development of wine production in this region between the 11th and 14th century. It is interesting to mention that during this period vine growing was located besides numerous monasteries along the whole territory. The arrival of the Turkish conquerors in this region, and their religious conviction contributes to stagnation of viticulture. Nevertheless, the existing abundance of convenient climate conditions for production of grapes led to growing of table quality grapes which exist up till today in the Macedonian ampelography, while tradition continues to develop through the monasteries which are allowed to grow and produce grapevines for the purpose of their religious rituals. The territory of the Republic of Macedonia has adequate conditions for production of grapes and wine. Its location on the Balkan Peninsula and indirect influence of the Mediterranean climate, which can be directly noticed only in the lower reaches of the river Vardar through Gevgelija, Valandovo to Demir Kapija and a less effect in Negotino, creates specific conditions for vine growing. The medium annual temperature moves from 10,2°C to 15,8°C. The medium annual temperature air amount in certain vineyard areas moves from 3.723°C to 5.402°C. The adequate altitude for grapevine growing moves from 50-300meters in Gevgelija Valandovo area, while in the Tikvesh area to 150-500 meters, Skopje area to 250-600 meters, Bitola area to 600-700 meters, Ovche Pole area to 300-550 meters. According all the above stated markers it is evident that in Macedonia there are good conditions for growing a large number of qualities grape and wine types. On the basis of researched land and climate characteristics, as well as distinctive marks of developed products originating from different areas, we can divide Macedonian vine growing production into three regions, which are further divided into smaller wine growing units, or vineyard areas: Pcinja-Osogovo region, Povardarie region, Pelagonia Polog area.

Remarkable nature, a lot endemic species of flora and fauna

The flora of Republic of Macedonia is represented with around 210 families, 920 genera, and around 3,700 plant species. The most abundant group are the flowering plants with around 3,200 species, which is followed by mosses (350 species) and ferns (42). The fauna of Macedonian forests is abundant and includes bears, wild boars, wolves, foxes, squirrels, chamois and deer. The lynx is found, although very rarely, in the mountains of western Macedonia, while deer can be found in the region of Demir Kapija. Forest birds include the blackcap, the grouse, the black grouse, the imperial eagle and the forest owl. The land in which the Worlds unite contains everything that is contained in the Worlds. Macedonia, as a geographic location, confirms this axiom "in vivo".

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