The Top Ten Most Interesting Things About Macedonia

1.Macedonian Stonehenge in the village Kokino

In the region of Taticev Kamen the only megalithic observatory in the Balkans was discovered. The observatory is one of a kind.The spot is called the Macedonian Stonehenge. This structure served to research the Sun and the Moon; it was built on Vulcanrocks, on a hill 1.013 meters above the sea level. It was confirmed that this location is from 1.815 B.C. The Kokino observatory was approximately built about 4.000 years ago.

2.Heraklea –Bitola

Famous for its dazzling mosaics, ancient theater and Roman baths, Heraklea is the most vividly preserved city from the Ancient Macedonian empire that still survives in the country.Founded in the 4th century B.C.E. and conquered by the Romans two centuries later, it was built on the Via Egnatia and became one of the key stations on this trading route.From the 4th-6th centuries C.E. Heraklea also had an Episcopal seat. The first excavations were done before the First World War,and since then the full glories of the ancient city been revealed. Beautiful Roman baths,the Episcopal church and baptistery, a Jewishtemple, portico and a Roman theater no wused for summer concerts and shows all survive in excellent condition.

3.Macedonian folk music

In Macedonian folk music, the drone of thegajda (bagpipes) and chords of the tambura(two-stringed lute) provide a background forthe kaval (flute) and tapan (a huge cylindri-cal drum). The most famous and popular Macedonian folk dance is called Teskoto(The Hard One). It is a male dance for which music is provided by the tapan and the zurla(large pipes). It starts very slowly and gets progressively faster. This dance symbolises the national awakening of the Macedonian people and is performed with dancers dressed in traditional Macedonian costumes

4.Krusevo

Mentioned in documents from the 15th century, Krusevo is a living museum, famous fori ts traditional architecture, cultural sites, andlegacy as the site of the great 1903 Ilindenuprising against Ottoman domination. The rebellion failed, but its memory is cherished in Macedonia even today, as a symbol of the national struggle for freedom and democracy; while it lasted only 10 days, the Krusevo Republic of revolutionary leader Nikola Karev represented a desire for self-rule under a modern European political system. Today an enormous monument on the hill above Krusevo marks the elusive dream of the Ilinden revolutionaries.Owing to its high elevation (1300 meters or 4,400 feet),Krusevo is also one of Macedonia’s prime winter sports destinations. Yet this same quality also makes this pineforested getaway a comfortable destination in summer, when the Krusevo air stays cooler and more pure than in the arid lowlands.

5. The Smallest Ethno Museum in the World

The smallest ethno museum in the world is located only 5 km on the northwest of Tetovo, in the picturesque village of Dzepcishte, on the foot of the monastery “St.Bogorodica” and the church “St.Atanasie”. As the smallest ethno museum is listed in the Guinness Book ofRecords.

6. The stone town Kuklica

The “stone town”, is situated by the Kuklica village in theKratovo area. According to the sources, the stone figuresthat are called Dolls by the local population are 10 million years old. There are many legends and myths about theirexistence, but the most famous is the one according to whichthe stone figures are wedding guests that were cursed by aforsaken bride, and turned into rocks. There are 120 stonefigures, one next to another, up to 10 meters high.The legend has it that once upon a time, one boy from the village of Kuklica (which is above the stone town) who couldn’t decide which girl to marry, asked two girls to be his brides.The wedding which were both planned on the same day. There used to be a tradition that there shouldn’t be two weddings in one day, because the brides must not see each other during their wedding – that was considered bad luck. One of the brides, not knowing about this tradition saw that there was another wedding on the same day and ran out of her house to see who was getting married. When she saw her boyfriend with another girl, she cursed all of them: “Let God turns all of you into rocks, even me” and all people turned into rocks.But, scientists do not agree with the legends, according to them the stone figures were formed 10 million years ago, by tectonic erosion, from minerals that dissolve in water. As the time passed, nature created masterpieces. The local population says that every 5-6 years new figures appear.

7.Galicnik Wedding

On one day every July, locals and tourists alikeare invited to attend the traditional Macedo-nian wedding celebrations at Galicnik, a leg-endary old village in the western mountainsnear Mavrovo. The three-day feast, whichincludes much song, dancing, eating anddrinking, uses traditional customs, costumes,rituals and dances that have beenpassed down over the centuries.The Galicnik Wedding is anincomparable event that everyvisitor to Macedonia must experi-ence at least once.

8.The 24rd annual“Small Bitola Monmartre”

From May 23 – 30, on Sirok Sokak street in Bitola the 24rd annual “Small Bitola Monmartre” will be held. More than 150 students and 50 teachers of art participate in the event andover 40 countries and 1000 schools participate.

9. Museum of Mother Theresa

Skopje is the hometown of the great humanitarian and Nobel Prize winner, Mother Theresa. Named Gonza at birth, she was the third child in the Bojadziu family and born at the family home at pop Kocina street 13, in a Vlach neighborhood in the center of the city on 26August, 1910. The Bojadziu family had a long tradition of success in crafts, fabric-dyeing and trade. Gonza was baptized in the Heart of Jesus Catholic Church and successfully completed elementary and high school in church schools,where she was an active member of the drama section, the literary section, and the church chorus. At 12, she joined an Abbey,and at 18 she became a member of the Loreto Order of nuns.Mother Theresa, the mother of the poor of the world, always identified herself with her home town, saying “If it hadn’t been for Skopje, I would not have existed. I am a girl from Skopje”.At Macedonia Street, Nr.6 is the Mother Theresa Monument,a work of art by the distinguished Macedonian artist Tome Serafimov. The monument was displayed to the public on 5 September 1999. The bronze statue weighs 300 kg and it standson a granite post 60 cm tall.

10.The only Macedonian film nomination for an OSCAR

Milcho Mancevski is the director of the most famous Macedonian film “Before the rain”. This movie was nomination for Academy Awards for foreign language film in 1994. Six yearsafter this production, he shot his second film “Dust” whichpremiered at the Venice festival\