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Memorial House of Mother Teresa

The Memorial House of Mother Teresa is dedicated to the humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa and is located in her hometown, Skopje, in Macedonia, where she lived from 1910 to 1928. The memorial house was built on the popular Macedonia Street in the Centar municipality, at the very location of the once Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, where Mother Teresa was baptized. It lies just east of the Ristik Palace and Macedonia Square. In the first three weeks, the memorial house was visited by 12,000 people.

Old Bazaar Skopje

The Old Bazaar (Macedonian: Стара чаршија, Stara čaršija; Albanian: Çarshia e Vjetër; from the Turkish: Çarşı meaning marketplace) is a bazaar located in Skopje, situated on the eastern bank of the Vardar River, stretching from the Stone Bridge to the Bit-Pazar and from the Skopje Fortress to the Serava river. The Old Bazaar falls primarily within the borders of Čair Municipality but part of it is located in Centar Municipality. As one of the oldest and largest marketplaces in the Balkans, it has been Skopje’s center for trade and commerce since at least the 12th century.

The earliest known sources that describe the existence of merchant quarters on the bazaar’s territory date back to the 12th century. During the Ottoman rule of Skopje, the Old Bazaar developed rapidly to become city’s main centre of commerce. The Ottoman history of the bazaar is evidenced by roughly thirty mosques, numerous caravanserais and hans, among other buildings and monuments. The bazaar was heavily damaged by earthquakes that occurred in 1555 and 1963, as well as during the First and the Second World Wars and faced various rebuildings following these events.

Besides its importance as a marketplace the Old Bazaar is known for its cultural and historical values. Although Ottoman architecture is predominant, the remains of Byzantine architecture are evident as well, while recent reconstructions have led to the application of elements specific to modern architecture. The Old Bazaar is still home to several active mosques, türbes, two churches and a clocktower that, together with the buildings of the Museum of Macedonia and the Museum of Modern Art, form the core of the modern bazaar.

In recent years there has been a rising interest in making Bazaar a touristic attraction. On 13 October 2008, the Macedonian Parliament adopted a law recognizing the Old Bazaar as a cultural heritage of particular importance for the country to be permanently protected. In early 2010, the Macedonian government began a project for the revitalization of the Old Bazaar, which includes the restoration of several objects and aiming for further economic and cultural development of the site. These actions are seen with a good eye by the local community and not only.

Matka Canyon

Matka is a canyon located west of central Skopje, Macedonia. Covering roughly 5,000 hectares, Matka is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia and is home to several medieval monasteries. The Matka Lake within Matka Canyon is the oldest artificial lake in the country.

Here are ten caves at Matka Canyon, with the shortest in length being 20 metres (65.6 feet) and the longest being 176 metres (577.4 feet). The canyon also features two vertical pits, both roughly extending 35 metres (114.8 feet) in depth.

Vrelo Cave

Located on the right bank of the Treska River, Vrelo Cave was listed as one of the top 77 natural sites in the world in the New7Wonders of Nature project.

Vrelo Cave has many stalactites, including a large one in the middle of the cave 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.

Due in large part to its proximity to Skopje, Matka Canyon is a popular destination for citizens and tourists. The canyon is one of Macedonia’s foremost areas for Alpine hiking. The climbing season begins around Easter and ends in November. Kayaking on the Treska River is a popular activity, as are fishing, hunting and swimming.

St. Andrew’s Monastery on the water

The canyon area is home to several historic churches and monasteries. St. Andrew’s Monastery is situated in the gorge of the Treska River. Built in 1389 by King Vukašin’s son Andrijaš, it contains frescoes painted by Jovan the Metropolitan.

Matka Monastery, or Monastery of the Holy Mother of God, built in the 14th century, is located on the left bank of the Treska. According to an inscription on the church, someone named Milica found the church in poor condition and without a roof in 1497. She replaced the roof, added new frescoes, built a portico and created a vineyard.

St. Nicholas Monastery is located on a cliff above the canyon and St. Andrew’s Monastery. The date for construction of the church is unknown. The first mention of it was in the 17th century, during Ottoman rule. The iconstasis of the church was painted in 1645, while the western side was frescoed in 1630. The monastery was deserted in the 18th century. An archmonk found the church roofless in 1816 and attempted to revive it, though it was again deserted in 1897. The monastery offers a unique view high above the canyon.

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