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Strumica’s Church of the Fifteen Holy Martyrs
Strumica is a nice city, but not one with a huge range of touristic sights. We spent our first day scouring the streets for things to see and do, but everything was closed. Everything except for one lonely church hidden in Strumica’s Turkish quarters: the Sveti Petnaeset Tiveriopolski Sveštenomačnici, or Church of the Fifteen Holy Martyrs… Read More

Sep 18, 2014


Two Sides of Strumica
A population of around 50,000 qualifies Strumica as the largest city in southeastern Macedonia. We spent a couple days here, and got to know its two distinct sides: nearly comatose during the day, Strumica comes alive at night… Read More

Sep 18, 2014


The Skopje City Museum
Skopje City Museum attempts to relate the story of Macedonia’s capital through anthropological and archaeological exhibits. But the museum’s single most compelling piece is actually the building in which it’s housed: Skopje’s former train station, which had been heavily damaged in the 1963 earthquake… Read More

Sep 17, 2014


A Day in Gostivar
On the way to Skopje’s bus station, our taxi driver started up a conversation. “You’re off to Ohrid, right? Beautiful weather for the lake!” We agreed about the weather, but told him that we would be spending this fine summer day in Gostivar. This baffled him. “Gostivar? Why would you want to go there? A job?” Nope, just sightseeing. “Heh, sightseeing in Gostivar! Haha!” He thought we were kidding, and didn’t stop chuckling all the way to the station… Read More

Sep 17, 2014


The Healing Waters of the Katlanovska Spa
Although hot springs are a common natural occurrence in Macedonia, there aren’t many spas set up to capitalize on the mineral-rich waters. The most well-known is the Katlanovska Spa, just twenty kilometers outside Skopje… Read More

Sep 15, 2014


The Painted Mosque and Arabati Baba Tekke in Tetovo
We weren’t entirely impressed with Tetovo during our short day trip there: too noisy, crowded and hectic. But the city does have a couple things to recommend it. The Šarena Džamija, more commonly known as the Painted Mosque, and the Arabati Baba Tekke are two historic sites worth seeking out… Read More

Sep 14, 2014


A Visit to Tetovo, in Western Macedonia
Found at foot of the Šar Mountains which separate the Republic of Macedonia from its western neighbor, Tetovo has long been a stronghold of Macedonia’s ethnic Albanians. We spent a day gaining an impression of life in this extremely crowded and hectic city… Read More

Sep 11, 2014


The Holocaust Museum of Macedonia
In April of 1941, Macedonia was occupied by Nazi-affiliated Bulgaria, who would eventually ship the country’s Jewish population to the death camp of Treblinka. Almost overnight, the small and tightly-knit Jewish community who had called Macedonia home for hundreds of years was extinguished. An excellent museum in the heart of Skopje pays solemn tribute to one of the most horrific episodes in the country’s history… Read More

Sep 09, 2014


Skopje’s Art-Oriented Turkish Hamams
Especially considering the city’s current craze for stately new neo-classical structures, it’s fortunate that so much of the historic Turkish quarter north of the Vardar survived the 1963 earthquake, including two original hamams. Today, the Daut Pasha and Čifte Hamams serve as venues for the National Gallery, and we visited both on a sweltering afternoon in July… Read More

Sep 07, 2014


Pictures from Skopje’s Old Bazaar
The center of town might be south of the Vardar, but Skopje’s most picturesque neighborhood is just over the bridge. The Old Bazaar, also called the Čaršija, extends roughly from the Kale Fortress to the Bit Pazaar. With its baklava stores, mosques, antique shops, hamams, tea gardens and the rattling of backgammon dice providing a ceaseless soundtrack, the Čaršija could easily be a neighborhood in Istanbul. We love it here, and visit whenever we can… Read More

Sep 07, 2014


The Memorial House of Mother Teresa
In 1910, a child named Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje to an Albanian family. Raised a Roman Catholic, Anjezë received God’s calling at the tender age of 18. She gave her life to the church, dedicating herself to the care of the world’s least fortunate. Anjezë took the name Teresa and spent the rest of her days helping to make the world a more humane place… Read More

Sep 07, 2014


More Pictures from Ohrid
For such a small city, Ohrid has a lot to offer. We’ve already written about the lakeside promenade, the churches, the hiking, the traditional crafts, and the fortress, and here are some more of our favorite Ohrid sights… Read More

Sep 06, 2014


Plaošnik and the Church of St. Clement
Located halfway up Ohrid’s biggest hill, between the Church of Sv Jovan and Tsar Samoil’s Fortress, is the archaeological site of Plaošnik. With the arrival of St. Clement and the establishment of his monastery in 893, this location became the center of Slavic Christianity and learning. Today, the Church of St. Clement has been rebuilt and much of the site has been excavated, revealing medieval frescoes and Byzantine mosaics… Read More

Sep 06, 2014

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