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Macedonia

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Macedonia
Macedonia possesses a natural charm and unique landscape that makes it one of the most traveled destinations. Macedonian landscape is comprise of mountains, fresh bodies of water, and forested areas, making it ideal for outdoorsy travelers. Its prosperous and diverse culture is a major attraction in itself and visitors get the chance to live like a local when visiting. Its rich landscape is a platform for adventure and explorations. The Macedonian mountains are a place for thrill-seekers and those who want to unearth the beauty of the land themselves.

Geography

Macedonia-geography
Macedonia is a landlocked country located in the center of the Balkan State. What made up Macedonia are the mountains, lakes, rivers, and clumps of agricultural land. Natural beauty is something that Macedonia has plenty of. Macedonian geography certainly paints a beautiful picture. The country is situated in Southeastern Europe. In the northern border lies Serbia while Bulgaria lies to the east. The southern perimeter welcomes Greece while the western border hugs Albania. The Macedonian climate is generally warm during summers and autumns while the winters sometimes experience heavy snowfalls.

History

For centuries, the country of Macedonia has been the meeting place for traders and invaders making their way to Europe and Asia. The mixture of people that passed through Macedonia has left a legacy of varied culture and traditions that shaped Macedonia into what it is today. When the Western Roman Empire lost its power and influence, Macedonia was seized by the Byzantine Empire during the 6th and 7th century. During this era, the Slavic tribes relocated to the Balkan region. Macedonia fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the 15th century and it remained under their power until 1912.

By mid 19th century, the Ottoman Turks had slowly lost their grip of the Macedonian territory and its neighboring regions were competing to take over.

Macedonia-Ottoman Turks
But a nationalist movement was stirring inside Macedonia. In the late 19th century and well into the beginning of the 20th century, nationalist revolutions colored the history of Macedonia. The intermittent uprisings were fueled by the Ilendin Uprising in 1903. The series of revolutions were able to free the town of Krushevo and revolutionaries tried to build the Republic of Krushevo but the Ottoman Turks crushed it after only 10 days.

The allied Balkan countries, which consist of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, ousted the Ottoman Turks and the same forces fought over the partition of Macedonia. The Treaty of Bucharest which was signed on August 1913 resolved the discord by dividing Macedonia among these countries. For the better part of the Second World War, Macedonia was under Bulgaria and Italy. After the war, it became a part of Yugoslavia. The fall of communism in Eastern Europe prompted Macedonia to seek independence and it broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991. Macedonia was fortunate enough not to be affected by ethnic conflicts although ethnic Albanians refused to yield to the country's independence.

Main Tourist Attractions

Macedonia-Orthodox church
Skopje is the capital of this beautiful country. The major tourist attractions are comprised mainly of natural sights and southeastern European activities. Churches and monasteries abound in Macedonia. The churches not only hold traces of Macedonian past but they are also sources of magnificent architecture. The Macedonian Orthodox Church is a very popular tourist spot. It accommodates 10 provinces and 3 of them are situated outside the country. A huge number of Macedonians are Orthodox Christians. Other beautiful churches to visit are the St. George's church and the St. John Caneo, Ohrid. Aside from their attractive architecture, the fresco paintings also make these churches a wonderful place for sightseeing.

Macedonia-Lake Ohrid
Beautiful lakes are also bountiful in Macedonia. During the summer season, the lake provinces offer some respite from the heat. Lake Ohrid is one of Macedonia's most prominent lakes. It offers a rich aquatic ecosystem and a trip there ensures real adventure. The lake appeared before glaciations and it was originally a tectonic type. There are 17 species of native fish that live in this water. The regions of Dojran, Prespa, and Mavrovo also have beautiful lakes worth exploring.

A trip to the Village Vevceni, Struga takes visitors to local hospitality and culture. The crisp water of Macedonian springs can also be savored here. Macedonian fortresses are also famous tourist spots. Marko's Fortress, Samuel's Fortress, and Skopje Fortress are historical monuments that tell a thousand stories and echo the architectural genius of the early inhabitants. Botanical gardens and national parks also provide enriching exploration, making Macedonia a country blessed with a rich flora and fauna.

Uniqueness of the Country

St. Jovan Kaneo Monastery

Macedonia-Saint Jovan Kaneo Monastery
Macedonia is a country that encourages images of old civilizations and amazing adventure. Today, Macedonia is adopting a modern perspective fitting for its location, which is at the very center of Southeastern Europe. What visitors can experience in Macedonia is an exotic concoction of natural sights, culture and traditions of the past and the present. Hospitality is widely practiced in this wonderful country. From the foods to lively festivals filled with dance and music, Macedonians love to welcome their guests like a member of the family. These qualities and Macedonia's dramatic scenes make it a pulsating region at the heart of the Balkan states.

Culture

The rich culture of Macedonia embraces arts, poetry, music, and many facets of living. Despite its troubled past, the art and culture in this region continue to encapsulate life's joys and sufferings, and the beauty of the country that reflects Macedonian's strong character, unique individuality, and steadfast nationalism.

Traditional ethnic Macedonian jewelry

Traditional ethnic macedonian folk art
Macedonian is its official language while other dialects are also spoken in other regions where ethnic group resides. A large part of its population practices the unrecognized Macedonian Orthodox Church while others belong to the Muslim and Christian sect. Music is an integral part of the arts and culture of Macedonia. Greatly influenced by the Byzantine church, spiritual hymns also contributed to the Balkan history. Macedonians are also fans of theaters. Drama, opera and ballet offer great entertainment and this industry even has space for children and amateurs.

There are several festivals that liven up the Macedonian local scenes.

Macedonia-Ballet
There's the Balkan Music Square Festival, Galicnik Wedding Festival in which couples are married in a traditional way, Ohrid Summer Festival which runs from July to August, and many more. Macedonian cuisine is a mixture of the tribes and groups of people that made their mark in the country. Turkish, Italian, Greeks and other neighboring countries have influenced Macedonian cuisine in one way or another. Because vegetables and fruits grow in abundance due to its favorable climate, salad dishes are popular in many dining tables. Wines and dairy products are also abundant in Macedonia.
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