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The capital of a landlocked country bordered by Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania, Skopje is the birthplace of Mother Theresa (born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910). Sitting in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, the city has been the subject of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman rule. The country's cultural, economic, political and education hub, it has been inhabited from at least 4000 BC. Located on the main north south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens, the city sits on the banks of the Vardar River. Entertaining and eclectic this small city is flush with fountains, monuments, bridges and museums that will have you clicking your camera every which way you turn.
Taking a step back into the history books is easy in this intriguing city as you just have to wander over the 15th Century Stone Bridge connecting the Ottoman Old Bazaar on the north bank with the modern Macedonia Square on the south bank. Dominating the whole city is the Skopje (Kale) Fortress, as it has done for centuries. You can get lost for hours in the Turkish bazaar where every color you can think of explodes chaotically amidst the haggling of the locals for produce. Take time to meander around the ornate Sveti Spas Church with its hand carved screen smothered in icons or gawk at the Triumphal Gate and the mammoth statue of Alexander the Great. There are plenty of museums for the history buffs to wallow in and when time-out is required, head to Makedonija Street where it is almost wall to wall cafes, restaurants and bars. The outdoor creature can hang from the cliffs at Vodno, merely trek one of the many mountain trails or check out the landmark of the Millennium Cross with its panoramic views. You can pay homage to Mother Teresa and visit the memorial house in her honor or say a few prayers at any one of the beautiful churches or mosques dotted around the city. The Skopje Aqueduct is for the curious mind, as this had been the primary method for water supply since the 18th Century and believed to have been constructed during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian 1.
If you want to explore outside the city you should head to the stunning area of Matka Canyon where you can grab a boat and head into the canyon cave, Vrelo Cave.
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