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Memories of a Macedonia Holiday
Macedonia is a great place for history buffs and anyone nostalgic for ancient times. A landlocked country in south-eastern Europe, Macedonia’s alluring mountains and lakes, as well as the remnants of past civilizations can be seen everywhere. The capital, Skopje, is filled with ancient structures: the Kale Fortress from the 6th century, 15th century Daut-Pasha's Amam (or baths), and the Stone Bridge, which was reconstructed in the 15th century.
Older still is the Kokino Megalithic Observatory, built around 1800 B.C. Here, the movements of the sun and moon were viewed, marking the change of the seasons.
There are four national parks, drawing tourists in all year ‘round. A ski resort, Pelister is the highest peak in Macedonia, home to bears, eagles, and the rare five-needle pine molica. Glacial lakes, underground caves, and the highest waterfall in the Balkans are trademarks of Mavrovo, whose mountains and flora date back to the Ice Age.
Slavic and Balkan art influenced Macedonian pottery, jewellery, and textiles. Usually filigreed, ornaments of copper, silver, and gold are often incorporated into the traditional costumes, with red being the base colour of the cloth. Macedonia is known for its embroidered garments, with the design representing its customs. Skopska Crna Gora, for example, is worn by girls as a symbol of their maiden days. The krstovi or bridal shirt, on the other hand, signals the end. In spring and autumn, the common practice is to teach young girls needlework beside a well.
Icons plastered on monastery walls are characteristic of Macedonia. Paintings of solemn apostles, angels, and saints date back to the 13th century. Among the most famous are The Annunciation, Christ The Giver Of Life, and The Crucifixion. More artefacts, including church wood carvings, medieval stone adornments, and frescoes of Biblical scenes can be found in the Museum of Macedonia.