Skopje is located in the northern Macedonia, in the centre of the Balkans, approximately halfway between Belgrade and Athens. The Vardar River, which originates near Gostivar, flows through the city then flows south passing the border into Greece and eventually flowing into the Aegean Sea. Skopje is located at an elevation of 225 m above sea level. The city's land area is 1,854 km2.
The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre.
After belonging to many empires over time (including Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and most recently Yugoslavian), Macedonia gained its independence in 1991, and Skopje, with about half a million people, is its largest city and capital. Despite its age, the city looks quite modern, owing to a massive 1963 earthquake that destroyed 75% of its buildings. Skopje has long been shared by Christians and Muslims, who still come together at the fascinating Old Bazaar, one of the Balkans' largest markets.
In addition to being a historical city, Skopje is the largest city of the country. While this fact affects the architectural style in two ways as modern and traditional, because the country was a part of the Soviet Union, the architectural style of that system is also reflected.
The Old Bazaar of Skopje is also called the Turkish Market. That is because the majority of the tradesmen’ there are Turkish and the Turkish language is spoken most. The bazaar is very similar to other examples in Anatolia.
Among the historical buildings that you should see again examples of the Ottoman architectural tradition, Mustapha Pasha Mosque, Kursumli Han, Suli Han, and Daut Pasha Hamam. You can also come across examples of old Turkish houses.
The symbol of the city, Stone Bridge was built in the 15th century. The bridge which was built during the rule of Sultan Murad the 1st and which remains to be a unique architectural example with its 13 sources, is one of the rare structures that still stand after the earthquake in 1963 which destroyed eighty percent of Skopje entirely.
The Skopje Kale Fortress, which was in ruins until a few years ago is back in its old days after undergoing a restoration project. Its magnificent park also attracts attention. A wonderful view of Skopje is waiting for you on top of the Fortress.
Even though the old train station of the city is partially broken down, it is recovered as the National Museum today. You can find historical and cultural clues to Macedonia there.
The newest cathedral of the city, the Cathedral of St. Clementin, is right next to the Vardar River. You can also tour the Clock Tower in Skopje, see the Sveti Spas Monastery, visit the Hunkar, Yahya Pasha, and the Murat Pasha Mosques, and stop by CifteHamam.