70 Facts About Skopje


Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia.

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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.

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Skopje is on the upper course of the Vardar River, and is on a major north–south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens.

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Skopje is in the north of the country, in the centre of the Balkan peninsula, and halfway between Belgrade and Athens.

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The city was built in the Skopje valley, oriented on a west–east axis, along the course of the Vardar river, which flows into the Aegean Sea in Greece.

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Skopje is approximately 245 m above sea level and covers 571.

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Vardar river, which flows through Skopje, is at approximately 60 kilometres from its source near Gostivar.

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Several wells collect its waters but most of the drinking water used in Skopje comes from a karstic spring in Rasce, west of the city.

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Skopje valley is bordered on the West by the Sar Mountains, on the South by the Jakupica range, on the East by hills belonging to the Osogovo range, and on the North by the Skopska Crna Gora.

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Skopje valley is near a seismic fault between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates and experiences regular seismic activity.

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Skopje valley belongs to the Vardar geotectonic region, the subsoil of which is formed of Neogene and Quaternary deposits.

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Skopje has a borderline humid subtropical climate and cold semi-arid climate .

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City of Skopje encompasses various natural environments and its fauna and flora are rich.

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Skopje remains one of the most polluted cities in the world, topping the ranks in December 2017.

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Some areas of Skopje suffer from a certain anarchy because many houses and buildings were built without consent from the local authorities.

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Skopje is an ethnically diverse city, and its urban sociology primarily depends on ethnic and religious belonging.

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Scupi, the ancient name for Skopje, became the capital of Dardania, which extended from Naissus to Bylazora in the second century BC.

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Later Skopje was briefly seized twice by Slavic insurgents who wanted to restore the Bulgarian state.

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In 1081, Skopje was captured by Norman troops led by Robert Guiscard and the city remained in their hands until 1088.

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Skopje was conquered by the Serbian Grand Prince Vukan in 1093, and again by the Normans four years later.

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From 1214 to 1230 Skopje was a part of Byzantine successor state Epirus before recaptured by Ivan Asen II and held by Bulgaria until 1246 when the Upper Vardar valley was incorporated once more into a Byzantine state – the Empire of Nicaea.

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Skopje was first inherited by the Lordship of Prilep and finally taken by Vuk Brankovic in the wake of the Battle of Maritsa before becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in 1392.

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At that time, Christians of Skopje were mostly non-converted Slavs and Albanians, but Ragusan and Armenian tradesmen.

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Skopje burned during two days but the general himself perished of the plague and his leaderless army was routed.

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Skopje began to recover from decades of decline after 1850.

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Some newcomers became part of the local elite and helped to spread nationalist ideas Skopje was one of the five main centres of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization when it organized the 1903 Ilinden uprising.

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In 1877, Skopje was chosen as the capital city of the new Kosovo Vilayet, which encompassed present-day Kosovo, northwestern Macedonia and the Sanjak of Novi Pazar.

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Skopje after being captured by Albanian revolutionaries in August 1912 after defeating the Ottoman forces holding the city.

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In 1931, in a move to formally decentralize the country, Skopje was named the capital of the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

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Until the Second World War, Skopje experienced strong economic growth, and its population increased.

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In 1941, Skopje had 45 factories, half of the industry in the whole of Socialist Macedonia.

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Skopje was liberated on 13 November 1944 by units of the Bulgarian People's Army aided by Yugoslav Partisans of the Macedonian National Liberation Army.

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Consequently, Skopje became home to a national library, a national philharmonic orchestra, a university and the Macedonian Academy.

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Skopje cityscape was drastically changed and the city became a true example of modernist architecture.

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The Albanian population of Skopje increased as people from the northern villages migrated to the city and others came from Kosovo either to provide manpower for reconstruction or fled the deteriorating political situation, especially during the 1990s.

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Flag of Skopje is a red banner in proportions 1:2 with a gold-coloured coat of arms of the city positioned in the upper-left corner.

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City of Skopje is part of the Skopje Statistical Region, which has no political or administrative power.

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Skopje was first divided into administrative units in 1945, but the first municipalities were created in 1976.

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Besides many small traditional shops, Skopje has two large markets, the "Zelen Pazar" and the "Bit Pazar" .

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The average wage in Skopje was then lower than in Sarajevo, Sofia, and in Belgrade .

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Skopje was mainly a Muslim city until the 19th century, when large numbers of Christians started to settle there.

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However, even if official figures are underestimated, Skopje is the city in the world with the largest Roma population.

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Religious affiliation is diverse: Macedonians, Serbs, and Aromanians are mainly Orthodox, with the majority affiliated to the Macedonian Orthodox Church; Turks are almost entirely Muslim; those of Albanian ethnicity are largely Muslim, although Skopje has a sizeable Roman Catholic Albanian minority, into which Mother Teresa was born; the Roma represent a mixture of Muslim and Orthodox religious heritage.

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Until World War II, Skopje had a significant Jewish minority which mainly descended from Spanish Sephardis who had escaped the Inquisition.

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Skopje is the seat of many Macedonian religious organizations, such as the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Islamic Religious Union of Macedonia.

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Skopje has several public and private hospitals and specialized medical institutions, such as the Filip II Hospital, a psychiatric hospital, two obstetric hospitals, a gerontology hospital and institutes for respiratory and ocular diseases.

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The population in Skopje enjoys better health standards than other Macedonians.

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Skopje's citizenry is generally more educated than the rest of the country.

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Skopje has 21 secondary schools; 5 of which serve as general high-school gymnasiums and 16 vocational schools.

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The largest private universities in Skopje are European University with 7 departments and FON University with 9 departments respectively.

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The stadium, built in 1947 and named until 2008, City Stadium Skopje experienced a total renovation, begun in 2009 to meet the standards of FIFA.

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Skopje is near three other capital cities, Prishtina, Tirana and Sofia .

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Skopje is at the crossroad of two Pan-European corridors: Corridor X, which runs between Austria and Greece, and Corridor VIII, which runs from the Adriatic in Albania to the Black sea in Bulgaria.

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Skopje is not quite on the Corridor X and the M-1 does not pass on the city territory.

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Main railway station in Skopje is serviced by the Belgrade-Thessaloniki and Skopje-Prishtina international lines.

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Skopje has several minor railway stations but the city does not have its own railway network and they are only serviced by intercity or international lines.

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Skopje has a bus network managed by the city and operated by three companies.

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The first commercial flights in Skopje were introduced in 1929 when the Yugoslav carrier Aeroput introduced a route linking the city with the capital, Belgrade.

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Nowadays, International Airport Skopje is in Petrovec, some 20 kilometres east of the city.

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Skopje's airport has connections to several European cities, including Athens, Vienna, Bratislava, Zurich, Brussels, Istanbul, London and Rome.

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Skopje is home to the largest cultural institutions of the country, such as the National and University Library "St Kliment of Ohrid", the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the National Theatre, the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Macedonian Opera and Ballet.

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Skopje has several foreign cultural centres, such as a Goethe-Institut, a British Council, an Alliance francaise, an American Corner.

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Largest museum in Skopje is the Museum of the Republic of North Macedonia which details the history of the country.

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Skopje has one of the biggest Ottoman urban complexes in Europe, with many Ottoman monuments still serving their original purpose.

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Skopje is thus an environment where old, new, progressist, reactionary, eastern and western perspectives coexist.

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Skopje has some remains of Prehistorical architecture which can be seen on the Tumba Madzari Neolithic site.

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Skopje Fortress was rebuilt several times before it was destroyed by the 1963 earthquake.

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Mosques in Skopje are usually simple in design, with a square base and a single dome and minaret.

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Skopje Cultural Summer Festival is a renowned cultural event that takes place in Skopje each year during the summer.

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Some most popular cafes in Skopje are Cafe Trend, Izlet, Ljubov, Vinyl, Public Room, Kino Karposh, Krug, Sindkat.

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