УКИМ

Republic of Macedonia

REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA 

Macedonian Parliament

The Republic of Macedonia is situated in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula, with an area of 25,713 square kilometres bordering on Serbia to the north, Kosovo to the north-west, Greece to the south, Bulgaria to the east and Albania to the west. Due to such a geographic location, the Republic of Macedonia is and has been an important crossroads of many different civilisations, religions and cultures throughout history.

According to the last census in the Republic of Macedonia live around two million people.

Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, is the biggest political, economical, educational and cultural centre. Macedonia is predominantly a mountainous country with a great number of exceptional natural treasures and beauties. In Macedonia there are 34 peaks rising to over 2,000 metres and rich in vegetation. The mountains and mountain ranges are hatched by many valleys and plains. The influences of the Mediterranean and the Continental Climate positively affect the high fertility of the cultivated land and the development of cattle breeding as well as the development of both winter and summer tourism. Macedonia is a country of lakes of extraordinary natural beauty that offer favourable conditions for the development of tourism. In its southern part there are three large tectonic lakes: Ohrid, Prespa and Dojran. Their outstanding natural environment and numerous recreation facilities make them recognised tourist centres. On its territory there are 15 reservoirs and 25 glacial lakes situated in the highest parts of mountain massifs formed during the Ice Age. The winter sport centres: Popova [apka, Bistra-Mavrovo, Kru{evo, Pelister, Ponikva and Golak, with their picturesque terrains suitable for winter sports, are very famous.

Macedonia has a very extensive and ancient cultural heritage. Because of the great number of archaeological sites dating from the antique times, Macedonia has every right to be called - a magical land of archaeology. Macedonia also has a significant number of monasteries and churches that are masterpieces of the ancient constructors, icon painters, fresco painters and wood carvers. The monasteries of St. John of Bigor, - near Gostivar; Marko's Monastery; St. Panteleimon - near Skopje; the Monastery of Lesnovo, St. Nahum of Ohrid - near Ohrid; St. Sofia, Ohrid, and the churches of the Holy Salvation, Skopje; St. George the Archangel, the village of Kurbinovo, are only some of the numerous monasteries and churches. The Ottoman Empire has also left its marks on this territory with a great number of mosques, baths and market places.

Here, in Macedonia, there is a tradition of the preservation of Macedonian folklore, which is very rich and diverse and reflects the spirit and the way of life of the Macedonian people.