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Macedonia is a treasury of cultural wealth. The Slavonic alphabet was born in Macedonia, where the Macedonian educators Cyril and Metodius, and Clement and Naum played an important part in the spread of Christianity. Macedonian builders and mosaic masters shone like a bright star in the dark period of European culture prior to the Renaissance.


Scholars and writers often refer to Macedonia as a magical country for archeology – there are many historical sites, including those at Stoby (Gradsko), Heraclea Lyncetis (Bitola), Lyhnidos (Ohrid) and Skupi (Skopje). In the site of Vinicko Kale (near Vinica), the discovery of terra-cotta icons aroused great interest among historians and archeologists. The Basilica Mosaic in Heraclea Lyncetis is one of the famous mosaics of antiquity. There are many remains from Roman times and the early Christian period.







The latest archeological discovery is the Kokino Observatory. It was discovered in 2002 and according to NASA, and their list ranking observatories by age, it is the fourth oldest in the world, after Abu Simbel in Egypt, Stonehenge in Britain and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Macedonia's Megalithic-era Kokino Observatory is located 1,030m above sea level on the Tativec Kamen Summit near Kumanovo. Archaeological and astronomical analyses have shown that the observatory is more than 3,800 years old.


Macedonian cities have an imposing number of churches. The famous architects and fresco-painters worked on numerous churches, and in Ohrid alone their number exceeds 30. Lake Ohrid and the town of Ohrid are under the protection of UNESCO. One of the best known historical monuments is the church of St Sophia, the former Cathedral of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. It was built in the 10th and 11th centuries. The churches and other cultural monuments built between the 11th 12th centuries are characterized by unique architecture and priceless frescoes and icons, famous through the world.


From the Turkish period, there are monuments of Islamic culture such as mosques, bazaars and baths. In the 14th century, Skopje was described as being an important trading centre with its Old Bazaar, Covered Marketplace (Bezisten), the Kursumli An caravanserai, Daut Pasha Baths and the Mustapha Pasha Mosque. Another important monument of Islamic culture in Macedonia is the Painted Mosque (Sarena Dzamija) in Tetovo.


A large number of monuments have been erected following the liberation. One of the most interesting is the monument devoted to the Ilinden Uprising in Krusevo. Many memorials have also been built, such as those in Prilep, Kumanovo, Veles and Stip, renowned for their beauty and expressiveness.


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