Where is Macedonia? The Republic of Macedonia is located in the central Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. Landlocked by five countries, Macedonia constitutes almost one-third of the northwestern ‘geographic region’ of Macedonia. Since this region comprises of neighboring territories of southwestern Bulgaria and predominantly, northern Greece; the country also contests the use of its current name.
Macedonia shares it northern border with Serbia and Kosovo in the northwest. Its western border at Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa are shared with Albania. Bulgaria consumes its entire eastern border, while Greece spreads across most of its southern border. Where is Macedonia in history? Currently known as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),” the country has been part of some of the greatest empires, starting with the Ancient and Roman period, where the region transformed into the Kingdom of Macedon and was incorporated as a Province of Macedonia.
Over the years, it attracted the attention of the revived Bulgarian Empire and later, the Serbian Empire that established the Tsar Stefan Sudan Empire in the region. It was eventually ruled by the Ottoman Empire, finally earning independence in 1991 after a grueling Socialist Yugoslavian period. The result of this diversified history is that you will find many places to visit in Macedonia. Some of the best places to visit in Macedonia include:
Bay of the Bones Museum
A reconstruction of a Bronze-Age settlement of the Plocha Michov Grad Prehistoric Palafitte, dating back over 3000 years, this museum is located on Lake Ohrid, which is one of the oldest known lakes on earth itself. It is a unique tourist attraction, one that sends visitors back to the Bronze-Ages.
While you’re visiting Ohrid, don’t forget to visit this historical site that has been superbly restored. It was once a church built by Saint Clement, the first Bishop of Macedonia, who was buried inside the tomb. The Church was later destroyed and replaced with an Islamic mosque. The mosque was also destroyed in the following years, rebuilt, and then left into disrepair during the communist rule.
A relic of the Ancient Macedon Empire, dating back to the 2nd century BC, and named after the Greek hero Heracles, it is one of the finest and well-preserved cities.
Set atop Mount Vodno, standing tall at 66 m, and overlooking the city of Skopje, the Cross offers an incredible scenic and panoramic view of the countryside and the city itself. A trip to the base of the mountain is no less exciting.
This Orthodox church (1830) has rich frescoes, ornate lamps and a huge iconostasis.
Follow the signs for Sveti Jovan at Kaneo along the winding streets. This amazing little 13th-century church will appear before you on the cliffs above the lake. The unusual half-folded umbrella roof of the dome indicates that there was an Armenian influence in its design - this is a distinct feature of Armenian churches.
Ohrid's minor frescoed 14th-century churches have somewhat irregular opening hours, but are worth a look if you're passing and they are accessible. Bolnica means 'hospital' in Macedonian; during plagues visitors faced 40-day quarantines here. Both churches are small, but have intricate interiors heaving under elaborate icons.