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North Macedonia-The Balkan Pearl

Location and landscape

North Macedonia is a country located in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. Many compare it to Switzerland. The area of Northern Macedonia is 25,333 km2, the population is 2,125,971, mainly 64.2% Macedonians, as well as 25.2% Albanians, 3.9% Turks, 1.8% Serbs, 2.7% Roma, 2.2% others.

North Macedonia is bordered by Albania to the west, Serbia to the north, Greece to the south, and Bulgaria to the east. Geographers consider Northern Macedonia to be a great chessboard, since the macrorelief of this country consists of mountains and valleys.

North Macedonia is a country of beautiful ancient tectonic and mountain lakes. There are about 50 large and small lakes in the republic, of which 3 are the most important: Ohrid, Prespan and Doiran.

Climate and seasons of tourism

The climate in most of the country is temperate continental. The number of hours of sunshine is 2,400 per year. The average air temperature is +12.4*C, in summer the thermometer rises to 35*- 40*C. The swimming season lasts from June to October, during which time the water temperature ranges from 20 * C to 28*C.

History

The fact that people lived on the territory of Macedonia three and a half thousand years ago, scientists have established reliably, but the chronology of events and the writing of the history of a great country for all mankind begins, of course, with the arrival of Alexander the Great in this world. Born of a fertile land, they founded the greatest empire, the equal of which was not and is not. The death of Alexander foreshadowed the end of the Macedonian Empire, which was divided among the associates of the great commander. The first king of Macedonia and Hellas was the son of the commander and friend of Alexander – Kasander. The collapse of the empire had disastrous consequences. Newly formed kingdoms and kingdoms, internecine wars led to the formation of a new world power – Rome, which increasingly turned its attention to the Balkans. During the three Macedonian-Roman wars, Macedonia became fully autonomous under the new empire.

For more than 5 thousand years, Macedonia continued to live within the framework of the Roman state, while maintaining its ethnic characteristics: language, religion and customs. With little chance of realizing her identity in the cultural sphere, she contributed to what is called Roman civilization.

With the arrival of the Slavs in the Balkans, a new stage in the development of Macedonia begins. The process of mixing civilizations was inevitable. By inhabiting Macedonia, the Slavs made great changes in social and economic relations and in the very life of Byzantium, part of the Roman Empire. The ethnic territory of Macedonia received a common language – Slavic. A fateful turning point in the history of the Macedonian Slavs occurs with the advent of the alphabet, that is, with the beginning of the spread of writing and the establishment of Christianity. The first alphabet was compiled by the brothers Cyril (827-869) and Methodius (820-885), based on the language of the Macedonian Slavs understood in all the Balkans.

Centuries later, during coups, intrigues, and after two Balkan wars against the Ottoman yoke, the historical and geographical region of Macedonia was divided between Greece (Aegean Macedonia), Serbia (the current Republic of North Macedonia – Vardar Macedonia), and Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia). I must say that disputes about the historical integrity of Macedonia are still going on between these states.

The political system is a Unitary state, a parliamentary republic.

The capital of Northern Macedonia is the city of Skopje.

Time-lags behind Moscow time in summer by 1 hour, and in winter by 2 hours.

Language-The only official language is Macedonian, which belongs to the group of South Slavic languages, it is spoken by 70% of the country’s population. Albanian has the status of a”second official language”.

Religion

About 67% of the faithful residents belong to the Macedonian Orthodox Church, 30% are Muslims, 3% belong to other concessions.

Currency

Macedonian denar (MCD).

Visa

Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter Northern Macedonia at the moment. The period of stay without a visa in the country is possible for no more than 90 days within 6 months. To cross the border, it is enough to have a valid foreign passport with you.

There are 2 airports in Northern Macedonia: the International Airport in Skopje and the Airport in Ohrid.