Macedonia

Macedonia (The Republic of Macedonia) is a small independent country in Southeastern Europe. It is one of the successor states which broke off with the collapse of Yugoslavia. It had a dispute with Greece over the use of the name “Macedonia”, which also refers to the Central Macedonia and Eastern Macedonia peripheries of Greece. As a result, it was admitted into the United Nations as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

More on Macedonia

Macedonia covers 25,713 sq km (9,779 sq mi). It is a landlocked country bordered by Kosovo to the northwest,

Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south and Albania to the west. Macedonia has a population of about 2.2 million people (2011 estimate). Its capital and largest city is Skopje.

Isak Bey Turbe Aladja Mosque Skopje
Isak Bey Turbe Aladja Mosque Skopje
Author: Dominik Tefert (public domain)

Macedonia observes the Central European Time zone, which is an hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1), and two hours ahead in summer. The official language is Macedonian. Its alphabet was only developed after the Second World War using the Cyrillic alphabet with local adaptations. The official currency is the Macedonian denar (MKD). The phone IDD code is +389. Traffic is driven on the right here. The electricity is 220V/50Hz using European plug.

In 2010 Macedonia had an estimated nominal GDP of $9.58 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $4,634. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity stood at $9,350.

Macedonia has a rugged terrain. Its highest peak is Mount Korab, at 2,764 m (9,396 ft). Its climate is partly Mediterranean and partly continental. Summers in Macedonia are usually hot and dry while winters are moderately cold.

Kameni Kukli, the Stone Dolls
Kameni Kukli, the Stone Dolls
Author: Nikolovskii (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

The area occupied by modern-day Macedonia has been inhabited since the time of antiquity. The ancient kingdom of Paeonia was here, as was ancient Illyria and Dardania. Over the ages, the area was variously ruled by Alexander the Great (also called Alexander II of Macedon), by the Slavs in the 6th century, by the Bulgarian Empire in the early 13th century, by the Serbian Empire in the 14th century, and by the Ottoman Empire in the later part of the 14th century.

Macedonia was ruled by the Ottomans right up to the early 20th century, when the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 led to the dissolution of the empire, and it became a state known as Južna Srbija, meaning “Southern Serbia”. In 1929, with the founding of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the land that is today Macedonia became a province within the kingdom, known as Vardar Banovina.

Movrovo Lake, Macedonia
Movrovo Lake, Macedonia
Author: Ishai Bar (public domain)

After the Second World War, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia became the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Macedonia became a component known as the People’s Republic of Macedonia. In 1963 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed, and within it the new entity of Socialist Republic of Macedonia.

On 8 September, 1991, Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia. It dropped “Socialist” from its name. While it managed to sidestep the brutalities of war which was inflicted upon other former components of Yugoslavia, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was seriously destabilized by the Kosovo War of 1999, which resulted in an influx of some 360,000 ethnic Albanian refugees. It has an impact on the ethnic Albanian population within Macedonia which resulted in a civil war within Macedonia. It only ended through NATO intervention.

Saint Panteleimon Church in Ohrid, Macedonia
Saint Panteleimon Church in Ohrid, Macedonia
Author: elchicodelostrucos (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

Planning your visit to Macedonia

Macedonia is a candidate for joining the European Union. It has already enabled entry to citizens of countries of Schengen Agreement carrying an officially issued ID card (in lieu of passport). Visitors who do not need a visa include the citizens of

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The two international airports in Macedonia are the Alexander the Great Airport (SKP) in Skopje, and the St Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid.

Major Cities in Macedonia

  1. Skopje – capital
  2. Bitola
  3. Kruševo
  4. Kumanovo
  5. Ohrid
  6. Prilep
  7. Radoviš
  8. Struga
  9. Štip
  10. Tetovo

Places of Interest in Macedonia

  1. Galičica National Park
  2. Mavrovo National Park
  3. Pelister National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Macedonia

  1. Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (1979)

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