If you are looking for a European destination that is scenic and affordable, quirky but friendly, has beaches, mountains, and vineyards….then look no further than Macedonia.
One of the Balkan Peninsula’s landlocked countries in Southeastern Europe, the Republic Macedonia was once part of the former Yugoslavia but became independent in 1991. The country has over fifty lakes, and sixteen mountains higher than 6,562 feet.
Macedonia is not without its controversy. Alexander the Great has riveted the attention and fervor of the Macedonians who claim this larger-than-life personality as their national hero – to the utter dismay of neighboring Greece who’ve long held that he’s theirs. Alexander, the ruler of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, was born in the city of Pella, located in present-day Greece, but Macedonians insist that Greece stole the conqueror’s legacy from Macedonia, not the other way around.
The Greeks also dispute use of the name “Macedonia,” laying claim to that name as an official providence in Greece Macedonians have been forced to use either constitutional name Republic of Macedonia, or YROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) – a name which they do not like because it calls to mind former unpleasant communist rule.
1. The Culture and History of Macedonia
Macedonia has more monasteries, convents and churches than any other place in the Balkans. According to some estimates, there are approximately 155 preserved monasteries and 90 more in ruins or disrepair.
St. Naum, a Byzantine monastery perched high on a rocky outcropping overlooking Lake Ohrid, was built by the monk of the same name. His stone coffin is housed in its own chamber, open to visitors, many of which have claimed over the years to hear the saint’s heartbeat, more than 1000 years after his death, by pressing an ear to the tomb. Others claim it is nothing more than the echo of an underground spring.
Read the rest of 7 Reasons Why You Will Love Macedonia (Huffington Post)