Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Струмички карневал - The Strumica Carnival

Strumica is a small city in the south-eastern corner of Macedonia, inhabited by 35 000 people (only ethnic Macedonians). The city is famous for one of the most interesting carnivals in Europe – Струмички карневал. Colourful and original. The carnival is more “cultural” than this in Vevcani – no one here burns the greek flag, you also can’t see here rituals offensive for muslims. Maybe it’s not Rio de Janeiro, but costs of both events are not possible to compare too. Having some denars in your pocket, you can freely fulfill your hunger and thirst in the nearest kafana and being full of energy join to the thousands of people having fun on the main square. Then eat and drink once again. And all the night like that. Even a place to sleep is not necessary (you can go in the morning straight from party to make hitchhiking ;))
The carnival is known from 1670, when the Turkish author Evlija Chelebija wrote during stay in Strumica: “I came into a town located in the foothills of a high hillock and what I saw that night was masked people running house–to–house, with laughter, scream and songs...".
In 1994 Strumica joined to the Federation of European Carnival Cities. The event begins on the last Saturday of the carnival. Dressed up and masked dancers join to the rest of the people on the main square to party with them till late hours in the night (early morning). Colourful people and constructions, loud music, beer, wine and rakija. Everyone can find something here to enjoy.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Skopje Aqueduct

The Aqueduct in Skopje is located in the north-western peripheries of the city. Actually, is not really known who built it and when exactly. One theory says that Romans made it in the 1st century to provide water to the legionary colony. According to another one, it was built during Justinian the Great ruling, in the Byzantine times. But the most likely, the aqueduct was created in the 16th century during period of Ottoman Empire and supplied with water numerous Turkish baths. The Skopje Aqueduct is the only one in Macedonia and one of three in Former Yugoslavia countries (remaining two are in Stari Bar in Montenegro and in Split in Croatia). The aqueduct carried water to the citizens from 9 km far  - the springs of Skopska Crna Gora Mountain. It was constructed with stones and bricks and originally had about 200 arches, supported by massive pillars. Today, it is 386 metres long and has 55 arches.