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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website  https://www.ceciliaclark.com/ . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at  https://www.ceciliaclark.com/blog .

Scenes from Stara Čaršija (Old Bazaar) Skopje, North Macedonia: May 6, 2019

View of Mustafa Pasha Mosque from the Kala
One of my favorite strolls in Skopje is through the Stara Čaršija known both as the old bazaar and the old town. Its architecture has Ottoman roots. This old town has many mosques and it is from here that I hear the evocative calls to prayer. There are also two 15th-century hamams (Turkish Baths) now used as museum space and three caravansaries one of which houses a restaurant.

Skopje Kala (Fortress) with roots that go back to the 6th century 

The Stone Bridge (Kamen Most) spanning the River Vardar links modern Skopje with Stara Čaršija. The bridge built on Roman foundations dates from the 15th century Ottoman period with periodic modern era renovations.

Kamen Most (Stone Bridge)
Even though the Stone Bridge is on the city's coat of arms and on the city flag, the new Skopje 2014 buildings overshadow both the Stone Bridge and the Fortress.

Karposh
The statue of Karposh appropriately situated near the Stone Bridge on the Stara Čaršija side is one of my favorites. He's on a mission and riding like the wind. Karposh led a Christian anti-Ottoman uprising in 1689. It didn't go well, and the Ottomans executed Karposh that same year on the Stone Bridge.

Once over the Stone Bridge there are a few more Skopje 2014 installations cluttering the walk to Stara Čaršija. There is a non-working fountain with four statuary vignettes from the life of Olympia and her son Alexander (the warrior who cannot be named). On one side of the Olympia-Alex stages of mother and child statue is a lion sculpture fountain and on the other side is a horse fountain in which it looks as if the horses are drowning and furiously trying to escape.




Olympia's husband Philip II of Macedonia is mounted on top of another fountain just a few steps farther.


Once past the additions wrought by Skopje 2014, it feels as if you have stepped back to Ottoman-era Skopje where people live, work, and where paint peels and buildings have the patina of age. There are "tourist" streets with souvenir shops and trendy cafes in Stara Čaršija, but the best sights are beyond: the barber shops, the fancy dresses shops, the old tailor shops, and cafes where men sip coffee or play games in the shade of trees.
From 2012
Different lens - 2019
 Blacksmith/Sharpener















This man has an antique shop on one of the streets in Stara Čaršija. His shop is a 15th-century building that has survived earthquakes and changes of government. Quite a bit of his merchandise was inherited from his mother and grandmother both of whom made lovely textiles. We chatted with him and he told us how much he missed life in Yugoslavia and President Tito. He even posed for my photo with an old portrait of Tito.

My other favorite sculpture from Skopje 2014 is below the Stone Bridge between Ottoman Skopje and Modern Skopje. It is called "The Divers."

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