Skopje (sko - pee - uh), Macedonia was an interesting place to visit. Having no idea what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. It's wacky and quirky. It was much like a city designed as an amusement park for copy and paste monuments from all over the world. You're probably wondering, what does that mean?
Well, the Prime Minister of Macedonia travels a lot, and sees things he likes, and decides to incorporate them into the 633 million Euro operation called Skopje 2014 (which begun in 2010, and was supposed to be finished by 2014) The goal is to improve the visual appeal of the city. For starters, the new government building is none other than . . . the White House! Still under construction.
The London Eye will begin construction soon in front of the White House.
Next up are some other recognizable points of interest.
You're probably wondering why someone took paint guns to such a beautiful monument. It happened all over the city in protest to the Skopje 2014 project. Most Macedonian's make average of 200 euro a month salary. So, when their government is shelling out 633 Million to make the city pretty, they made their feelings known. At least it was creative?
While on the subject of the Skopje 2014 project, the most insulting and disturbing additions are the two below.
I don't remember how much the shoe shine boy cost to make, but the homeless man cost 45,000 Euro. Imagine all the homeless people, or every day citizen making 200 euro a month that the money could've helped through other means. Quite insulting, huh?
This Orthodox Church was taken from back in time and recently finished. A brand new, old church.
The most money was spent to fluff up the main square. Below you will see the massive multiple story high statue of Alexander the Great. It's name is "Warrior on a horse". True story. It cost 8.3 Million Euros. At night, the fountain lights up and rotates through the colors of the rainbow.
In the gallery above, you will see a large advertisement screen to the left of the first image, and later it's own image. I can still hear the peppy music playing from it. Perhaps because it looped all day? It's not the only thing playing. . .
Below. you will see the Art Bridge. It's made up of tons of artist statues. Skopje has a statue issue. They ran out of places to put statues. So, if you look closely, you'll see them on top of the two buildings to the right and left in the photo. And the lamp posts also house a speaker system. It loops about three christmas songs throughout the day; including "What Child is This?". It's super trippy at night when nobody is on the sidewalk, and you're passing by hundreds of lamp posts and statues with christmas music in the background.
I wish I could make this stuff up.
As I said, amusement park.
Here are photos along the river walk. It's quite beautiful. Lots of new buildings with Roman architecture. If you ever want to know what the buildings from the Roman empire looked like brand new, just go to Skopje.
For anyone who doesn't know. Mother Teresa was raised in Skopje until she was 12. Here is where her house was!
Mother Teresa has a statue in Kosovo, and Albanian's say that she is from there. Considering I visited Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia within a week's time, I got very confused what to believe.
Mother Teresa is Macedonian. Her mother was born in Kosovo, and later moved to Albania. Mother Teresa only went to Albania once, after the war ended between Kosovo and Serbia. She never went to Kosovo, and spent the majority of her life in Calcutta, India. Everyone wanted to claim her.
Left Column Below:
The new Memorial House of Mother Teresa. Below it: The original Noble Peace Prize she received, and her head covering.
Right Column Below:
Two images from her sanctuary, you might be able to see the dove and fish designs incorporated into the window iron. The rear garden area is the third photo.
And everything else.
By the way, Macedonia is super cheap. That menu that you see, 100 Macedonia Denar is equivalent to $1.77 . . which once you look at the menu I'm sharing from the 5 star hotel in town, anyone can go crazy and live like a king!