A bit more than one year ago I made a post about Skopje - writing that I wished to visit the city and take pictures of the wonderful buildings I was showing in the post. This summer, driving back from a short Greece holiday we had a good opportunity to visit this city.
In the beginning I was really exited, as driving into the city I discovered quickly all the modern brutalist buildings of my post.
The main post office
Macedonian Telecomunication Building
The Macedonian National Radio and Television building
St. Kliment Cathedral
I was also absolutely enthusiastic about the old town, one of the biggest Bazaars after Istambul. Walking along the narrow streets flanking old caravanserais, hammams and shops made a good picture of what Skopje had been in the past. However here you notice the high percentage of Albanian population in Skopje (around 25%).
Crossing the old Stone Bridge to reach the other side of the Vardar River I was rather horrified to see what a big nonsense is being made with the center of Skopje!!!!
The River Banks and Macedonia Square are being transformed in a ridiculous mix of "Asterix at the Olympic Games" and "Hellenic Las Vegas"!
In a span of 5 years investments of 200 Millions € should give Skopje a historical center and an identity. The project is called "Skopje 2014".
Of course history can not be made by CAD Visualisations and identity can not be artificially created by usurpation of the neighbour's one (what's about the 22meter statue of Alexander the Great, on the center of the square?).
Also the 68 country flags all over the center and the big white statues of Greek heroes look a bit desperate......
I'd better stop commenting...(and forget what I saw)...and better write about one of the really beautiful building of the center: the Ristic Palace, now an office complex, built in 1926 by Serbian pharmacist Vladislav Ristic. (and the title Picture of this post!)
The palace is one of the few large buildings in Skopje from that period that survived the shocks of the 1963 Skopje earthquake. The architectural design of the building is credited to Dragutin Maslać and construction credit is to Danilo Stanković, who provided the sculptural aspects of the building.