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In Alexander’s kingdom

Sandip Hor recommends a visit to North Macedonia to experience its cultural mix

Forming a complex border between the major cultural traditions of Europe and Asia, Macedonia has been ruled by several conquerors since ancient times – Romans, Byzantines and Slavs, as well as the Ottomans who occupied the land for almost 500 years until the early 20th century.

As a result, North Macedonia, which declared complete independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, is part Balkan and part Mediterranean, and infused with Greek and Ottoman influences. Lonely Planet has recommended it as one of the top 10 destinations to visit this year.

OLD TOWN SKOPJE The first place any visitor heads to in Skopje is the eclectic suburb of Čaršija. This is the Old Bazaar or Ottoman quarter, evoking the city’s past with its winding lanes packed with mosques, bazaars, kebab stalls, teahouses and shops of different kinds. Built in 1492, the Mustafa Pasha Mosque is the star attraction because of its magnificent colonnades, towering minaret and impressive interiors.

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