Theme Week Macedonia – Bitola

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Clock tower © Zdravevski/cc-by-sa-3.0

Clock tower © Zdravevski/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bitola is a city in the southwestern part of Macedonia. The city is an administrative, cultural, industrial, commercial, and educational centre. It is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia valley, surrounded by the Baba, Nidže and Kajmakčalan mountain ranges, 14 kilometres (9 miles) north of the Medžitlija-Níki border crossing with Greece. It is an important junction connecting the south of the Adriatic Sea with the Aegean Sea and Central Europe. It has been known since the Ottoman period as “the city of the consuls”, since many European countries have consulates in Bitola. According to the 2002 census, Bitola is the second largest city in the country. Bitola is also the seat of the Bitola Municipality. Bitola is one of the oldest cities on the territory of Macedonia. It was founded as Heraclea Lyncestis in the middle of the 4th century BC by Philip II of Macedon. During the Ottoman rule the city was the last capital of Ottoman Rumelia.

Bitola is the economic and industrial center of southwestern Macedonia. Many of the largest companies in the country are based in the city. The Pelagonia agricultural combine is the largest producer of food in the country. The Streževo water system is the largest in the Republic of Macedonia and has the best technological facilities. The three thermoelectric power stations of REK Bitola produce nearly 80% of electricity in the state. The Frinko refrigerate factory was a leading electrical and metal company. Bitola also has significant capacity in the textile and food industries. Bitola is also home to twelve consulates, which gives the city the nickname “the city of consuls.”

Širok Sokak Street © Revizionist/cc-by-sa-3.0 Širok Sokak Street © Benjamín Núñez González/cc-by-sa-4.0 Philip II Square © Local hero/cc-by-sa-3.0 Old Bazaar Quarter © Tommyy882/cc-by-sa-3.0 A monument of Phillip II of Macedon, the founder of Bitola © flickr.com - yeowatzup/cc-by-2.0 Clock tower © Zdravevski/cc-by-sa-3.0
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A monument of Phillip II of Macedon, the founder of Bitola © flickr.com - yeowatzup/cc-by-2.0
The city has many historical buildings dating from many historical periods. The most notable ones are from the Ottoman age, but there are some from the more recent past. Širok Sokak (meaning “Wide Alley”) is a long pedestrian street that runs from Magnolia Square to the City Park. It is unknown when Bitola’s clock tower was built. Written sources from the 16th century mention a clock tower, but it is not clear if it is the same one. Some believe it was built at the same time as St. Dimitrija Church, in 1830. Legend says that the Ottoman authorities collected around 60,000 eggs from nearby villages and mixed them in the mortar to make the walls stronger. The Church of Saint Demetrius was built in 1830 with voluntary contributions of local merchants and craftsmen. It is plain on the outside, as all churches in the Ottoman Empire had to be, but of rare beauty inside, lavishly decorated with chandeliers, a carved bishop throne and an engraved iconostasis. According to some theories, the iconostasis is a work of the Mijak engravers. Its most impressive feature is the arc above the imperial quarters with modeled figures of Jesus and the apostles. The Ajdar-kadi (Turkish judge) Mosque is one of the most attractive monuments of Islamic architecture in Bitola. It was built in the early 1560s, as the project of the famous architect Mimar Sinan, ordered by the Bitola kadija Ajdar-kadi. Over time, it was abandoned and heavily damaged, but recent restoration and conservation has restored to some extent its original appearance.

Situated near the city centre, the covered bazaar (Macedonian: Bezisten) is one of the most impressive and oldest buildings in Bitola from the Turkish period. With its numerous cupolas that look like a fortress, with its tree-branch-like inner streets and four big metal doors it is one of the biggest covered markets in the region. The old bazaar is mentioned in a description of the city from the 16th and the 17th centuries. The present bezisten does not differ much in appearance from the original one. The bezisten had eighty-six shops and four large iron gates. The shops used to sell textiles, and today sell food products.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Bitola, Wikitravel Bitola, Wikivoyage Bitola and Wikipedia Bitola. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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