Theme Week Macedonia – Tetovo

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Radica Pavleska/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Radica Pavleska/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tetovo (Albanian: Tetova) is a city in the northwestern part of Macedonia, built on the foothills of Šar Mountain and divided by the Pena River. The municipality of Tetovo covers an area of 1,080 km2 (417 sq mi) at 468 meters (1,535 ft) above sea level, with a population of 53,000. The city of Tetovo is the seat of Tetovo Municipality. The home of multiple ethnic Albanian political parties and a population in which Albanians form a majority, Tetovo has become the unofficial capital and centre of a predominantly Albanian region which extends in an arc from Tetovo to Struga. The city also has a multi-ethnic background which consists of Albanian, Macedonian, and Turkish elements. Just outside of Tetovo is the South East European University, Macedonia’s third largest university after Skopje and Bitola. Tetovo is also home to the State University of Tetovo.

The main attractions of Tetovo are its historic areas and structures. The Šarena Džamija (“The Painted Mosque”) is located near the Pena River in the old part of town. The mosque was built in 1438 and rebuilt in 1833 by Abdurrahman Pasha, the son of Rexhep Pasha. It is one of the most important cultural and historical structures of Tetovo and represents the style of early Ottoman architecture. The painted mosque continues to be an important monument to the residents of Tetovo, and is the main tourist attraction for many foreign visitors. The Hamam next to the Pena River in Tetovo was built around the same time as the Šarena Džamija and was mainly used for Wudu (avdes, abdest). The Baltepes Fortress, located on the top of the Baltepes hill, above Tetovo was built in 1820 from Abdurrahman Pasha. The Baltepes had a series of tunnels from all the main Ottoman houses in the town leading to the fortress. The thinking behind the tunnel system was to enable the defenders of the fortress to escape behind enemy lines if the fortress was besieged, allowing the besiegers themselves to be encircled. The last tunnel collapsed in 1960s and since excavation started, two of the tunnels, to Selce and Lavce, have been found. Many local stories and myths, such as the “The Tale of the Water Pump”, are set at Baltepe as they focus on the three-year stay of Abdurrahman Pasha of Kalkandelen in the fortress of Baltepe, located on the “cold and dark” Shar Mountains. The old settlement of Oaeneum is believed to be located around where the fortress of Baltepe resides.

Ancient hamam © EfkoMKD/cc-by-sa-4.0 Painted Mosque © Vaurien/cc-by-sa-3.0 Arabati Baba Tekke © Vaurien/cc-by-sa-3.0-de Main Square © MacedonianBoy/cc-by-sa-3.0 Pena river © Fazlijah/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Radica Pavleska/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Arabati Baba Tekke © Vaurien/cc-by-sa-3.0-de
The Arabati Baba Teḱe originally built in 1538 around the türbe of Sersem Ali Baba, an Ottoman dervish. In 1799, a waqf provided by Rexhep Pasha established the current grounds of the tekke. The finest surviving Bektashi monastery in Europe, the sprawling complex features flowered lawns, prayer rooms, dining halls, lodgings and a great marble fountain inside a wooden pavilion. Other notable historical features from the Ottoman period in Tetovo are The Saat Mosque (“The Clock Mosque”) as the name implies it used to have a clock in its minaret, and the Kumluk Mosque (“The Sandy Mosque”), an old mosque in the upper bazaar area of Tetovo. The name is derived from the reddish-yellow exterior of the mosque. An example of Byzantine culture of Tetovo is the Monastery of Lešok. The monastery is 8 km (5 mi) outside Tetovo. In its complex are the churches of St. Athanasius of Alexandria and the Holy Mother of God Church. The Church of the Holy Virgin, built in 1326, is an excellent example of Byzantine style and architectural tradition.

Popova Šapka is a ski resort located in the Šar Mountains. Despite being around seven kilometers from the city, it is generally associated with Tetovo. Popova Šapka attracts many tourists in winter due it being one of the popular ski resorts in the former Yugoslavia. Aside from hosting recreational and competitive skiing competitions, Popova Šapka has many villas and restaurants to accommodate visitors. The rise in hotels was because the cable car that took people from Tetovo to Popova Šapka was destroyed during the 2001 Macedonia conflict. Therefore, people stay at Popova Šapka overnight before returning to Tetovo. There are three stone bridges in Tetovo and each cross the Pena river. The bridges are some of the oldest structures in Tetovo. Most of the old heritage buildings are situated in the old town, near the centre of Tetovo.

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

Read more on Tetovo, Wikivoyage Tetovo and Wikipedia Tetovo. 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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