Prehistoric and archaeological sites in North Macedonia

Greek Theatre of Ohrid

The Ancient theatre of Ohrid from the Hellenistic period was built in 200 BC and is the only Hellenistic-type theatre in the North Macedonia. It is unclear how many people the original theater used to seat, as only the lower section still exists. The open theater has a perfect location: the two hills that surround it keep it protected from winds that could interfere with acoustics during performances. During Roman times, ...
Founded: 200 BCE | Location: Ohrid, North Macedonia

Plaosnik

Plaošnik is an archaeological site and holy place in Ohrid. The church was built by St. Clement in the year 893 on the foundation of an early Christian basilica, and dedicated to St. Panteleimon. It was here that the Ohrid Literary School, a center of Slavonic literary and cultural activity where more than 3,500 disciples were educated. St. Clement was buried in this church, in the tomb which was built by his own h ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Ohrid, North Macedonia

Stobi

Stobi was an ancient town of Paeonia located near Gradsko. It is considered by many to be the most famous archaeological site in North Macedonia. Stobi was built where the Erigon (Crna River) joins the Axios (Vardar), making it strategically important as a center for both trade and warfare. Stobi developed from a Paeonian settlement established in the Archaic period. It is believed that in 217 BCE, Philip V annexed Paio ...
Founded: 3rd century BCE | Location: Gradsko, North Macedonia

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built. Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was ...
Founded: c. 350 BCE | Location: Bitola, North Macedonia

Skopje Aqueduct

The Skopje Aqueduct is the only aqueduct in Macedonia, and one of three largest and well preserved in the former Yugoslavia. The question of when the Skopje Aqueduct was built is unclear. There are three theories, it may have been built during the reign of Rome (1st century), during the reign of Byzantine Empire (reign of Emperor Justinian I) or during the reign of Ottoman Empire. According to this latest theory the aqu ...
Founded: Unknown | Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Kokino

Kokino is a Bronze Age archaeological approximately 30 km from the town of Kumanovo. The wider Kokino archaeological site covers about 30 hectares. The oldest archaeological finds date from about the 19th century BC, corresponding to the early European Bronze Age. It shows signs of occupation for the period from the 19th to the 7th centuries BC. Finds from the Middle Bronze Age (c. 16th to 14th centuries BC) are the most ...
Founded: 1900-1800 BCE | Location: Kumanovo, North Macedonia

Stone Town of Kuklica

The stone town is an area consisting of over 120 naturally formed stone pillars, located in the village of Kuklica, near Kratovo. There are two main legends surrounding the formation of the strange stone pillars in Kuklica. The most famous legend is that of a man who could not decide which of two women he should marry. So, the man planned to marry each woman on the same day at different times. When the first wedding was ...
Founded: Unknown | Location: Kratovo, North Macedonia

Bylazora

Bylazora or Vilazora was a Paeonian city from the period of early classic antiquity. King Philip V captured Bylazora, the largest town of Paeonia, and very favourably situated for commanding the pass from Dardania to Macedonia: so that by this achievement he was all but entirely freed from any fear of the Dardani, it being no longer easy for them to invade Macedonia, as long as this city gave Philip the command of the pas ...
Founded: 3rd century BCE | Location: Sveti Nikole, North Macedonia

Bargala

Bargala was a Byzantine fortified town constructed between the 4th and 6th century, a period spanning Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium. Today it is an archaeological site and a visitor attraction in the Karbinci Municipality. It is located 20 km northeast of the modern city of Štip on the lower slopes of the Plačkovica mountain. Archaeological excavations have uncovered a basilica, trade quarters, a water tank, a bath ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Karbinci, North Macedonia

Vardarski Rid

Vardarski Rid is an archaeological site in Gevgelija of a town dating from Early Antiquity. Archaeological excavations reveal the architectural layout of the monumental stoa, an acropolis, and other segments from the settlement. Vardarski Rid is also used today as a picnic spot. Vardarski Rid is located in the central part of the Lower Vardar Valley. It is located at a dominant strategic position above the Gevgelija Plai ...
Founded: 13th century BCE | Location: Gevgelija, North Macedonia

Scupi

Scupi is an archaeological site where a Roman military camp was founded in the second century BC on the site of an older Dardanian settlement. It became later Colonia Flavia Aelia Scupi and many veteran legionnaires were settled there. A Roman town was founded in the time of Domitian (AD 81–96) and Scupi became the chief center for romanizing Dardania. Scupi was ravaged several times by barbarians, in AD 269 by the Go ...
Founded: 168 BCE | Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Tauresium

Tauresium is an archaeological site in North Macedonia, best known as the birthplace of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (ca. 482) and King Theodahad of the Ostrogoths (480). Tauresium and the castle Baderiana were destroyed in an earthquake in 518 and the epicentre of the earthquake was in the nearby city of Skupi. As a gesture of gratitude to his birthplace, Justinian I rebuilt the city. According to the excavations that ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Zelenikovo, North Macedonia

Cocev Kamen

Cocev Kamen is a hilltop cave site of volcanic origin near the town of Kratovo. Objects (bone fossils) discovered near the cave suggest human presence since the Paleolithic. Authors agree that the site served as a gathering point for sacrificial rituals from the Neolithic, during the Bronze Age, throughout antiquity until the Middle Ages as clarified by an abundance of pottery shards, stone (flint) tools and bone fragment ...
Founded: Paleolithic Age | Location: Kratovo, North Macedonia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Holy Trinity Column

The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.

The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.

Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.

In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.

The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.