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North Macedonia is a beautiful, mountainous country which is situated in the Balkans.
The country is landlocked and is surrounded by the neighboring countries of Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania. It is also part of the former kingdom of Macedonia, which is where its name comes from.
Macedonia was home to many famous people like Alexander the Great, Mother Teresa, and the philosopher Aristotle! It is a very technologically advanced country and has many magnificent sights to see as it is abundant in natural beauty. Read on to learn more!
If you enjoyed this article, check out our pages about Japanese education and Ireland geography facts.
Macedonia, or North Macedonia, is a country in Southeast Europe. It was once part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but gained independence when it was dissolved in 1991.
The capital city of Macedonia is Skopje, which is the largest city in Macedonia and houses a quarter of its population. There are around 700,000 people living there as of now. The Cyrillic alphabet, from which many alphabet systems across Europe and Asia are based, was developed in North Macedonia by two Macedonian brothers in the ninth century. It is the national script of quite a few Slavic, Turkish Uralic, and Iranic speaking countries across Eurasia. It spread from a monastery in Ohrid to all across the ancient eastern Slavic world!
Macedonia is a very well-off country, despite being formerly embroiled in conflict. Gaining independence and opening up its economy to the world helped to develop its main industries of food grains, wines, iron, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. It also transformed completely into a high technology country over a period of four years starting from 2005, when it became the first country to have full access to broadband internet. The famous saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta was actually born in Skopje, Macedonia, in 1910! She is one of the most famous Macedonians to come from the country, which honored her with a statue and museum of her life.
Macedonia is part of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, which was ruled by the Argead dynasty. It has existed for many years, meaning it is quite old! It was under the rule of Alexander the Great, who conquered many countries like Greece, India, and Persia during his reign. His predecessor was his father, King Phillip II, who contributed greatly to the reformation of the Macedonian army which led to many victories. Unfortunately, he was assassinated by his own bodyguard.
The Kingdom of Macedonia today is divided between the Republic of North Macedonia and Greece which is located to the south. It was briefly part of the Roman Empire as a Roman province and became part of the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome in 395 AD. They ruled Macedonia until 1371 when the Turks arrived and made it part of the Ottoman Empire, until 1913 when war broke out. Macedonia was a part of Yugoslavia, which was formed in 1918 after the first World War, and remained so until Yogoslavia was dissolved in 1991. It was the only country to gain independence without any bloodshed, and it became the independent Republic of Macedonia shortly after, as it remained totally at peace during the Yugoslav War. It consists half of the western ancient kingdom of Macedonia, with northern Greece occupying the eastern half, which is called the Macedonian region.
Macedonia is a country rich in natural resources and beautiful scenery, and its rich history means that there are some amazing tourist destinations to visit.
It is a landlocked country and has many mountain peaks. There are 34 mountains in North Macedonia! It is part of the Balkan peninsula, which is covered by the beautiful Balkan mountains. There are a number of amazing sights including lakes, national parks, mountain trails, and quaint, ancient towns and villages. This country is home to Ohrid Lake which is one of the deepest lakes in Europe. Ohrid Lake was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, because of the presence of 200 endemic species of wildlife in the area! The lake itself is estimated to be around 3 million years old. The town of Ohrid is also very charming and has a rustic atmosphere with its narrow streets which lead to the lake.
There are also beautiful underwater caves like Cave Vrelo, and Cave Pesha. This cave has an uncanny resemblance to Helm's deep cave from 'The Lord Of The Rings', making it quite a popular tourist spot!
There are many beautiful churches which you can visit here. The most famous is St. Jovan Kaneo, which has a breathtaking view of Lake Ohrid. The Saint Archangel Micheal monastery is located in the mountains and is perfect for a peaceful visit. The Holy Savior church is also quite beautiful and features some old artwork depicting important scenes from Christianity. There are also a number of mosques, which were built during the period when Macedonia was part of the Ottoman empire. One of these is the beautifully colored Painted Mosque.
The Millenium cross is a large cross that was constructed on top of Vodno mountain in Skopje and was built in 2002 in the honor of Christianity.
There used to exist a small country within Macedonia as well! When Macedonia gained independence in 1991, the small village of Vevcani took the opportunity to declare itself as the Republic of Vevcani. The residents developed their own currency and passport, and the 'country' even had its own flag! However, it didn't last very long and was absorbed by the nearest municipality Macedonia, however, Vevcani still uses its former country status to attract tourists.
Macedonia is a republic and follows the parliamentary form of rule, and has both a president and prime minister.
The name Macedonia was under dispute for quite some time as it was claimed by the Greeks as well. It was a geographical region within Greece, which was important for most of Greece's agricultural production. The country of Macedonia was formed by splitting the Ancient Kingdom of Macedon into two nations. The Greeks also felt that this meant that North Macedonia was interested in taking over the Greek province of Macedonia, expanding their own territory. This dispute in name led to the renaming of the country of Macedonia to North Macedonia in February of 2019.
The name of the country was not the only thing that the Greeks disapproved of. The original flag constituted a red background, with the yellow Vergina sun shining through. They used the Vergina sun based on the symbol found on a few ancient tombstones in the town of Vergina. However, since the Vergina sun was considered a symbol used in Ancient Greek art, they raised objections to this. In 1995, the country of Macedonia changed the design of their flag to feature a different rayed yellow sun, to prevent the escalation of the dispute which was already heated because of the controversy of the name Macedonia. Both its first flag and the new one share the same color scheme.
Macedonia was granted membership in the United Nations in 1993, but because of the dispute of name between Macedonia and Greece at that time it was admitted under the official name, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It changed its name officially to The Republic of North Macedonia in 2019, which resolved the conflict between Greece and itself. The country is looking to join the European Union, and if approved, will change its currency from the Macedonian Denar to the Euro. The current languages spoken are Macedonian and Albanian.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked discovering these Macedonia facts, then why not take a look at Ireland's economy facts or Ireland's cultural facts.
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