Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre. It was known in the Roman period under the name Scupi. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was seized by the Romans and became a military camp. When the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395 AD, Scupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople.
After the very disappointing impressions of the modernized inner-city area of Skopje with its numerous, sometimes kitschy sculptures, we were excited to see the part of the city centre that is a real remnant of Ottoman times, the Old Bazaar of Skopje.
After our mostly disappointing days at Skopje, we were already on the way back to Lake Ohrid Camping Rino when we were discussing to visit Matka Canyon to report about this famous ravine, as we were able to see the sign board in a bend.
When in 518 an earthquake destroyed the entire city of Skopje, it was a primary concern of ruling Emperor Justinian I to rebuild the city. Not even a hundred years had passed when, in the winter of 594/95, the Slavic tribes of the Balkans, the tribes of the Slavs, destroyed the city again.