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Reflecting growing diversity

Categories: Cultural Diversity

Makedonium

Makedonium

The culture and religion has always been an inseparable compound that defines the Macedonian nation and affects its tradition and customs. 
North Macedonia as Biblical country rich in churches and monasteries, sacred waters and miraculous icons makes a perfect place for one to find tranquility and discover God's truth, the meaning of our existence and the mission of why we are here now. 
The number and diversity of over 155 completely preserved monasteries and 90 monasteries in various stages of disrepair suggest past of people whose story is that of creation, art and spirituality. 
Wherever you knock on a door of a Krusevo house or a monastery you will be deeply touched by the hospitality and living tradition of welcoming the guests with traditional sweets, coffee and cold water. Use the opportunity by coming to Krusevo to experience the old customs still preserved in the nowadays life, the numberless cultural events showing the old and new traditions from folk dance festivals, poetry reading , theatre and classical music festivals and to sight see the churches and monastery mostly arranged in the Byzantine style and decor.
Krusevo's thousands of years old heritage of different cultures and civilizations starts from Neolithic times through the ancient Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine eras, the time of medieval kingdom of Samoil, Ottoman era and continues to the modern nowadays time. 
The long history left numerous artifacts from stone, clay and metal, manuscripts and buil

Krusevo is a city in North Macedonia located on the southeastern slopes of Busheva Mountain, at the source of the Krushevska River and at an altitude of over 1,250 m (highest in the country). It was  mentioned for the first time as early as in 15th century during Ottoman rule, and for a long time it was just a small settlement with some 45 houses, but it was in 18th century when it started growing into an urban centre owing to migrations and arrival of the first ethnic Vlachs, who were mostly artisans and merchants  from Moskopole and its surroundings. Traditionally multi-ethnic and multicultural composure of the local community was further and gradually being enriched with arrival of Orthodox Albanians, while the local Macedonians were arriving from the surrounding villages. With its ethnically mixed population comprising North Macedonians, Albanians, Vlachs, Turks and Bosniaks, Krushevo was rapidly developing as a craft and trade centre reaching the population of some 12,000 inhabitants in the late 19th century. Today, the Orthodox Christian and Catholic churches as well as the Mosques,  are an evidence of multi-religious cultural heritage enriched throughout its long history of this picturesque city. 

Perhaps the most important evidence of a rich urban architectural heritage of this town is the so called Krushevo house. The Kruševo house is widely known for its urbanity and elegance and the city is often referred to a city-museum because of its picturesque architecture. The city panorama shaped as an amphitheatre with the houses arranged along the circular stairs on the ground. One gets the impression of a large circles engraved on hillside, filled with thousands of windows, terraces and rooftops. Most of these traditional houses were built at the end of the 18th century and during the 19th century by experienced Macedonian builders from the Mijak area, and even today, each and every of these houses is a genuine piece of art.

One of the most representative houses is the house of the Talesku family, which was built in 1875 by the Kruševo architect Kirju Goga as his family house. It consists of a ground floor and two floors with two main facades, a terrace, a French balcony and a tympanum. Utility rooms are on the ground floor, on the first floor there are bedrooms for the family members and the guest rooms are on the second floor. Both its functional interior with lots of built-in wooden furniture  and ornamental exterior design represents a characteristic combination of influences from both east and west, while still retaining its originality and authenticity. The Krushevo house testifies to the high housing standard of the local people their high practical and aesthetic values, a long standing tradition of the culture of urban living thus enriching this city with a recognizable architectural and cultural heritage.

Historic Museum Kruševo

The city Historic Museum consists of three buildings in different locations definitely worth seeing:

The Museum of National Liberation War: opened in 1988 to display exhibits and in memory of the National liberation war during WW2 in the former Yugoslavia. The permanent exhibition displayed in the museum follows the revolutionary path of the partisan detached unit named "Pitu Guli" through the photographs taken during the war and numerous wartime exhibits such as the weaponry and objects used by the soldiers. A large fresco by the famous painter Borko Lazeski, is also displayed illustrating the timeline of events in the course of the war.

Ilinden Uprising Museum: This museum was founded in 1953 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Ilinden uprising and establishment of the Krusevo Republic that took place in the Tomalevski family house, where the historic Krusevo Republic was proclaimed in 1903. The museum’s permanent exhibition contains the most important founding documents, original maps and other objects used by the leaders of the uprising, as well as the public declarations adopted in this town in the preparation of the uprising against the Ottoman rule.

Nikola Martinoski Gallery: this art gallery is placed in one of the traditional Krusevo house, a unique example of an urban architecture of the 19 century. Remarkable artistic works by a modern Macedonian painter Nikola Martinoski (1903-1973) are exposed in this gallery, which the author left as a cultural legacy to his native Krushevo in 1968. Martinoski has made an invaluable impact on the cultural life in his country in the 20th century who will be remembered as an artist who managed to connect the European modern art tendencies with a vivid and picturesque Macedonian cultural heritage. Nikola Martinoski belongs to an outstanding group of painters who contributed to the creation of Macedonian and Yugoslav modern art.

He was born as one of four children in a distinguished, rich family of Kosta and Anushka Martin, who had well established businesses both in Skopje and in Krushevo. Young Nikola began his elementary education in the Romanian grammar school in Skopje (1910), whilst during the First World War he attended Serbian and Bulgarian schools. From 1918 to 1920 Martinoski studied at the Serbian high school in Skopje where he showed his first interest in drawing and painting. His studio was a meeting point for the Skopje intellectuals at the time, while the painter’s post-war creative work developed in several phases parallel with the dynamic historical changes in the North Macedonia. His artistic work went through different influences of the time, including socialist realism, expressionism, modernism and his most remarkable paintings are often related to the works of Marc Chagall and Mane Katz.

Bear’s Stone Monument (Mečkin Kamen) This interesting monument is located on a hill named Mechkin Kamen (The Bear’s Stone) dedicated to the memory of the famous Battle of Mečkin Kamen (битка кај Мечкин Камен) where during the Ilinden Uprise the legendary leader “vojvoda” Pitu Guli, together with his soldiers, gave their lives in defence of city Krusevo. Today, the whole hillside area surrounded with pine forest has become an attraction site for many holiday makers and an excellent place for paragliding.

Memorial House Toshe Proeski

Love and admiration for Toše Proeski, perhaps the most popular pop music singer in North Macedonia, and an immense sorrow caused by his early tragic death in a car crash (2007), are shared among all the citizens of this country, regardless to their ethnic background. Proeski, born 1981 in Krushevo to Aromanian parents, was a talented singer who enjoyed a huge success and popularity across the Balkans with his numerous pop music and ethno sound hits. Proeski’s tragic death provoked a specific culture of commemorating his contribution to modern music across the former Yugoslav countries, celebrating not only his vocal skills, but also his positive, enthusiastic personality.

The Memorial House, built mainly of concrete and glass with the foundations in the form of a cross was designed by the architects Dejan Sekulovski and Dejan Spasenovski, in collaboration with Ilija Bozinovski. This amazing architectural design perfectly located on the hillside near Krushevo was awarded the first place of the Open Buildings "People's Choice Award" in Barcelona. The award for the most beautiful building was given based on the votes of lovers of architecture and design, collected through the website openbuildings.com.

The permanent exhibition with some 350 authentic exhibits provides a chronological overview from his childhood, the teenage years, to the period when Toshe Proeski became a most popular singer.   Close to the Memorial House at an altitude of 1,650 meters, just above the monastery “Holy Transformation” (Свето Преображение), 7 km from Krusevo, the huge monastery cross was built, as a kind of memorial to Toshe Proeski. The Cross made of steel, weighing 24 tons and is 33 metres high is located in the area of the Vrshnik mountain, and if the weather is nice some say that one third of the territory of North Macedonia can be seen from this spot.

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