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Macedonia (Macedonian: Македонија), officially the Republic of Macedonia (Република Македонија), is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. A landlocked country, the Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo to the northwest, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south and Albania to the west. It constitutes approximately the northwestern half of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises parts of Greece and Bulgaria. The country's capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to a 2002 census. Other cities include Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar and Strumica. It has more than 50 lakes and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Macedonia is a member of the UN and the Council of Europe. Since December 2005 it has also been a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.

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Bitola (Macedonian: Битола, formerly Monastir or Manastır; known also by several alternative names) is a city in the southwestern part of the Republic of Macedonia. The city is an administrative, cultural, industrial, commercial, and educational centre. It is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia valley, surrounded by the Baba and Nidže mountains, 14 km north of the Medžitlija-Niki border crossing with Greece. It is an important junction connecting the south of the Adriatic Sea with the Aegean Sea and Central Europe. It has been known since the Ottoman period as "the city of the consuls", since many European countries have consulates in Bitola. According to the 2002 census, Bitola is the second largest city in the country. Bitola is also the seat of the Bitola Municipality. Bitola lies at an elevation of 615 meters above sea level, at the foot of Baba Mountain. Its magnificent Pelister mountain (2601 m) is a national park with exquisite flora and fauna, among which the rarest species of pine, known as Macedonian pine or pinus peuce, as well as a well-known ski resort.

Heraclea Lyncestis (Greek: Ηράκλεια Λυγκηστίς[5] - City of Hercules upon the Land of the Lynx) was an important settlement from the Hellenistic period till the early Middle Ages. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon by the middle of the 4th century BC, and named after the Greek demigod Heracles , whom Philip considered his ancestor. With its strategic location, it became a prosperous city. Heraclea Lyncestis (Macedonian: Хераклеа Линкестис) was an important ancient settlement from the Hellenistic period till the early Middle Ages. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon by the middle of the 4th century BC.

Today, its ruins fall in the southern part of Bitola, 2 km (1 mi) from the city center Bitola is also home to twelve consulates (Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom), which gives the city the nickname "the city of consuls". In the official report of the British consular agencies of the Ottoman Empire in the Foreign office, it stands that the British consular representative in Manastir (Bitola) from 28 October 1851 was John August Longworth, actually he was the first consul of a foreign country in Bitola.

City of Bitola - Events

Heraclea Festival

The "Heraclea Festival" or also known as "Heraclea Evenings" is a summer event that takes places throughout the whole summer and its main concentration is on theater, art, and music. At the moment, the Heraclea Festival is highly appraised European Festival with a determined future for its artistic conception and tendency for a new vision for the next millennium.

Manaki Festival of Film and Camera

In memories of the first cameramen on the Balkans, Milton Manaki, every September the Film and Photo festival "Brothers Manaki" takes place. It is a combination of documentary and full-length films that are being shown. The festival is a world class event and it is a must see. The Magaza, a gallery in the center of the city.

Ilinden Days

Every year, the traditional folk festival "Ilinden Days" takes place in Bitola. It is a 4-5 day festival of music, songs, and dances that is dedicated to the Ilinden Uprising against the Turks, where the main concentration is placed on the folk culture of Macedonia. Folk dances and songs are presented with many folklore groups and organizations taking part in it.

Small Montmartre of Bitola

In the last few years, the Art manifestation "Small Montmartre of Bitola" that is organized by the art studio "Kiril and Metodij" has turned into a successful children's art festival. Children from all over the world come to express their imagination through art, creating important and priceless art that is presented in the country and around the world. "Small Montmartre of Bitola" is a winner of numerous awards and nominations.

Serenada on Sirok-sokak

Bitola, Sirok-sokak, love, friends, singing, drinking.... remembering the old days in cosmopolitan Bitola, the most modern city since the time of the Consuls. This is the reason the festival "Serenada on Sirok sokak" was created by artist and musicians from Bitola and since then it is organized every year. About 25-30 songs are performed in 2 days, and what is significant about the festival is that artist perform live. Awards are given according to audience decision.The general manager of festival is Mile Serdenkov.


Festival for Classical music Interfest

It is an international festival dedicated mainly to classical music where many creative and reproductive artist from all over the world take place. In addition to the classical music concerts, there are also few nights for popmodern music, theater plays, art exhibitions, and a day for literature presentation during the event. In the last few years there have been artists from Russia, Slovakia, Poland,and many other countries. For the reason of Bitola being called the city with most pianos, there is one night of the festival dedicated to piano competitions. One award is given for the best young piano player, and another for competitors under 30.

Useful Links

Exploring Macedonia

Exploring Macedonia

Bitola Tourist Info

Bitola Tourist Info

Ohrid Vacation

Ohrid Macedonia

Bitola Museum

Museum Bitola