30 interesting facts about North Macedonia

The small Balkan state of North Macedonia is a land with an ancient history. After all, Alexander the Great is familiar to everyone, right? Strong people, brave warriors and skilled city planners lived here. In the modern world, this country does not play a significant role in the international arena, which does not make it any less interesting. Amazing landscapes, picturesque cities, ancient fortresses – all this is in abundance here.

Facts about North Macedonia

  1. The population of the region is 2 million people.
  2. Greece called Macedonia the «Republic of Skopje», after the name of the Macedonian capital, demanding that the country change its name, since one of the parts of Greece is called Macedonia. In 2019, the name of the state was officially changed to North Macedonia
  3. The Macedonian language belongs to the Slavic languages, and it is the youngest of them.
  4. The capital of the country, Skopje, was once the capital of Bulgaria.
  5. The local currency is called «denar». No, not «dinar», but exactly like that, with the letter «e».
  6. Until 1991, the Macedonian territory was part of Yugoslavia.
  7. The creators of the Cyrillic alphabet, Cyril and Methodius, were born here.
  8. Shooting with two pistols «with two hands» was invented by the Macedonian secret services, which is why it is called «Macedonian shooting».
  9. The insanely beautiful Lake Ohrid located here is over 5 million years old (interesting facts about the lakes).
  10. Of all the former Yugoslav republics, only North Macedonia gained independence peacefully, without hostilities.
  11. Cross «Millennium» in the local capital – the highest in the world.
  12. For almost five hundred years, North Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish influence in the local cuisine is still felt today.
  13. North Macedonia is the most mountainous country in the world. There are 34 mountains here, and all of them are higher than two kilometers (interesting facts about the mountains).
  14. Christians make up about 2/3 of all Macedonians. Another 1/3 are Muslims.
  15. The local strong liquor, rakija, can be between 40 and 60 degrees ABV.
  16. There are many more men in North Macedonia than women.
  17. Here is the oldest observatory in the world, which is about 4 thousand years old. More precisely, what is left of it.
  18. A quarter of the entire population of North Macedonia lives in Skopje, the capital of the country.
  19. The Macedonian language is very similar to Serbo-Croatian. Macedonians can communicate with residents of neighboring states without any problems. At the same time, despite the modest size of the country, the language here is divided into many dialects.
  20. In Struga, a Macedonian city, many poets from different countries arrive every year for poetry evenings held here.
  21. North Macedonia is a very sunny country. The sky here is cloudless for about 300 days a year.
  22. It is not customary to treat guests to dinner here.
  23. The most popular sport in this country is football.
  24. There is no central heating in local houses, so it can be very cold in winter – the temperature can drop below zero. On the street, of course, and not in the house.
  25. Foreign films in Macedonian cinemas are subtitled, but without translation.
  26. Nodding your head here means «no», and rocking it from side to side means «yes». This is often misleading for tourists.
  27. There are more Macedonians living outside of North Macedonia than in the country itself. Mostly emigrants and their descendants live in the USA and Western Europe.
  28. For some reason, locals call sweet soda juice.
  29. Dances on the table during the holidays in North Macedonia will not surprise anyone. And not drunk people are dancing at all. You can’t find alcoholics here at all during the day with fire.
  30. Mother Teresa, famous for her charitable work, is a native of Macedonia.
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