During your next trip in Macedonia, our suggestion is to visit the town of Krushevo, a perfect weekend getaway destination. You can find this small mountain paradise only 165 km distant from the capital Skopje, it is situated on 1.250 m, that makes it the highest town in the Balkans. Krushevo is a mix of nature, tradition, history and culture. Right here you will be surprised by the beauty that is hidden behind every corner.
Krushevo is a small town and almost everything is in a walking distance and you can definitely explore the city by foot. There are around 2.000 people living here so be prepared that everyone will know that you are new in the city and locals will give their best to help you explore better their town.
As we already said, in Krushevo you will find a mix of everything: culture, art, tradition and food. And almost every street, every house and every person has some story to tell. But let’s start from the beginning.
The name of Krushevo means “the town of the pear”. In the past, when the Vlachs shepherds came to live in this place, they start to settle down around one big pear, so because of this the town got the name of Krushevo. Krushevo during the Ottoman empire was the only city in Macedonia that paid their autonomy, so it was always considered the best place for trade and merchants and today you can still see the remains from that time.
What can you visit in Krushevo ?
- Makedonium – the Ilinden monument – it has a form of “mace” and it is a symbol of the rebellion, the struggle and the eternal aspiration of the Macedonian people for freedom and an independent state. The monument is divided in four parts, it starts with broken chains, continuing through the crypt and colorful ceramic mosaic of the famous Macedonian artist Petar Mazev and finishing with “the mace”. Inside of the “mace” you can find the tomb of Nikola Karev and the bust of the famous Macedonian singer Toshe Proeski. The entrance door is in form of the letter M like Macedonia.
- Memorial house of Toshe Proeski – if you have already traveled around the Balkans, probably you’ve heard this name. Toshe was born right here, in Krushevo and he was one of the most famous singers in this region. But he wasn’t only a singer, he was a big humanitarian and simple guy with a big heart. Unfortunately he lost his life in a car accident in Croatia when he was only 26 years old. In this memorial house you can find lot of objects and memories from his life.
- Krushevo Lake – the artificial lake is a nice spot if you want to chill out and relax. It is especially nice in summer, but also in winter the view is very unique because of the frozen lake.
- Nikola Martinovski Gallery – Nikola Martinovski is considered as a founder of contemporary Macedonian art, he was born in Krushevo, and today you can visit the house where there is a nice collection of his artworks. The most famous painting is “The mother with child”. In the gallery you will have the possibility to see also the look of a traditional house in Krushevo. You can see the rooms and how they were arranged and used in the past.
- Panoramic view – There are lot of panoramic spots in the town. Krushevo is a very unique because you can have a panoramic view from everywhere. When you are down in the city center you can have a nice view of the whole hill. When you are up at the hill you will have another view over the city. Krushevo really looks like a postcard with the unique architecture and the houses all around the hill. But still the best panoramic view are probably from The Ilinden Monument and from the balcony of Hotel MONTANA PALACE. Try to visit this hotel and you will definitely enjoy your coffee with the best view over the city, especially if there is a snow, it really looks like a fairy tale.
- Churches – there are four churches in the city, but you should visit at least the main church of st. Nikola, this is the oldest church in Krushevo and it is situated in the old part of the city, the church is also famous because of the iconostasis inside that was made from the best wood artists in that time. The other church that you can visit, is the Vlach church of st. John.
- A walk through the city – maybe in the end this is the most beautiful part of Krushevo. Just walk around and get lost between the narrow streets. Between the shops where the time stopped years ago and between the houses with a unique architecture. Walking down you will meet people who can tell you stories, who will complain or explain the current situation of the city. When you will get tired you can just sit down in one of the few bars and restaurants and taste some traditional food.
Written and photographed by Elena Mitkovska