The historic land once under the rule of Alexander the Great, Macedonia is a landlocked state in the centre of the Balkans. Over the centuries it has been exploited by the Romans, Byzantines, Serbs, Bulgars and the Ottoman Empire. The country is endowed with abundant natural resources, archaeological sites and up to date museums. Macedonia is largely a mountainous country with small basins making up its agriculture land.
Woodlands cover more than 35% of the nation with another 24% being arable. A little over 7% of its land is protected as it is home to more than 3,500 species of plants, 78 species of mammals, and 109 species of birds.
Since the country lies over the Eurasian Tectonic Plate fault line, tremors and earthquakes are not uncommon. A 6.0 magnitude quake in 1963 destroyed most of the capital city of Skopje in addition to the heavy loss of human life.
The rich natural beauty, lively capital city and historical sites dating back thousands of years attract a lot of tourists to Macedonia. One point of interest is Matka, literally translated meaning ‘womb’. Located just on the outskirts of Skopje, it is named after the Jesus Christs’ mother, Mary and is dedicated to mothers giving birth. Another interesting location is Lake Mavrove, the largest manmade lake with a half submerged church in the middle.
Capital & largest city: Skopje
Ethnicity: Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Roma, Serb
Religions: Macedonian Orthodox, Muslim
Languages: Macedonian (official), Albanian (official)
Monetary unit: Macedonian Denar
Total area: 9,781 sq mi (25,333 sq km)
Climate: Hot summers and cold winters with average annual rainfall of 51cm (20 in.)