Kale Fortress, watching over the capital Skopje

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Kale fortress of Skopje dominates the capital of Macedonia from a high hill where it rests on very solid rock. River Vardar, the most important river in the former Yugoslav republic, flows right down the walls of this fortress, that also offers views of the modern neighborhoods of the capital, with blocks, factories and corporate buildings.
The citadel, built on the Roman ruins of a former settlement Scupi, that gives the name of the city, was probably erected by the Byzantines. Among the most prominent constructors of this edifice was Justinian the Great, the Byzantine emperor who reconquered almost the entire territory of Roman empire and marked a glorious period for the Greco-Roman world.
The citadel changed shape with the numerous reconstructions, that included those in the long Ottoman rule. The Muslim influence can be seen right from the towers of the fortress, from where is visible the Mustapha Pasha Mosque, a sign of the religion now embraced by many of Macedonians of Albanian or Slavic descent.
The fortress used to have a moat that is now dried, mobile bridges that could be lifted, bastions and firing battlements. Inside there has been arranged a stage with a small amphitheater with wooden benches. On the loan outside the stone walls concerts and public events are also held.

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