I always say to people who are traveling to Macedonia, if you want to explore well this small country you need to dedicate at least two weeks here. In these two weeks you should definitely visit the small mountain city of Krusevo, the highest town in Macedonia. Krusevo is only 170 km far away from the capital Skopje, so you can easily reach this place by car or by public transport.
What to see?
It doesn’t matter if you are interested in history, culture, art or food, here you can find everything. Behind every corner of the city there is something or someone who is telling you a story or a legend from the past. So this is the list of must see places in Krusevo:
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 Proevski
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. At the end of the 18th century Vlachs and Mijaks settled down in Krusevo. They were famous merchants, carvers and painters.
”The Krusevo house” is a mix of Vlach and Mijak architecture. The central part of the city it’s called “carsija” and it was always (now and in the past) the main meeting point between people. In this part of the city you can find the most important buildings in town like: hospital, church, post office and shops. Almost all the streets of the city bring you to the “carsija”. Around the carsija there are different neighborhoods.
Where to stay?
My choice was Hotel MONTANA PALACE, it is situated at the top of the hill so you will definitely have the best panoramic view over the city. All the rooms have the same view. It is also nice place to drink your coffee or have a delicious lunch with a view.
What to do?
There is always something to do in Krusevo. If you come here during the summer you can do paragliding, Krusevo is one of the most famous destinations to do paragliding, and this year 2018 this city will host the Paragliding Championship. Here you can also do trekking, mountain bike. Or if you are not so big sport lover you can try to learn how to cook some of the traditional dishes.
What to eat?
Maybe this is the most important question that needs to be answered 🙂 Krusevo has really tasty food. Starting from melted cheese in a pot, Krusevska pita (pastry with cheese, spinach or cabbage), Krusevsko grne ( different kind of cheese mixed with mushrooms, ham and egg, baked in a pot). Krusevo is also famous for the best homemade sausages, if you are barbecue lover this will be the perfect choice for you. And after lunch or dinner, you should definitely try the best lokum in Macedonia – “krusevski lokum”. We try must of the specialties in the local restaurant Pizzeria Skar
Did you know that in Krusevo are produced the best barrels and sleds in Macedonia? Here you can visit the workshop of the last shoemaker in the city or the shop of the guy who is producing the most famous lokum (sweet) in Macedonia. In Krusevo you will have the opportunity to meet with the only weapon collector who will show you his home collection of the oldest guns and rifles.
If you want to discover other places in Macedonia you can also read something more about the city of KRATOVO