City Museum of Skopje
Built in 1940, the railway station was considered to be the most beautiful building at that time in the Balkans. The architect stressed the ornamented elements of the frieze and used details of the Byzantine tradition. It was designed with admixtures of modern configuration and Byzantine, romantic, and folklore designs. Above the main entrance door of the station is the clock, which stopped at 5.17 a.m., the moment when the catastrophic earthquake on the morning of 26 July 1963 struck and demolished the eastern wing of the station.
In 1970, the premises of the railway station were converted into a museum and it has been the home of the Skopje City Museum ever since. It has an exhibition area of approximately 5,000 m2. In the year 2000, the permanent exhibition "Skopje - Prehistory Today" was installed, with 300 unique items.
Museum of Macedonia
The Museum of Macedonia, located in the Old Bazaar, was designed by the architects Kiril Muratovski and Mimoza Tomic and built in the 1970s of the 20th century. Since 1982, it has opened four permanent exhibitions:
-The Gallery of Icons
The permanent archaeological exhibition, installed in 1982, displays items discovered at archaeological sites all over the country.
Initially opened as the Museum of the National Liberation War in Macedonia in 1952, soon afterwards it was transformed into a History Museum. The historical exhibition illustrates the life of the indigenous people of Macedonia until the end of World War II in 1945.
The ethnological exhibition presents traditional Macedonian handmade costumes from all parts of the country, dating from the19th and the 20th centuries. Some 2,000 original ethnographic items, models of houses, photographs, and paintings are on display, as well.
As part of this museum, in the gallery of icons one can see 136 icons and some frescoes from several churches in Macedonia. Among them is the icon of the Holy Mother Pelagonisisa and Jesus Christ, dating from the 15th century.
Natural Science Museum
The Natural Science Museum, which is within the Zoo, was established by Stanko Karaman in 1926. Here you can see the petrographic-mineralogy exhibition, botanical exhibition, palaeontology exhibition, entomological exhibition, and vertebrates’ exhibition, exhibition of indigenous fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and animals. The museum is one of the richest in the Balkans with palaeontology materials of fauna from the Pickering region.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art, built in 1964, after the 1963 earthquake, represents a monument of human solidarity. The Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, together with the Croatian Painters' Association and the International Association of Plastic Art of the Congress in New York addressed artists throughout the world to express their solidarity by donating some of their precious works to the museum. The international collection gathered through donations consists of 4,640 works of artists from 61 countries, including works by Hartung, Calder, Kemenia, Picasso, Vazarelli, Slage, Baya, Divier, Licenovski, Lazevski, Martinovski, Kondovski, Kodzoman, Grabulovski, and many other well-known artists.
The museum building was a gift by Polish architects J. Moksinski, E. Vezbitski, and V. Klisevski and covers a surface of 5,428 m2.
For more info, visit the museum's official web site
Museum of the Skopje Old Bazaar
This museum was opened in 1983 and it occupies the first floor of Suli An. It displays 1,089 exhibits, leading the visitor through the development and growth of the bazaar since the 11th century. The museum has 123 paintings with motifs taken from the Old Bazaar, 596 pottery and metal items found at archaeological sites near the bazaar and the Kale Fortress, as well as 257 items - tools used by various craftsmen, who worked in the Old Bazaar.
Macedonian National Theatre, Opera, and Ballet
The Macedonian National Theatre was officially established on 31 January 1945. The present-day building, completely constructed of reinforced concrete, was finished in 1977. With its big white walls, built almost without windows and with an incline, the construction is known as "the bounce board." Its architects are Stefan Kacin, Jurij Princes, Bogdan Splindler, and Marjan Urshic. The theatre has a big stage and seats for 850 spectators, and a small stage for 190 spectators. The State Ballet is also stationed in this building. This theatre holds theatre, opera, and ballet performances all year round.
This theatre started out as a puppet section in the Macedonian National Theatre on 21 April 1946.Only 16 days after the devastating earthquake in 1963 the ensemble performed a theatre play in the ruined Skopje, symbolizing the strength and resistance of the people of Skopje. Helped by donations from Great Britain, the renovated theatre gave its first performance on 4 March 1965. Two years later, in 1967 the theatre got its name Drama Theatre.
Ethnic Communities' Theatre
This cultural institution was initially founded as the Theatre of Minorities in 1950. Later, in 1974 it changed its name in Theatre of Nationalities and today it is a home of the Turkish and Albanian Drama. Architects Ljubica Malenkova and Vera Koseva designed the building of the theatre.
The first film projection was held by the Manaki brothers in 1912. Today Skopje has the following cinemas:
Army Hall cinema
Marsal Tito bb
Luj Paster 3
Luj Paster 3
Luj Paster 3
Kej 13-ti Noemvri bb
St. Kliment Ohridski National and University Library
The National and University Library of St. Kliment Ohridski was founded in 1944-45, but the new building is a masterpiece of architect Petar Mulickovski, who used folklore elements. Outside the library is a monument of St. Clement of Ohrid. The author of this 314cm tall statue is Petar Hadzi-Boskov, who sculpted it in black marble. In addition to its main purpose as a national library, the National and University Library is the general academic and research library of the Ss. Kiril and Metodij University of Skopje. For its contributions to the academic, scholarly, cultural, and overall social development of Macedonia the library has to date received numerous public awards and tokens of recognition.
"Brakja Miladinovci" Library
This city library was established in 1945 and the name "Brakja Miladinovci" (the Miladinov Brothers, famous poets from Struga) was given to the library in 1963. The library has more than 1 million titles and about 30,000 members.
“Drugarce” Children’s Library
This library was built 40 years ago. Most of its books are for children aged between 2 and 14. The library also offers basic English and basic computer courses.
"Straso Pindzur" Library
This is one of the oldest libraries in the city. Within the library, there is a spacious reading room, suitable for students who wish to prepare exams in quiet. Though it does not seem very big, the library offers over 70,000 titles.
OTHER CULTURAL CENTERS
Macedonian Cultural Centre (MCC)
It was built with aid from the Soviet Union and Algeria in 1972 as a place for gathering of young people. Until 1993, there was a planetarium within the Youth Centre. The recently opened cinema “Frosina” is located on the premises of MCC.
The British Council
Located in the University Library, the British Council offers a number of books and magazines in English, videos to rent, and is a frequent organizer of interesting events that promote British culture to Macedonian people.
French Cultural Centre
The centre is located in the town centre and was opened in the early 1970s. There is a great selection of books and CD's and it also organizes French language courses, as well as drama and music nights.