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Macedonia - Cultural Tourism - Islamic – Ottoman Monuments
Daut Pasha Hamam

Skopje’s extraordinary 15th-century Daut Pasha Hamam (bath house) holds the National Art Gallery, although the building is far more interesting than any of the art you’ll find inside. Daut Pasha was the Grand Vesir of East Rumelia in the second half of the 15th century who according to legend built the hamam for his harem. The 13-dome building was designed for separate male and female bathing. The two large domes at the front covered the two dressing rooms and originally contained fountains. The remaining smaller domes have individual bathing rooms. The building now houses a modest collection of modern art as well as a few paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The hamam sits somewhat forlorn next to the decrepit bridge building south of the bazaar.


Chifte Hamam

As implied by its name (tur chift =pair, double), Chifte Hammam belongs to the type of double baths, with separate wings for males and for females. It was built and bequeathed by Issa Bey in the middle of the XV century. The bathing ritual in both parts was identical. From the wardrobe there was an entrance to the acclimatization area, then to the auxiliary rooms (depilation and toiletry in the part for females; barber shops and toilets in the male compartment), with main bath after that. There was a stand in the middle of this area, made of stone, for spending time sweating and massage. This place in the female compartment was callled “hammam’s rose”. There were three warmer rooms around it, called “halvets”. Beside the walls of the main room and in the halvets there were paved seats and marble tubs (kurna) from which bathing water was taken. One of the halvets in the female compartment of the hammam was adapted for ritual bathing of the Jews in Skopje and there was a marble pool instead of the tub.Today the Chifte Hammam is an Art Gallery.


Old Bazaar

The old section of the city is one of the best preserved examples of urban Ottoman architecture in the Balkans. The Turkish bazaar, shops, baths and mosques of various sizes make Skopje one of the most beautiful gifts the Ottoman’s left in the Balkans. It is no exaggeration to say that all of the jewelers in the city are gathered in the section known as Charshija (Marketplace). Everyone’s gaze is drawn to the shops by the sparkle of gold in the display windows. In this era-defying market of Skopje, you will see cloth, copperware and textiles from Anatolia that make you think you are in an Anatolian bazaar. The Old Skopje Bazaar as a larger district includes several cultural-historical monuments. Most of them are restored like: St. Spas church, Mustapha Pasha mosque, Bezisten, Chifte Amam, Daut Pasha Hamam (hamam-bath), Kapan An, Suli An, Kurshumli An (An-Inn). This district is one of the oldest in the city. Every corner here, tells its own history.


Kurshumli An

Kurshumli An is in the immediate vicinity of Bit-Bazaar. Built by Muzein Odza, in the middle of the XVI century, it is believed that it was named kurshumli (tur. kurşunlu = lead) in XIX century by the leaden roof (during WWI the lead was taken down and used). Like other caravanserais, it consisted of two parts: one which provided accommodation to the merchants and storage for their goods, while the other part had accessory buildings. For a long time the Kurshumli An served as a gathering place for merchant and their caravans and as such helped the development of the trade in the city.
Later in time, the An was used for various purposes: in the second half of the XIX c it was turned into the vilayet's prison; after WWI into a warehouse for arms. Today it is the Lapidarium of the Archeological Museum of Macedonia.


Suli An

The Suli Han (caravanserai) is in the immediate vicinity of the Double Baths (Chifte Amam) in the Old shopping district. The Suli Han was built by Ishak Bey, in the XV century as an endowment to the Aladja Mosque. It is similar in construction to the Kursumli An. As a town inn, it served for accommodation and stay of travelers and merchants and their caravans. The name "Suli" (sulu in Turkish means "having water") was received because of the Serava River that was running at its east side. The total area of the An is 2.101sq.m
The main entrance was located at the west side, open to the middle ground of the bazaar. The exit to the east side leads to the Serava River. The court opened towards the premises on the ground and first floor with a total of 57 rooms. The stables were at the north side of the Han.Suli Han sustained much damage in the great fire of 1669 and was completely devastated in the 1963 earthquake. It was fully reconstructed in 1972 and today is the Faculty of Visual Arts and Museum of Skopje Old Bazaar.


Mustafa Pasha Mosque

The Mustapha Pasha's mosque is not unique only for its exceptional location, but for its elegant beauty that makes it one of the most impressive and most magnificent edifices of the Islamic sacred architecture in Macedonia. It is about 10 meters high and is made with two domes, in between which now is the inscription that contains the data about the building of the mosque, and on the very top of the portal there is a marble decoration. It was built towards the end of the 15th century, in 1492, by the Skopje commander Mustapha Pasha. The data about its building we find in the inscription in prose in the Arabic language that is placed over the entrance to the mosque. Today the complex of the Mustapha pasha's mosque is comprised of the mosque, the tomb of Mustapha pasha, the sarcophagus of his daughter Umi, the sadrvan (fountain), and remnants can be observed that are presumed to be left from the former imaret and medresa.


Stone Bridge – Symbol of Skopje

The stone bridge over the river Vardar – symbol of Skopje was built in the 15th century, under the reign of Mehmet II, the Conqueror. The bridge connects the old and the new parts of the city. It was built of well worked stone blocks and has 12 semicircular arches.
This monumental building has undergone larger repairs through the centuries, but today the bridge has still kept the primary shape and form.


The Paintet (Aladza) Mosque in Tetovo

The magnificent Painted (Aladza) Mosque is located in the old part of Tetovo, on the right bank of the river Pena. It is known among the people as the Pasha Mosque. The mosque was originally built in the 15th Century, in 1459. The donors were two women, Hurshida and Mensure hanuma, who were buried in the eight-sided "turbe" (tomb) in the yard of the mosque.
In the 19th Century, in 1833, the mosque was reconstructed and expanded by Abdurahman Pasha, the son of Redzep Pasha. Both of them also built and reconstructed the fortress in the town and the Arabat Baba Teke. From an architectural point of view, the Painted Mosque is a one-room square building, built in baroque and neo-classical Ottoman style. Its interior and exterior, in the spirit of the Ottoman-Turkish baroque, are covered with exquisite painting decorations with floral and geometrical motifs. The south side of the mosque facing the main road that leads to Gostivar is very impressive.


Arabati Baba Teke in Tetovo

On the road out of Tetovo on the way to Gostivar, under the Sara Mountain, there is the Dervish Arabat Baba or Sersem Ali Baba Teke. It was built in the second half of the 18th Century by Redzep Pasha and his son Abdurahman Pasha, who were also involved in the construction of the Painted Mosque in Tetovo and the Tetovo Fortress. There is also a theory that says that Sersem Ali Baba was the one who began the construction of The Teke.
The Teke is a complex of religious objects around the grave of Sersem Ali Baba, a dervish who belonged to the Bekteshi Order. Some of these religious objects that still exist today are: "sadrvan", "bogomolja", "turbe", the tower, the drinking fountain, the kitchen and the dining room, the guest bedroom, "dervishane" and "haremlak".
The Bekteshes lived in the Teke for 120 years. They learned the secrets of their cult, one of the most significant among over 20 known Dervish cults.
The Dervishes are known for their particularly cherished cult towards the late "babas" and "shehs". Once a year, in memory of the Imam Hussein and his family that was slaughtered in Kerberi, Syria, the Dervishes have their religious service. The service includes a prayer with rhythmical music and movement, during which they mention God, sway from the left to the right, back and forth and fall into a mystical trance. At the end they poke themselves with needles and other sharp objects all over their bodies.
The active Dervish life in the Teke existed until 1912. In 1914 it was reintroduced and lasted until 1945, when the Teke was completely deserted.
Today, there is a hotel called Teteks with good accommodation capacity and a nicely decorated restaurant. The National Museum of Tetovo is also located within the Teke.


Clock Tower – Bitola

It is not known when the clock-tower was built, although according to the written sources it was mentioned already in the 16th century, but because of the lack of any description, it is not clear if it is about the same clock-tower. According to some, the clock-tower was built in the same time with the church St.Dimitrija in 1830. Nowadays still exists the legend "that the Turkish authorities of that time collected from the Bitola county villages around 60 000 eggs and used them in the construction together with the mortar, in order to make the walls more resistant and strong." The Clock tower has rectangular base and it is about 30 meters high. On the upper part-by the very top there is a terrace in rectangular form and it is fenced with iron fence. On each sides of the fence there is iron console construction which holds the lamps for lighting the watch.
The Clock tower is divided in three levels and in the upper one the mechanism of the watch is installed. The first (old) mechanism was replaced in the time of the Second World War. Due to the efforts of the City of Bitola, to maintain the old German graves from the First World War, the German Nazi regime gave them a new still functioning clock mechanism as a present.
By its architecture, the Clock tower is massive construction and it is composed of walls, massive spiral stairs, wooden mezzanine constructions, pendentives (triangular pass from square to cupola) and cupola. During the construction of the clock-tower the façade is simultaneously decorated with simple stone plastic. The conservation and restoration that has been recently undertaken did not change the original look and today the clock-tower is one of the most representative monuments of culture of the Islam art.


Feudal Tower - Skopje

The feudal tower of Skopje makes part of the House of ARM, the unique preserved monument in the new part of the city, by the monument of "Mother Teresa". The time when it was built and the one who built it are not known. Most probably it is a feudal tower of some Turkish bay. Today it is in good conditions.


Clock Tower – Skopje

This monument is located on the "Krste Petkov-Misirkov" street, on a hill behind the "Sts. Cyril & Methodius University". It is a Turkish object, built east of the famous and oldest market place of Skopje, Bitpazar. It stands in the forecourt of Hjuncar - the mosque of Sultan Murat 2nd. It has a hexagonal foundation and has a different rooftop which resembles the numerous lateral domes of the new Moscow style of the Russian medieval architecture. This element had been previously employed by Mongolians.
The Clock Tower was built between 1566 AD and 1572 AD, most probably on the foundations of an already existing building. Initially, the upper part of the Tower was made of wood and the clock mechanism was brought from the city of Sighed in Hungary. Writers that visited Skopje in the 16th and 17th centuries noted that the Turks even brought a clock-master from Siged for the clock's maintenance. This was of great importance for the accurate performance of the five daily prayers. Many travelers mention the clock tower in their journals, as a large and important building in Skopje and add that its sound can be heard several kilometers away.
After the great fire in 1689, when the tower was seriously damaged it had to be repaired. Some alternations were made in 1902/3, a new top (made of Thessaloniki bricks) replaced the original wooden top of the clock, during the reign of Ali-Hivza Pasha. In addition, the clock mechanism was replaced with a new one, this time brought from Switzerland. During the 1963 earthquake, the clock tower was seriously damaged in addition to the Hjunkar mosque. The clock mechanism was stolen during the 1963 earthquake and was replaced by no one, so far.


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