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Bitola Attractions and Things to See

Bitola, which had been called and known as Monastir or Manastir, as well as numerous other names, is a city in the southwestern region of the Republic of Macedonia that sits north of the country of Greece, that links the south of the Adriatic Sea to the Aegean Sea and Central Europe. It is now a commercial, administrative, educational, cultural and industrial hub that sits in the southern parts of the Pelagonia valley that is encompassed by the Nidze and Baba Mountains. Since the Ottoman era, it has been well known as the city of consuls, since it houses many of those and has for centuries, either the second or third biggest "town" in the country. It is over a thousand years old, resting along the banks of the Dragor River, near the base of the Baba Mountain that has always been an important trading center, and originally started as a monastery.

It houses one of the oldest theaters in the nation, and a large number of prestigious schools, that includes a military academy that once taught the father of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, that is believed by many in the country of Turkey that he returned in the form of a cat, and the reason why the cities have such a huge population of those animals. Bitlola did have as many as twelve consulates during its occupation by the Ottomans, and the headquarters of numerous cultural organizations. The fabulous Baba Mountains that overlooks the city from its east, has the Pelister Mountain that is now a national park that contains magnificent fauna and flora, especially the rare species of pine that is known as the Macedonian pine or pinus peuce; and a renown ski resort.

It has a fantastic history, both because of its location and historical events that have occurred here, so naturally, it should contain many fabulous monuments from the prehistoric past. Two of these are the Veluska Tumba, that is an ancient living settlement from the Neolithic period, and the Bara Tumba that is also an ancient living settlement and the ancient settlements of Tumba, Visok Rid and Shuplevec that were built during the Copper age. Representatives of the Bronze age can be visited at settlements of Tumba I and II, for want of a better name that are located near the villages of Kanino and Karamani, respectively. There are also many exciting and interesting remains and relics from the ancient and early Byzantine eras, with a fabulous golden earring from the 4th century BC that was discovered at the acropolis of Crkvishte by the village of Beranci. Another spectacular ruins is the Heraclea Lyncestis, or the city of Hercules, that had been constructed during the Hellenistic era in the Middle Ages that had been built by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC.

As previously mentioned, because of its age and history, the city houses many fantastic architectural styles and structures, that would take weeks to visit, if you have the time and inclination.

The Jewish people would come here after the Expulsion of 1492 from Spain and Portugal, and there is a wonderful old synagogue in the ancient city of Thessaloniki, although the city itself has been modernized. The historical clock tower was constructed sometime during the 16th to 18th century, and legend has it that the Ottomans would collect some 60,000 eggs from the villages around the city to mix in with the mortar so that it would be stronger. It stands today, with a working clock, donated by the Nazis in WWII, for the city's maintenance of German graves from WWI. The huge tower has thick walls, huge spiral stairs, a cupola, pendentives and wooden mezzanine. When it was built, they added decorations to the facade using simple stone plastics.

Another famous sight is the St. Dimitrija Church that had been constructed in 1830, quite simple on the exterior, because it had been built during the occupation by the Ottoman empire, which stated that all churches should be built with simplicity, however, the interior is magnificent, that include a carved bishop throne, elaborately decorated chandeliers, and an engraved iconostasis, that many believe is the work of Miyak engravers; but the most significant feature of it is the arc above the imperial quarters that have modeled figures of Jesus and the apostles.