I had the chance to visit the Republic of Macedonia (defined Fyrom or Northern Macedonia) and this time I could go a bit around out of my work meetings. I want to post more articles because there are different places that I want to tell you about.
One of the villages that left me positively surprised. It is in a perfect location, from where to join a special panorama, but at a first look is just a little ensemble of old houses.
Going around Kruševo it is easy to discover some pearls. Actually it is well known for different reasons. The first one is beacuse the village, less than 10.000 inhabitants, is the highest in Macedonia: 1250 metres above the sea level, then because it was a political entity proclaimed in 1903, when it became Republic as a consequence of a fight against Ottomans. Its life was short: from 3rd to 13th August 1903. Also the contemporary national history made it famous: there is a museum dedicated to Todor “Toše” Proeski, a Macedonian singer died in 2007 (26 years old) in a car accident. He was very popular and for him it was organised a state funeral.
Despite these aspects I found many interesting attractions to see around Kruševo. First of all the village itself. Walking in the small streets is the first step to get inside the local atmosphere, where the time seems to be stopped. It is a quiet place, where old cars move around together with horses and donkeys. The life is going calm, but there is a space with some computers provided by the government where people can go to use internet for free. So modernity is approaching to the village.
There are few attractions that I want to mention: the museum dedicated to Nikola Martinoski, the sanctuary and the lake. They made me fall in love with Kruševo. The art and the nature show somehow the soul of the village and I was happy to go back there to spend a bit more time to explore the area and know better the place.
Nikola Martinoski was a painter lived between 1903 and 1973 and it is considered the founder of contemporary Macedonian art. He also spent two years in Paris where he studied at Académie de la Grande Chaumière. His paintings are wonderful artworks in expressionistic style. With few lines and a good combination of colours he was able to show the people and their life.
In each person painted it is possible to see how they feel, their condition. I did not know anything about this artist before, but discovering that gallery I had the chance marvellous artworks. I have been twice and the first time I met a lady who speaks French, so it was easy to understand, meanwhile the second time there was a lady who speaks only Macedonian but anyway she wanted to take me in the different rooms and explain me all the paintings.
The staff is very kind and in the museum there are also some rooms to show how was the house in the past when the painter was alive. Some of the artworks are present also in the National Art Gallery in Skopje, but I will write more about the capital’s museums in another post. I want to explain a lot about my last visit in the country.
The sanctuary is between the village and the top of the hill where is a big cross made with iron, as in Skopje. It is a small monastry with a lovely church and spaces where groups can stay to eat and spend some time for their meetings. To manage all the structure there is a man who is the uncle of Todor “Toše” Proeski, or at least is what he says. For sure he is proud to show the room where his nephew was used to spend time when he was a child.
As I mentioned few lines before in Kruševo there also the museum of the singer, with some of his objects. Then there is also a strange construction where it is located the Museum of National Liberation War with pictures and feb objects to remind the victory against Ottoman Empire, also if lasted for few days. In the village there is also the museum of local history where it was rebuild a bit the setting of the typical houses.
Now it is time to write about the third reason why I love this Macedonian village: the lake, called Gumenje. In general it is never to crowded, but it is used for recreation and for fishing. From there it starts the Kruševo-Norovska river, but the main feature is the peace that each person can feel walking there. There is also a pathway with benches built to easily more around all the lake.
The water appears calm, the trees around are well cleen and gives different colours reflected on the water. Autumn is surely the best season to see it. In the moment spent there I was totally surrounded by nature, almost in communication with it, the sky was closer, blu with some whiute clouds. Wonderful experience to reconcile with what matters in life.
Where to sleep, drink and eat
Who wants to sleep in Kruševo can book to Hotel Montana, a lovely four stars accomodation on the top of the hill, with wood from one side and the village from the other side. The panorama on the houses is really amazing. They have rooms with balcony with the view. The structure is quite new, spacious and well equipped. The standards, according to Macedonian average ones, are high.
If you want to stop for a drink I suggest you to visit one of the two bars in the main square: one is old and characteristic, with a nice balcony, but be careful because also the balcony is quite old. The othe one is more modern and with tables directly in the square. There are also some restaurants, since it is a village for tourism, but I tried one: Kruševska odaja. It offers genuine local food prepared according to traditional recipes. The setting is really lovely with some traditional clothes on the walls.