Matka (Macedonian: Матка, meaning “womb”) is a canyon located west of Skopje, Macedonia. Covering roughly 5,000 hectares, Matka is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia and is home to several medieval monasteries. The Matka Lake within the Matka Canyon is the oldest artificial lake in the country…
There are 10 caves at Matka Canyon, with the shortest in length being 20 metres (65.6 feet) and the longest being 176 metres (577.4 feet). The canyon also features two vertical pits, both roughly extending 35 metres (114.8 feet) in depth.
Matka Canyon is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, some of which is unique to the area. Roughly 20% of plant life is found only at Matka. The canyon is also home to 77 endemic species of butterfly. The canyon’s caves are home to large populations of bats.
Due in large part to its proximity to Skopje, Matka Canyon is a popular destination for citizens and tourists. The canyon is one of Macedonia’s foremost areas for alpine hiking. The climbing season begins around Easter and ends in November. Kayaking on the Treska River is a popular activity, as are fishing, hunting, and swimming.
The Millennium Cross (Macedonian: Милениумски крст, Mileniumski krst) is a 66 metre (217 ft) high cross situated on the top of the Vodno Mountain in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. It was constructed to serve as a memorial of 2,000 years of Christianity in Macedonia and the world.
The cross was built on the highest point of the Vodno mountain on a place known since the time of the Ottoman Empire as “Krstovar”, meaning “Place of the cross”, as there was a smaller cross situated there. On 8 September 2008, the independence day of the Republic of Macedonia, an elevator was installed inside the cross. In 2009, a restaurant and a souvenir shop were opened next to the cross. In 2011 the Millennium Cross ropeway was opened, and is three and a half kilometres long. At night the cross shines down over the city.