In Skopje: "Warrior on a Horse" and other monuments under construction
The largest monument of Alexander the Great, named as "Warrior on a Horse", with a pedestal of 24,50 metres high, is located at the Makedonija Square in Skopje.
It was unveiled on 8 September 2011, on the 20-year anniversary of Macedonia's independence referendum from Yugoslavia. It stands beside a Triumphal Arch, near a museum of waxworks of past Macedonian leaders -the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle- and the Archeological Museum of Macedonia.
Alexander the Great’s equestrian statue was the center piece of a controversial project by the Macedonian government called Skopje 2014, aimed at upgrading the battered capital.
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski sayd the Skopje 2014 project would create a capital worthy of the name and reflect Macedonia’s ancient glory, but opponents sad it was a distraction that wasted needed resources in one of Europe’s poorest countries.
In fact large-escale constructions had begun in 2006 that made the appearance of the centre of Skpje change dramatically in less than a decade. In addition to the construction of new buildings, the façades on the old ones were changed. According to Goce Drtkovski “for years, experts and the general public have been divided on the issue of wheter Skopje should remain a city of modern architecture or be redefined under the influence of neoclassicism and baroque”.
Apparently the second option was the one to follow and with the new buildings and hundreds of Hellenic and historical character statues which held watch over squares and streets Skopje “declares its architectural and cultural identity celebrating spirituality through the ideal proportions of ancient architecture, according to architect Slodoban Živkovski”.
This decission has been controversial and according to Andrej Žernovski, major of Skopje from 2013 -2017, who insisted on freezing the project Skopje 2014, “the main conclusion of most of the tourists is that Skopje became Europe’s new capital of kitsch”.
Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III or Alexander of Macedonia, (Pella, Macedonia, Greece 356 BC - Babylon, Iraq 323 BC, king of Macedonia (336–323 BCE), who overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India , and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms.
As Alexander the Great was born in Macedonia, the geographic and historical region of Greece, Greece government didn’t like the building of the Alexander the Great monument in Skopje. For this reason the monument was named as "Warrior on a Horse".
In fact Greece government never approved the name of Republic of Macedonia. The dispute arises from the ambiguity in nomenclature between the Republic of Macedonia, the adjacent Greek region of Macedonia and the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon (which falls mostly within Greek Macedonia).
It seems that after a 27-year dispute Athens and Skopje could share an agreement about the name of the republic in 2018, which name could be Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Makedonija in Macedonian.
Meanwhile –August 2018- new monuments and buildings are been constructed in Skopje. These photos were taken in August 2018 and show the monument “Warrior on a Horse”, the statue of Pavel Potsev Shatev, the Stone Bridge, the Archeological Museum of Macedonia and some other monuments and buildings under construction.
Pavel Potsev Shatev (1882-1951) was a Bulgarian revolutionary and member of the left wing of the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization (IMARO), later becoming a left-wing political activist. According to the mainstream Macedonian historiography, he was an ethnic Macedonian.