Tetovo, which is one of the oldest cities in Macedonia, located on the crossroad of two international corridors - Corridor 8 goes via Tetovo and Corridor 10 goes by Tetovo 40 kilometres away.
T etovo is located in the foothills of Shar Mountain at an elevation ranging from 450 to 500 meters. The larger part of the city lies in the flatland area, whereas the older part of the city is spread on the hill called Baltepe (at 806 meters altitude).
Tetovo, as a central part in Dolni Polog (Lower Polog), has an excellent location and several important traffic roads intersect here. It is connected by highway with neighbouring cities Skopje and Gostivar and through Vratnica and Jazhince with Adriatic Magistral Road. Tetovo has a contact with Western Macedonia and Skopje by railway too.
It is mentioned as a settlement Htetovo in the thirteenth century. The earliest settlement was around the Monastery of the Mother of God of Htetovo, at the outflow of the River Pena from Shar Mountain. There was held a big fair honouring the Mother of God of Htetovo in the fourteenth century. In the mid-fifteenth century this settlement was renamed in Tetovo.
Upon the fall of Ottoman rule in the 15th century, a lot of public and sacral buildings of Islamic culture were built in Tetovo: mosques, teke, public kitchens for poor inhabitants, hamams (public baths), fountains (sadirvans).
Upon the fall of Ottoman rule, Tetovo was a particularly important ecclesiastical seat during the 17th century.
Population increase was marked in Tetovo after Balkan Wars. Nevertheless, the great development-both in terms of population and economy in Tetovo occurred after the Second World War, when the city obtained contemporary features of an economic, administrative - political and cultural-educational centre. Tetovo is a remarkable trade crafts and industrial centre in the region in the twentieth century.
The ethnic structure of the city is various. Number of inhabitants in Tetovo was constantly increasing from 1948 to 1994.
The number of inhabitants was increased more than three times (1948 - 17.132 inhabitants; 1961 - 25.357 inhabitants; 1981 - 46.523 inhabitants; 1994 - 65.318 inhabitants, and in 2002 about 70.000 inhabitants), great population increase was marked from 1971 to 1994 and high natality rate of Albanian population was marked.
Industry (i.e. the electro metallurgical, textile and food industry) has a leading place in economic progress of Tetovo, followed by agriculture (i.e. fruit - growing, primarily in terms of famous apples, and farming, primarily in terms of corn and beans), as well as craftsmanship, trade and tourism.
Tetovo Fortress is a citadel dating back to recent period, it was built in 1820. It is located nearby Tetovo in the foothills of Shar Mountain. It is located at 800 meters altitude and it is about 300 meters above the city.
The construction was initiated by Redzep Pasha and continued by his son Abdurahman Pasha.
This fortress was constructed by using travertine and hewed stone blocks. Now, the archaeological complex encompasses walls, in the internal part there are five seraglios, a bath, storages, big kitchens, a dining room and a well. One of older objects here is the church St. Athanasij dates back to the 14th century.
There were towers on the walls of the fortress, and there are remains of underground prison and three tunnels, which led to Tetovo, the village Larci and the River Pena.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Sts. Cyril and Methodius is an assembly church located in the old part of Tetovo. The church was being built in
period from 1903 to 1918, and it was consecrated in 1925. The frescoes were painted by Danilo Nestorovski in 1924. The church is a three-nave basilica with a central dome.
Ethno-museum in Dzepchishte
There is a small ethno-museum with exhibited objects raging from 8th century BC to the 20th century, located in a private holiday-house in the village Dzepchishte, five kilometres from Tetovo. The room has a capacity only for one visitor. The exhibited objects are made from various materials (such as ceramics, copper, iron) and this exhibition has been enriched with exhibiting objects brought by Macedonians and Albanians, inhabitants of this region. This museum has an ambition to be recorded in the Guinness World Records as the smallest ethno-museum in the world.
The Colourful Mosque
The Colourful Mosque is a monument of culture built in the 15th century, it was built up and broaden in the 19th century by Abdurrahman Pasha, Turkish feudal lord of the Tetovo Pashalik (pasha's district). It is located in the old part of Tetovo by the river Pena.
It is square one room building possessing architectonic combination baroque and neoclassical Ottoman building style. The data about the history of the Painted Mosque and the surrounding buildings are engraved
in the marble plates placed above the entrance door.
The Colourful Mosque having its facade is considered as one of the most attractive cultural monuments in Tetovo. The numerous picturesquely painted ornaments, the graphic and painting techniques represent rarity and extraordinary work of the Islamic architecture. They are the work of skilled masters from Debar, who did not only paint the interior and the exterior of the mosque, they also decorated the dervish Arabatbaba Tekke and several private houses of the Bey. Especially picturesque is the south side which can be seen from the main road to Gostivar.
Hurshide's wish - There is a turbe within the mosque where the daughter of the Bey, the Muslim lady Hurshide originating from Anatolia was buried, whose will was to be buried in Tetovo, and a richly decorated stone fountain, bath and an inn. There is a well preserved hamam (Turkish bath) which is an art gallery now.
Arabat-Baba Tekje was built in the 19th century by Redzep Pasahaand his son Abdurahman Pasha. It represents a sacral object beside the turbe of Sersem Ali-Baba dating back to the 16th century. During history of this object besides Islam, culture and education was also progressing.
In this complex, there are a decorated stone fountain (sardivan), tower, turbe, kitchen and dining room, fountain, inn, dervish inn and harem. Active dervish life of this tekje lasted till 1912; the tekje was being renovated from 1941 to 1945. Nowadays, the National Museum of Tetovo is located in this complex.
Monastery of Leshok
In the complex of the monastery of Leshok there are: the monastery church St. Atanasij (Athanasius) since 1335; as well as The Holy Mother of God church which has existed since the 13th century, mentioned in the Letter of Stefan Dechanski since 1326 as well as remains of five churches and chapels from the Middle Ages. Distinguishing features are the cultural and spiritual values of the church St. Athanasij.
There are the tomb and the memorial room of Kiril PejchinoviKj - one of the most famous Macedonian reformers of the 19th century. After his arrival from Mount Athos, in 1818, the monastery quarters were renewed, the monastery library was founded, and the monastery of Leshok became literary and educational centre.
The monastery has a long tradition, rich and famous, but filled with tragic events. It has been burnt down and renovated many times. In 1690 the Turks destroyed the monastery and the church of The Holy Mother of God, and the monastery was also badly damaged during the conflict in 2001. It was authentically renewed by support of European Union.
The greatest monastery celebrations and clergy and laity manifestations are following feasts: Saint Athanasij (May 15) and Assumption of Holy Mother of God (August 28).
Shar Mountain is located in the north-western part of Macedonia, in length of 80 km (measured per cliff), with an area of 1600 km'. Popova Shapka, which is located at 1.780 meters altitude, is a tourist locality on Shar Mountain and it is the most famous winter - recreation centre in the Republic of Macedonia. It has highly favourable terrains for skiing and sledging, which are connected with cable cars and ski lifts. There are a lot of holiday houses and tourists' lodging and catering services.
Shar Planina abounds with high mountain pastures and high-tree coniferous forests, of which the high fir-tree and the juniper are the most represented. There are more than 200 endemic plants on Shara, which is the highest percentage of endemism in Macedonia.
The Dog "Sharplaninec"
is an endemic breed and the pride of Shara Mountain and Macedonia, it originates from Tibet, from Himalayas slopes. It adapted to the severe conditions of Macedonian mountains and it has lived here for centuries. It is believed that this is the only place on Balkans where this dog lives or more precisely in mountain massifs of Macedonia - Shar Mountain, Korab, Stogovo, Bistra and Mavrovo. Its first exhibition was in 1926 in Ljubljana. The Dog was registered in FCI in 1939, this federation registers all dog races. Macedonian Sharplaninec was the winner of the competition Europe 2008 competing with 10.000 dogs.