"Bitola has 3.000 houses, 900 shops, 40 inns and covered market place with iron gates and towers like a fortress"
(Evliya CHELEBIYA-traveller and writer from XVII Century)
Bitola is situated in the south-west part of the Republic of Macedonia, in the western part of the Pelagonia Plain, at the foothills of mount Baba, on the banks of the river Dragor. The name Bitola has been mentioned since the time of the reign of tzar Samuil (X-XI Century).The remains of the ancient town Heraclea Linkestis(only 2 km. from the center of Bitola)are proof of the existence of an ancient town which was ruined by a big earthquake in 518.
|Historically, Bitola was situated on the well known Roman road Via Ignatia which connected the towns on the Adriatic Coast with those on the Aegean Sea. Such a favorable geographical position enables Bitola to be a relevant economic, administrative, educational, medical, diplomatic and cultural center. In the second half of the 19th Century after Thessaloniki, Bitola was the second biggest town in this part of the Balkans. The town abounds in significant cultural monuments inherited in course of the past centuries: the cathedral church "St. Dimitrija" (1830), one of the largest orthodox churches in Macedonia,with a beautiful iconostasis and gilded engraving; the Bezisten (16th-19th Centuries) a covered market place;|
|the old Bitola Bazaar (19th Century); the Clock Tower (17th Century); the Mosque of Aydar Kadi (16th Century); the old urban architecture (19th and the begining of the 20th Century); the church St. Virgin Mary (19th Century). The ancient town of Heraclea Linkestis was founded by Philip the Second Macedonian (IIth Century B.C.). and till the IVth Century A.C. was under the Romans.||
||The systematical archeological excavations started in 1935 and last up to now.New traces of the material culture of the past epochs are constantly discovered. The Heraclea mosaics are perfectly preserved. They are among the most significant works of art from that period of time. Among the numerous preserved are: the small (bishop) and the big threenave Basilica and the big Amphitheater.|
|| Bitola, a
town with rich tradition and turbulent historic past, today is the second
largest town in the Republic of Macedonia. It is a regional industrial,
economic, educational (University), scientific and cultural center of the
South-West part of the country. In Bitola exist several significant educational
and cultural institutions. The Bitola National Theater is one of the leading
in our Country with rich repertoir. The theater life in this town dates
from 1883. The beginnings of the museum activities date from 1936. There
are several archeological localities with preserved monuments of culture,-museum
exhibitions, galleries, historical and numismatic collections. Bitola
also has: A Town Library, the publishing house and the cultural-artistic
association, and of course, The Museum of the Manaki Brothers . Besides
The International Film Camera Festival "Manaki Brothers", several other
International festivities are held in Bitola, such are: "INTERFEST" an
international festival of serious music, "Heraclea Evenings" are a Summer
theater and music festival, the International Graphics Trienale and the
Children's Colony "The Small Montmartre".
| Bitola has picturesque surroundings
and beautiful landscapes.But above all the simbol of the town is Pelister,
the highest peak of the Baba Mountain, rising 2601 m. It is an outstanding
ski area with exceptional natural beauties, two glacial lakes
"Pelister's Eyes", Molika pine forests and mountain lodges.