The old gravestones at Ljuban, at the foot of the mountain Komovi are the silent witnesses of a life that once was led here – free shepherd’s life in the open grasslands. Very modest, but powerfully enchanted.
– Vlatko Bulatovic
Veli Iž is an island in Croatia with impressively rich heritage in drywalls. Particularly inspiring is the sightseeing of the dry-wall, which after the First World War, was built by gay from Veli Iž by the surname Marat. Unfortunately, very little is known about Marat because he did not leave direct descendants, and his living relatives and elderly locals do not even remember his baptismal names... but, as little as it is knows about him is enough to tell tragic and sad story about this man: Marat had a wife and a little daughter when he was recruited into the Austro-Hungarian army during the First World War. While he was in the battlefields his young daughter passed away, and his wife suffered a lot and ended her life in a mental hospital. Marat returned from the war without one hand ... and as people already know how to be cruel, they were found his nickname Single-handed... And, our Marat, this Single-handed, despite everything that touched him and despite his physical handicap, embraced the stone and built the best and most beautiful dry dry-walls ever constructed on this island... There has long been no Marat, but the most beautiful memories of him are the dry-walls that he left behind and which nobody has surpassed yet, and, let's not forget, the island of Veli Iž is full of all kinds of dry-walls...
...and these two gays are local craftsmen: Mirko Sutlovic (dry-wall craftsman) and Predrag Petrovic (pottery craftsman) - they are the only followers of the centuries-old tradition of these crafts here at the island of Iž, for the time being, until kids trained in our workshops grow up...
Tito spent six months in his summer residence. At Brioni, Tito had his own private zoo, watched movies, received actors and drove his Cadillac Eldorado.
Brioni was visited by over 90 citizens and here he officially founded the Non-Aligned Movement with Nehru and Naser's Bririan Declaration.
– Ivana Perunicic
The Bazaar in Skopje consists of two thousand, one hundred and fifty shops. There are big and small markets built of solid material and embellished with arches and domes. The most beautiful amon them are those of cotton fabric merchants, the silk fabric merchants, the umbrella makers, the slipper makers, the paint sellers and small cap makers. These are big bazaars built according to a plan. Their alleyways are clean and cobbled. Each shop is adorned with hyacinths, violets, roses, winter roses, basil, lilacs and lilies in vases and flowerpots. Their smell simply intoxicates the visitors and merchants. There are educated and very honest people here. In the summer heat all of Skopje Market resembles the cool places of Baghdad, because each of its bazaar is covered with shutters like those in Sarajevo and Aleppo.
– Evliya Celebi, Turkish travel writer, 17th century
I like to walk my dog during the weekends in the mountains above Bansko. But our path always leads us through old town Bansko where long time ago (XIX c) lived painter Velyan Ognev who was the famous artists of the Debar Art Scool. Before he came to Bansko he traveled a lot along Italy and Europe and arrived in Bansko upon request to paint murals in the Holy Trinity church. It is believed that before he drew the most beautiful mural in the church, he married Sofia Benina and got a house for living. He painted the entire interior of it, but the most beautiful room, a room for ladies – where his wife received visits of her friends, was painted most exquisitely. And it is considered that the room served as a test for the most beautiful mural in the church.
Bansko houses were built not only for living, but they also served as havens and defense against frequent attacks by thieves. That is the reason why the houses were enclosed by fences and had walls thicker than 1m. However, when Velyan painted his house, many of the inhabitants wanted to decorate their living spaces too, and this house on the photo is one of those houses that was painted based on admiration of the painter’s house.
– Lyubozar Dimitrov
The town that I grew up in was one of the biggest projects in urban planning in ‘60s. It was destroyed in the earthquake in 1963 when the entire world decided to help. The UN decisively took the lead of the project. International competition was on. The United Nations set up a special fund and organized a competition for the new Master Plan of Skopje, with Kenzo Tange, one of the most prominent architects of the 20th century, as the winner. Yugoslavian architects Radovan Mischevik and Fedor Wenzler won the second prize, and it was proposed that the two winning firms collaborate in order to work out a final plan. A design-team was made up of the architects and engineers from Japan and Yugoslavia.
The idea for new Skopje was to keep old parts of the town (Carsija and Kale-fortress) visible and to be included in the city centre, to keep the river Vardar as a natural divider between two parts of the city – the one with skyscrapers, containing administration buildings, offices, educational centers etc, and the other – with one to two storey dwellings. Plan was based on the concept of “City Wall”, a very modern approach of free-designed ground floors with only pillars, so that the circulation of the fresh air could be constant and stable, and the “City Gate” – city entrances, where all transportation would be placed – new train station and a getaway for a highway.
The city became an international architectural exhibition, with multiple structures donated by various countries from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Yugoslav and foreign architects designed buildings in futuristic modern brut-art style. This huge project united professionals from the whole country on the long run.
The result was town dominantly designed in Futuristic Architecture. Some find it strange, cold, unfriendly and from”out of space”. But to me it is warm place full of craziest memories. My high school building was designed in this style, and university. Maybe that is why I wanted to study astrophysics and probably that is why I love cyberpunk so much to this day.
– Dejan Kordoski
s there life in the rocky terrain? If you look a little better, you will realize that life is unstoppable and that it finds its place everywhere. Even in karst. And so the drywall, the traditional art of building without mortar, was created, which gave many shelters and homes.
One of the rules was to build a house or a repository on the ground that normally does not serve anything, on a rock or a stone break, or where stones from cleaning the environment are stacked.
– Dragodid at Cres
Traveling is my great passion. Every free day I take from work I like to spend out of my hometown. But when Sunday is lazy and slow, and everybody are drinking coffees in gardens next-door to my backyard, it is such a pleasure to go around my neighborhood, lightheaded, sluggishly walking, exploring pictures that have been carved into my memory since my todler years, until I realize that each time there is something new. New colour, new window, different atmosphere. On those days I rediscover place I like again.
– Sandra Zivkovic
A lifetime ago I was here. Is it the same place? Could the new Old Bridge be the same one as the one before? Even if it’s not, it is good that is here. Bridge to the future, which is leading to the most amazing craft shops. Where traditional Turkish coffee will never lose its fantastic smell of hospitality and good atmosphere. And while I am walking around the old Mostar, a song in my head keeps on going, “Kafu mi, draga, ispeci”, or bake me a coffee, dear.
– Zivota Lazarevic