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Macedonia: Skopje Plans London-Style Big Wheel


By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

A giant observation wheel placed on top of a bridge in the centre of Skopje is the latest planned addition to the ongoing government refurbishment of the Macedonian capital known as “Skopje 2014”.

Authorities say construction of the wheel will start in 2012 and they hope it will become a star attractions, just like the “London Eye”.

“The wheel will be at least 50 metres high and should offer an excellent overview of the entire city centre,” said Jovica Ackovski, spokesperson for the Skopje municipality of Centar.

However, the municipality is still not sure about its definite final look or how much money it plans to spend on its construction.

According to the latest urban plan of the municipality, the wheel will be built on top of a new pedestrian bridge on the Vardar River that will be constructed near Skopje’s landmark Stone Bridge.

The municipality said that it had decided to place the wheel on the bridge to add to its attraction.

But not everyone welcomes the municipal plans for the central area of Skopje.

The head of the Association of Architects of Macedonia, Danica Pavlovska, has protested over what she calls the air of secrecy surrounding the plan.

She says major changes in the central area of the city should not be allowed to pass based on a simple presentation.

“The addition of new structures this way, without a comprehensive study and open public debate, is unacceptable,” she said, arguing that interventions of this scale ought not to be discussed solely behind closed doors.

Skopje’s city centre is currently undergoing a massive, government-funded revamp named “Skopje 2014”, which the government says will beautify the shabby-looking city.

Several buildings and monuments are already in place or are nearly finished. The construction of a new national theatre, a history museum, a foreign ministry and a concert hall are at an advanced stage.

Work continues also on a triumphal arch, an obelisk and two new bridges. Dozens of large statues have already been erected in the heart of the city.

The core of the project is a massive equestrian statue of the ancient warrior Alexander the Great, placed in the centre of fountain. Next year, the authorities plan to erect a similar, grand statue of Alexander’s father, Philip.

Critics of the project object to its artistic style, which draws inspiration from Classical Antiquity. They also object to the project’s high estimated price tag.

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11 thoughts on “Macedonia: Skopje Plans London-Style Big Wheel

  • December 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    The selective blindness by some over over “ancient Macedonian” building spree in FYROM and sudden discover by the government to being related to ancient Macedonians(i.e. Greeks) is a testimonial to the fact Greece was right to object usage to the former Yugoslav republic’s use of the name. Racism is alive and well among FYROM and Greek-hating apologists.

    “The creation of the Macedonian nation, for almost half of a century, was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship. In those times, there was no difference between science and ideology, so the “Macedonian” historiography, unopposed by anybody, comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the “Macedonian” identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word “Bulgarian” with the word “Macedonian” were made.” -former FYROM foreign minister Denko Maleski


    • December 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      Jeolousy will get you nowhere! Greeks better worry about your own finacial mess. LOL

    • December 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Anon,your blindiness of historical facts continue to amaze me.
      Lets put history on the right track;In 338 bc Macedonia dominated the City States of Athens and rest of the area.It was Macedonia that put the yoke over these City States.There was no “Greece”in existance as a nation in ancient times.Your claim of Hellenic continuation is a dream you Greeks have dreamed-up.Anyway,we go back to 338 Bc and analyzethe following;how can Greece claim that the Macedonians were Greek while there was no Greeks nor Greece in existance.As for the Macedonians,there was a nation and people called Macedonians.The people living in these geographic Macedonian areas are called Macedonians,not Greeks nor any others.
      Greece is consumed with politics rather than historical truth.Lets talk history,not politics as the Greek government does.
      Why is Greece afraid of loosing Aegean Macedonia,and not worying of loosin Peloponesos?
      Greek politisians know very well the reasons since 1913,you should too my dear fellow.
      The falsification of nationhood was created by Greece in 1834,and 1856-58 when the language was changed.The history was not written by a Greek historian,it was written by an Austrian Prince by the name of Otto who was installed as the king of the newly formed country “Greece”by the insistance of France.
      Macedonia pre-existed Greece by many centuries,don’t you ever forget.

  • December 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    ‘We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.’ – FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov, Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, February 24 1999

    • December 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Answer to Anon;In 1856-58 your ancestors had to learn a language that was never before spoken”dimotiki glossa”This happened as the government were debating to go with the Albanian language or devise a new one,and new one they did.In the meantime,they poisoned the editor of the largest Albanian language newspaper in order to give the upper hand to those who were for the new language.
      Anon,I will ask you one question;have ever looked at the mirror and asked yourself,what is your ancestry?.
      As for the Macedonian language is a different story.The Macedonian language was not learned in schools,it was tought from mother to offspring to offspring for centuries.Todays Macedonian language that is spoken in Aegean,Bulgarian parts and that of the Republic of Macedonia are one and the same language that has been spoken for centuries before the re-invented “Greek”language came to existance,it is a FACT!
      As for the Skopje 2014;The Macedonian Parliament has approved the buget for the re-construction of the capital city.Macedonia is independent,everything that is spent is approved.Did the Greek government approved the 130 million dollars distributed to the Macedonian politician and newspapers in the black garbage bags by Samaras and Mitsotakis, approved by the governing body of Greece?.

  • December 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Anon, the article is about a wheel – just so you know.

  • December 24, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Perhaps the Government should spend a little bit more money on reforming the Administration. (Happy face buttons on the only working shalter is not reform)The timing of these absurd projects to turn Skopje into a distasteful theme park is a great way to keep everyone from focusing on what the Government is not doing. Amazing waste of money!

  • December 24, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Greeks mind your own business. Ooops, I forgot; you do not have a business, it is all gone.

  • December 25, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Wow what a waste of money!

    Btw anon, you’re an absolute joke- just saying.

  • December 25, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Go MACEDONIA!! Keep up the great work the country is looking fantastic!!

  • December 26, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Bravo Macedonia….your southern neighbours can not afford anything close to this. Poz od Hrvatska!


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