Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA)
member of the International Music Council - (IMC-UNESCO)

2008 CIA Winter Congress - Skopje, MACEDONIA
119th CIA General Assembly of Delegates
January 18-20, 2008
Host: CIA Member - Association of Accordionists - MACEDONIA
"Ljubiteli na klasicnata muzika" - Skopje

Registration Deadline: 31 December, 2007
Hotel Victoria | Welcome to Skopje | CIA Schedule | Sightseeing in Skopje | Contact | Register
Hotel Victoria in Skopje
The 119th CIA Winter Congress will be held at the Hotel Victoria in Skopje from January 18-20, 2008. The Hotel Victoria is located on the foot of Vodno mountain, only 500 meters from the city center in tranquil and quiet surroundings.

The Hotel offers a Restaurant, covered in Parking, 24 hour Reception desk, Breakfast Hall and all rooms have Internet Connection available. The price of the room includes Breakfast, and the hotel offers complimentary airport connections.
Citizens of most countries do not require a Visa to visit Macedonia. You can check online if your nationality is required to have a visa at:

Hotel Victoria

str.Slave Delovski No.18
1000, Skopje, Macedonia

Phone: +389 2 3107600
Fax: +389 2 3107610

Contact E-mail:

Hotel Web Address:

Single Room: 70 Euro

Double Room: 90 Euro
Welcome to Skopje, Macedonia
View to downtown Skopje
Icons at the church of the Holy Savior (Sveti Spas) (17th c.)
Skopje is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. It lies on the upper course of the Vardar river and is located on a major north - south Balkan route between Beograd and Athens. The city of Skopje has been for the first time mentioned by Claudius Ptolomeius, under its ancient name of Skupi. In the 2nd century B.C. Skupi was founded by the Romans. In this period, the city experienced real bloom on several fields, it became a large religious center with its own bishop. In the year of 518 the city was destroyed by a disastrous earthquake. Wonderful architectonic buildings, numerous public baths and the ancient amphitheater built in a roman style, large basilica with mosaic floors have completely disappeared from the earth’s face. Since then Scupi is not mentioned any more. The Skopje valley got a new city center called "Justinijana Prima". By the end of the VI th century, in front of the ramparts of the city the Slavic people have showed up, which managed to occupy and to slovenize it for a period of only one century. This area was settled by the Slavic tribe Berziti and gives the city the new name Skopje.
Stone Bridge in Skopje (above and below)
During the existence of the first Macedonian state and the Macedonian Tsar Samoil, the city becomes part of the Samoil’s empire. In the later years a lot of conquerors have passed through the streets of the city, Bulgarians, Byzantium's, Serbians. In the year of 1392, the city falls under the Turkish rule. Up to 1453 Skopje was a throne of the Turkish sultans and later it developed in a significant craftsmen and commercial center. A lot of authors who write about their travels have expressed their delight from the city. The Turkish writer Dilger Zede who has visited the city in the 17th century says, "I traveled for a long time across that country of Rumelija and I saw a lot of beautiful cities and I was amazed from the Allah blessings, but not one has impressed and delighted me so much as the heavens city of Skopje across which passes the river Vardar".
On 25th of October 1689 in front of the city gates, arrives the Austrian general Picolomini with its army. An event with an outstanding significance for Skopje. "I decided to burn the city in order not to leave the enemy something that could be of use to him . Although it is not easy, I decided to turn the city into ashes". From the hillsides of the Vodno mountain, Pikolomini was observing the fire: "I am sorry for the houses such as I have not seen at all in this war. The mosques are from the highest quality marble and porphyry, decorated with thousands lamps on a golden plated holders, which one would devote equal attention even in Rome. I feel sorry for the nice antiquities, gardens and places for entertainment." The fire was raging for two days and except the massive stone buildings, the city was completely destroyed. Up until the half of the 19th century, the city could not recover back its previous appearance in front of which the numerous people who write about their traveling have stopped with a delight.In the 19th century, the city becomes an important traffic center.
Millennium Cross in Skopje

Moving towards the countries from the middle east, Napoleon has found out the road through Skopje. A lot of merchants with their endless caravans loaded with various goods have been passing through the city. In this period the city reaches the biggest development of the handicrafts. Later, Skopje begins to change its appearance. After the First World War on the right side of the river Vardar a modern city has been built. 26th of July 1963 is remembered as the longest day in the history of the city. Strong earthquake, of two severe and a few weaker shocks, turned the city into ruins. Numerous cultural monuments were seriously damaged or erased from the face of the earth. Some of the houses built immediately after the tragic event are shown in the forefront. Skopje was rebuilt since then and the new residential quarters bear little resemblance with old Skopje. Many international architects participated in it reconstruction. According to the idea of the Japanese urban planner Kenzo Tanga, the center was given a "city wall" of high - rise buildings, while the banks of the Vardar were laid out as pleasant tree - lined promenades.

The ancient trading quarter (carsija) has been completely renovated, but has preserved all the notable features of its original architecture. In this setting the old buildings of cultural and historical interest are seen to even better advantage. They include the Kale Fortress raised in the 6th century (its present appearance dates from the Turkish period), Daut - Pasha's baths (15th century, now the Art Gallery), and Mustafa - pasha's mosque (15th c). The 19th century iconostasis of the church of the Holy Savior (Sveti Spas) (17th c.) in Skopje, carved in walnut, combines a profusion of plant and animal motifs with the figures of saints in local costumes. This realistic high-relief carving is the work of skilful craftsmen of the Debar area, who included their own figures in one corner of the iconostasis. The iconostasis at Holy Savior church is one of the finest samples of traditional woodcarving which can be found on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia along with the iconostasis of St. Jovan Bigorski Monastery. On the slopes of nearby Mt. Vodno stands the famous church of St. Pantelejmon from 1164, decorated with frescoes of exceptional artistic value.

Today Skopje has around 700,000 citizens. It is the administrative and political center of the Republic of Macedonia. Industries in the city include iron and steel works, electrical machinery, chemicals, textiles, carpets, and foodstuffs. Skopje is a trading center for the cotton, tobacco, grains, and livestock produced in the surrounding region as well. Besides the Belgrade-Athens highway and railway routes, region as well. Besides the Belgrade-Athens highway and railway routes, the city also has the largest airport in the Republic of Macedonia. You can reach Skopje by train, car or air. The first train that arrived in Skopje was from Solun in the distant year of 1873. Also the first railway line in Macedonia was that from Solun-Gevgelija-Veles-Skopje.

Skopje plays a vital part in the cultural and the academic life of the country. It is the home of Macedonian Academy of Science and Arts, the SS. Cyril and Methodius University, the National and University Library, the Macedonian National Theatre and its Drama, Opera and Ballet companies, the Drama Theatre, the Theatre of Nationalities, the Philharmonic of Macedonia, Macedonian Radio and Television and Nova Makedonija, the largest newspaper and publishing house. There are also the Archives of Macedonia, the Museums of Macedonia (archeological, ethnological and historical), the Natural history Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, several art galleries and other important cultural and scientific institutions.

Mother Teresa Sculpture (she was born in Skopje)
August 27, 1910 - September 5, 1997
The Millennium Cross
situated on Vodno mountain overlooking Skopje
Tentitive Schedule of Events
The Ortodox Cathedral "St. Clement of Ohrid"
Skojpe Emblem

Thursday - January 17, 2008

  • all day - arrivals to Macedonia
  • all day - free time for visiting Skojpe

Friday - January 18, 2008

  • all day - arrivals and sightseeing
  • afternoon - Prepatory Meetings of the CIA Executive Committee

Saturday - January 19, 2008

  • 9:00 AM - Executive Committee Meeting
  • 11:00 AM - Music Committee Meeting
  • Lunch
  • 14:00 - 17:00 - 119th General Assembly, Opening Session
  • Macedonian Evening

Sunday - January 20, 2008

  • 10:00 - 119th General Assembly, Closing Session
  • afternoon - optional departure or sightseeing

Monday - January 21, 2008

  • Optional Sightseeing
The Kale Fortress
St. Painteleimon Church
Sightseeing in Skojpe
Clock Tower (Saat Kula): Clock Tower is a Turkish building found east of the famous and oldest market place of Skopje, Bitpazar. It stands in the forecourt of Hjuncar - the mosque of Sultan Murat II. It is a hexagonal monument built in the 16th century. The clock mechanism was brought from Hungary after the capture of the town of Siged by the Turks. Many travelers mention the clock tower in their journals as a large and important building in Skopje and add that its sound can be heard several kilometers away.After the great fire in 1689, when the tower was seriously damaged it had to be repaired. Some alternations were made in 1904, and during the 1963rd earthquake it was seriously damaged in addition to the Hjunkar mosque.

Feudal Tower: Makes part of the House of ARM, the unique preserved monument in the new part of the city. The time when it was built and the one who built it are not known. Most probably it is a feudal tower of some Turkish bay. Today it is in good conditions.

Daut Pasha's Bath: This project is one of the most prominent monuments of the Islamic profane architecture. The Turkish bath was built by the grand vizier of Rumelia, Daut Pasha in the 15thV century. In the first time it was used for the needs of its harem, and later it served as a public bath. Today, the Turkish bath is turned into an art gallery with a wide choice of Macedonian icons of the 14th to the 19th century, collective works of Macedonian artists - pictures, sculptures, graphics, and drawings and more recently in the rooms of the Turkish bath also concerts are held, promotions of books, theater performances with chamber orchestra etc.

Kuršumli An: In the sources, Kursumli an is mentioned as a memorial of Mula Musledin Hodza. Kursumli An acts impressively and delightfully with its monumentality, decoratively built walls and the numerous domes in shape of pyramids. Today, the complex of the Museum of Macedonia is located within the Turkish bath. The Yard of Kursumli-an during the summer period is being used for organizing of cultural manifestations: dramatic performances, concerts, literature readings…

The Aqueduct: On 2 kilometers north-west from Skopje, the aqueduct was built of stone and bricks with 55 arches supported on massive pillars. For the building of the aqueduct there were shared opinions in the science. According some scientists it was a Romanian aqueduct whereas according to others it was a Byzantium building. The last scientific researches connect the building of the aqueduct with Isa bey, which means that it was built during the time of the Turkish rule and more precisely in 16th century. Aqueducts in former Yugoslavia were only three one in Macedonia and two in Montenegro.
The Stone Bridge
The Stone Bridge:
According to certain data the bridge was built in the 6th century, whereas in its present form it was raised upon the old foundation in the time of the Sultan Murat II in the first half of the 15th century. It was built of well worked out stone blocks and has 12 semicircular arches. This monumental building has undergone larger repairs through the centuries, but today the bridge has still kept the primary shape and form.

The Kale Fortress: This fortress has the dominant place in the city. It was built of stone blocks from the ruins of the city of Scupi, during the rule of the Byzantium Emperor Justinijan the 1st. The ramparts of the Skopsko Kale are 121 meter long and today one square, one rectangular and one round tower are saved. The great complex since 1392 was stationarity of the Turkish army until 1913, when the Skopje falls under Serbian authority. And in the period from 1913 to 1953 here was settled the Yugoslav army. Today in the space of the fortress is an arranged park, which serves for recreation and fun, and in the evening hours besides the sounds of the Macedonian folks music, the visitors have a wonderful view on the city and the river Vardar from there.

Time of the Earthquake: 5:17 am -- The clock in the preserved ruins of the old railway station remained frozen at 5:17 am, the moment that the predawn earthquake turned Skopje into landfill.

Mustafa Pasha's Mosque: In the vicinity of Kursumli-an, in the old part of the city this monument of the Islamic culture attracts the attention with its size and beauty. The mosque was built by Mustafa Pasha in 1519, the vizier of the Sultan Selim I. Particularly attractive part of this building is the tall minaret, made of cut stone, whereas the expanded part is decorated with ornaments.
The Old Skopje Bazaar
Old Skopje Bazaar:
On the left side of the river Vardar , in the ancient part of Skopje is the old Skopje bazaar. Up to the present time the bazaar has experienced several changes in respect of the appearance and the organization, but it has still kept the spirit of the past. In the small innumerable handicraft shops, the Skopje`s handicraftsmen can still be seen, tailors, cobbler, quilt makers, shoe makers, tinsmiths etc. The old market place is still alive and full with a vivid atmosphere which radiates from the small shops, coffee and tea rooms which are always full with tourists which are delighted from the appearance and the life of this part of the city.
Kozjak, Macedonia (above and below)
Contact Information
President: Zorica Karakutovska
Vice President: Elizabeta Ilievska
Secretary: Biljana Mladenovska
Public Relations Manager: Anica Karakutovska
Association of Accordionists - MACEDONIA
"Ljubiteli na klasicnata muzika" - Skopje
Bul."Jane Sandanski" 50/1-3
1000 Skopje,
Republic of Macedonia
Phone: +389 2 245 01 98
Mobile Phone: +389 70 244 975

Lake Matka near Skopje

Confederation Internationale Des Accordeonistes (CIA) - General Secretary
Kimmo Mattila, Kyrösselänkatu 3, FIN-39500 IKAALINEN, Finland. E-mail:

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