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24 May 13

In Pictures: Skopje’s New Square Takes Shape

A square overlooked by a giant 29-metre tall bronze statue of the warrior king Philip of Macedon is taking its final shape in the centre of the Macedonian capital.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN Skopje

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The statue located in the middle of a lavish new complex of four fountains is part of the government sponsored revamp of the city called “Skopje 2014”.

Richly decorated with reliefs and figures of soldiers, a woman, horses and lions, the complex aims to tell the story of Philip’s family and the upbringing of his son, Alexander the Great.

Beneath the giant statue of Philip, depicted in standing position, is another depiction of him holding hands with his son, portrayed here as a young boy alongside Alexander’s mother, Olympia.

Another smaller fountain located several meters further away depicts mothers holding their newborn children. The children are portrayed as grown men on the central fountain, as soldiers in Philip’s army.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The entire square has been comprehensively remodelled to match the artistic style of Skopje 2014; the nearby shabby-looking Ministry of Transport is soon to be upgraded with additional floors and its facade revamped in Classical style.

The statue of Philip is formally entitled “Warrior with accompanying elements”, a vague description apparently designed to avoid further angering neighbouring Greece, which claims Philip and Alexander as exclusively Greek heroes.

The similarly-sized statue of Alexander the Great erected on the other side of Skopje’s landmark Stone Bridge is formally entitled "an equestrian warrior" for the same reason.

The authorities recently revealed that they have spent over 9 million euros on the new square.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

See related gallery: Skopje 2014: The new face of Macedonia, updated

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