Home Story A Mysterious Object built in the Walls of Kale Fortress in Skopje

A Mysterious Object built in the Walls of Kale Fortress in Skopje


The history of Skopje needs a lot of research, because it is an inexhaustible treasure. Sometimes, all of a sudden, you will discover a detail from the past that will surprise you and take you back hundreds of years. Whether it is new artifacts or those that have been explored and are now completely forgotten. In the Kale Fortress there is such an interesting and characteristic example, which immediately attracts attention

But there are other examples that are no less interesting and enigmatic. As if they were taken out of the “Believe it or not” section. In order to discover the mysterious object or artifact, we had to take risks as in a scene from an action movie, so that we could reach it and photograph it. That artifact is embedded in the most monumental, northeastern wall of the Kale Fortress. How did it happen to be located exactly in that place of the Kale fortress?

In recent years, several museum spaces have been built on the Kale near the monumental north-east wall, and construction interventions have been carried out on the wall itself. Therefore, with a little carelessness at work, that artifact could easily disappear. In fact, it is a preserved specimen of very old stone plastic, which, no less, originates – from the 12th century! In order to reach that rare specimen, one has to pass a space of about thirty meters, from the square to the triangular tower of the Kale. A space that is almost unprotected. For years. Any uninformed well-wisher can end up fatally in an abyss twenty meters deep, because the thing we talk about here can not be seen from the surrounding plants, trees and shrubs.

The fight between Czar Samuel and the Hungarian king, in the circle are the towers of the Skopje fortress

So, to reach the goal, the space above the abyss has to pass through a concrete wall barely half a meter wide. Carefully, step by step.

At the same time, to adhere coldly and meticulously to the old narrow stone openings from the rifles that face Samoilova Street. Of course, not looking into the abyss. Once you are done, you need to go back the same way. Secure access, the one from the main north gate, is often barred.

The mysterious artifact is a unique piece of stone altar or other medieval object that was located here before the arrival of the Turks. And it may have been brought from the immediate vicinity as a building material. On it, floral elements are skillfully shaped, as can be seen on the altars of 11th and 12th century churches. How did this artifact come to be in that place and survive for so many centuries, the question is what ignites the imagination. I first found out about this object from the scientific research of Professor Konstantin Petrov. He writes that a similar valuable object was found in the Water Tower, below the Kale, at “Elektrodistribucija” (today part of that tower is in the yard of the newly built building of the border customs house).

But the check showed that he was long gone. Regarding this, the preserved symbol on the big wall of the Kale fortress, Petrov says: “In the repair of the triangular tower, a small fragment of a border with heart-shaped and five-leafed pallets was built.”

Enigmatic stone plastic built into the Kale

It is believed that in that oldest wall, when the Turks came, they were building elements from the newly demolished buildings that were at hand, which were several centuries old. It is still a mystery to which object exactly the preserved artifact belonged. However, there is evidence that in the period between the two wars stone remains of altars dating back to the 11th century were discovered.

The fortress and its surroundings have always been rich in historical artifacts, and only some of them are preserved today. Here, as if time has stopped, the patina of history suddenly bursts on you and you are still listening to the speech of the centuries. There is a mysterious incident in Skopje that is mentioned in some records, which seems to have been taken from a fairy tale. Namely, in the 1930s of the last century, at the school “Idadija” in Debar Maalo, an unusual object was found for which everyone wondered how it could be found here at all. It was a beautifully made stone, part of the altar of a 12th century Skopje church!

A really unusual event. How did that part of a very old church find itself on the right side of the river Vardar? Was there ever an old church here? That is unlikely. The part of the altar was probably preserved from a temple on the left side of Vardar, perhaps from the cathedral church “St. The Mother of God Troerachica”?

Or from one of the very old churches that were located on Vodno? It was a larger fragment of a decorative relief that was to be transferred to the museum. But the fragment was never transferred to the museum. Why? It disappeared again and to this day all trace of it is lost.

A similar interesting example is given by Lidija Kumbaradzi-Bogoevic in her research. Namely, after the burning of Skopje by General Piccolomini, the Ottomans renovated the Fortress. For this, they placed a plaque on the fortress that read: “Chronogram for the reconstruction of the fortress (tin), which was built firmly in the year 1111”. (29.6.1699 – 17.6.1700). Believe it or not, the plate was found only after the Second World War, in front of the entrance of a house in Skopje, where it served as a shoe wiper. These are some of the curiosities and secrets of Skopje.

The article “Мистерија – таинствен предмет соѕидан во Калето” was written by Danilo Kocevski published by Nova Makedonija, translated by history.mk

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