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Thursday 14th December
Macedonia Facts
Macedonia is in the Balkan Peninsula in South Eastern Europe. Other countries in this area include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, as well as Albania, Bulgaria and Greece.

Lake Ohrid is one of the world's oldest lakes.

The highest point in the Republic of Macedonia is the mountain peak Golem Korab or Great Korab (2753 m).

In the ninth century Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius produced the first Slavonic alphabet and translated the Gospels into the Slavonic language.

The disciples of Cyril and Methodius, Clement and Nahum of Ohrid, founded the Ohrid Literary School, the first Slavonic University.

The University of Sts Cyrilus and Methodius, in Skopje, was founded in 1949.

Early Christians built churches in caves. One of the oldest is the church of the Archangel Michael. It is beside Lake Ohrid and contains frescoes dating back to the thirteenth century.

The old name for Ohrid was Lychnidos which means the city of light.

During the Ottoman occupation of Macedonia there were various uprisings against the Turks. The Ilinden Uprising in 1903 is commemorated annually.

Over the years, official country borders have been redrawn. At the beginning of the twentieth century "Macedonia" was divided between Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia), Greece (Aegean Macedonia) and Serbia (Vardar Macedonia).

Today's Republic of Macedonia, sometimes known as Vardar Macedonia, is part of the larger geographic area of Macedonia.

Between 1945 and 1991 [Vardar] Macedonia was part of the Federal Peoples' Republic of Yugoslavia/Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia).

The Republic of Macedonia is known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

During the war in Kosovo, an autonomous province of Serbia, many Albanians moved into refugee camps in Macedonia.

In 2001 there was a rebellion by ethnic Albanians in Macedonia.

A Stabilisation and Association agreement was signed with the EU in April 2001. The agreement focused on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania.

The most famous person born in Macedonia in the twentieth century was Mother Teresa of Calcutta (born 1910, Skopje). In 1950 she founded The Missionaries of Charity and went on to set up fifty relief projects in India. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Her beatification (a step towards sainthood) took place on 23 October 2003, six years after her death.

The Manaki brothers, Yanaki (1878-1954) and Milton (1880-1964), who had a studio in Bitola, were pioneers of the film industry.

Over the last century Macedonians have migrated to find work. People of Macedonian descent live in countries such as Australia, Canada and the USA.

On 26 February 2004 Macedonia's President, Boris Trajkovski, was killed when his plane crashed in a mountainous region of Bosnia.

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