BITOLA: In 1991, Bitola had a population of 122,173. Altitude: 600 meters. It is the second largest city in Macedonia situated in the south-west of the country, 8 km from the Greek border at Medzitlija, on the Pelagonija Plain. It is an important area, connecting the South of the Adriatic Sea with the Aegean Sea and with the Central part of Europe.
The city is situated on the upper reaches and on both sides of the River Dragor. To the west of the city, are the Baba Mountains, which include the peak Pelister (2601m). The Baba Mountains are set aside as a National Park. To the east, spreads the fertile Pelagonija Plain spreads, used extensively for agricultural purposes. A large coal burning power station is located nearby providing electrical power for southern Makedonija. To the south, are the historical Roman ruins of Heraclea are to be found.
The city's inhabitants are mostly Christian however a there are a small number of Muslims who reside in the city. The mosque which can be seen in the picture above is now used as an arts centre for local artists and musicians. The clock tower in the centre of the city was built by the German people after WW2. During Socialist times, the tower had a red star on the top. After independance in 1991, the star was replaced with the orthodox cross.
In the photo above the old mosque can be seen on the left, and the clock tower on the right. The street seen can be considered to be the main street of the city and is called The Corzo. Prior to independance it was called "Ulitza Marshall Tito". In the centre of the city is Old Bitola a conglomeration of narrow cobbled streets and century old buildings.
Surrounding villages include Krklino, Kravari, Kukurechani, Lopatica, Orizari, Crno Buki, and Mogila. Larger significant centres are Ohrid, 71 km to the west; Prilep, 46 km to the north and Florina, in Greece 50 km to the south.
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