The National Gallery of Macedonia is a national art museum located in Skopje’s Old Bazaar (Stara Čaršija).
The Old Bazaar has been the city’s central marketplace hub since the 12th century when the Ottomans developed it into the leading trade and commerce centre.
Today, Stara Čaršija is one of the most visited sites in Skopje due to its historical and cultural monuments. The National Gallery of Macedonia is one of the sites not to miss.
Located in the Daut Pasha Hammam (Daut Pašin Amam), the 15th century Turkish Bath, the museum houses a permanent display set in 2001. The permanent collection represents a review of the Macedonian fine art development from the 14th to the 20th century.
The Daut Pasha Hammam is located at the beginning of the bazaar, on the left bank of the Vardar River. However, the National Gallery of Macedonia also features three more objects – Chifte (Čifte) Hammam, the house-museum of Lazar Licenoski, and Multimedia centre “Mala stanica.”
A smaller exhibition is housed at the nearby Chifte Hammam, built in the mid-15th century. The hammam is located in the middle of the Old Bazaar, and it is the second-largest Turkish bath in Skopje of that time. Today, the Chifte Hammam is not operational but houses part of the exhibition of the National Gallery.
The museum was founded in 1948 to complement and preserve the Macedonian rich national cultural heritage.
Today, the National Gallery of Macedonia is one of the oldest institutions in the Republic of Macedonia. In addition to housing a permanent collection of Macedonian fine arts, the museum also serves as a venue for classical concerts, events, and annual art manifestations.
The National Gallery of Macedonia internationally collaborates with world-renown institutions such as Istanbul, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Venice, and others.
About the Daut Pasha Hamam
The Daut Pasha Hamam is a significant cultural and historical monument of profane Islamic architecture. The 13-domed building dates back to the second half of the 15th century, and it belongs to the Chifte (meaning “in pair”) type of double Turkish baths.
It was built from 1489 to 1497 by the Vizier of Rumelia Daut Pasha, supposedly for his harem and designed for separate female and male bathing.
The two large domes at the front were initially dressing rooms, while the smaller ones covered separate bathing rooms. Oriental ornament decorated the inner walls, some of it preserved until today.
The men’s part was accessible from the street on the west side, while the women’s part was concealed and accessed from the side road on the north side. The female and male hammam compartments covered an area of 900 m².
It is not known when the Daut Pasha Hammam lost its original function.
From 1979 to 1982, the looks of the hammam changed utterly. Namely, each of its thirteen rooms was decorated with a dome with a circular hole in the centre, allowing dim light to enter the rooms.
The Modern Museum
The National Gallery’s permanent exhibition is divided into nine thematic blocks presented in several halls. Here is what’s in it for you:
- Hall One – Icons from Byzantine and post-Byzantine period
- Hall Two – Macedonian Profane Painting from the late 19th and early 20th century
- Hall Three and Four – Art Interwar
- Hall Five – Time to free creative expression
- Hall Six – Abstract Art
- Hall Seven and Wight – Pop art, Hyperrealism, conceptual art, minimal art, and more
- Hall Nine – works of neo-expressionism, European Constructivism, and more.
In addition to the permanent collection, the National Gallery of Macedonia also features temporary exhibitions. Moreover, the museum traditionally hosts the most notable cultural events in the country’s capital.
In the gallery, you will find a library featuring literature on the art of Macedonia. However, you need to register beforehand to get there.
How to Get to the National Gallery of Macedonia
The National Gallery is conveniently located just by the entrance to the Old Bazaar. You’ll find it only a 15-minute walk from Skopje’s main square of Macedonia and the Vardar River waterfront.
You can easily reach the museum by public transport as there is a bus stop near the entrance to the building. And if you are coming to Skopje by train, you can easily reach the gallery via the boulevard of Macedonia.
National Gallery of Macedonia General Information
Address: St. Jordan 18, Skopje, Macedonia
10:00-18:00 October 1 – March 31
10:00-21:00 April 1 – September 30
Every day except Monday
Phone: +389 (0) 2 3133-102; +389 (0) 2 3227-986; +389 (0) 2 3126-856
Official site: www.nationalgallery.mk