Atop a futuristic, mushroom-shaped pedestal, Alexander the Great rears up on his horse, standing higher than the surrounding city blocks. For a city with such claims to ancient history, Skopje is strikingly modern, having rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1963. Yet the echoes of history are very much present. Cross the Vardar River on the Stone Bridge, which has felt the footfall of great armies. Delve into the Old Bazaar that dates back to the 12th century, where vendors do a swift trade in leather goods, while seniors play backgammon in sunny squares to the strident call of the local muezzin calling to prayer.
When Alexander the Great ruled the Kingdom of Macedonia, it was the centre of the most powerful empire in the world.
In the evening, a dusky blue light suffuses the city and restaurants twinkle invitingly as the aroma of barbecuing kebabs drifts through the streets. Take your time. Skopje is a city that rewards slow wandering and thoughtful gazes.