Makedonium, also known as the Monument to the Ilinden Uprising, was designed by Jordan and Iskra Grabuloska and ranks as their finest work. Sited at the highest point of hill Gumenja, it overlooks the town of Krusevo. Its significance is twofold: it was erected on the 30th Anniversary of the meeting of ASNOM (Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia) honouring the People's Liberation Struggle (1941-1944). With the opening ceremony held on 2nd August 1974, it also celebrated the Ilinden Uprising of 2nd August 1903, thereby becoming a universal symbol of Macedonian struggle for freedom and independence. The monument is approached via a path laid out in the landscape. The access is divided into several sequences deeply permeated with symbolism. The beginning is marked by white concrete sculptures symbolising broken chains (work of Jordan Grabuloski). The first section is formed by a circular space of the "Crypt". Cylindrical sculptures with metal plaques containing the names of places, persons, or dates connected with historical events project from the walls. The path continues towards the "Amphitheatre" with numerous cylindrical concrete "seats" and a ceramic wall in vivid colour. The wall is complemented with geometric shapes made by renowned painter Petar Mazev. The heart of the complex and the climax of the memorial path is the monument itself. The spherical white concrete sculpture measuring approximately 20m in diameter is characterised by large projecting oval windows. Those on top contain stained glass, the work of Borko Lazeski, while the lower windows open up beautiful views of the landscape. Each of the sides depicts events of significance to Ilinden. There is symbolism present throughout the interior. On all four sides, the wall alcoves of the lower windows are covered on all four sides by two reliefs each depicting - in an abstract language characteristic of the period in which they were created - the national awakening and the struggle of the Macedonian people for liberation. To this day, the monument serves as a memorial of 2nd August, one of the most important dates in the history of the Macedonian nation. It is part of the regular school curriculum while also having lately raised international interest and attention. The memorial complex was listed as a cultural monument soon after being built and has thus enjoyed the protection of local institutions from the very beginning. Even so, however, it is in need of comprehensive renovation and maintenance.
Krusevo, North Macedonia
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