LoginJoin us
Forgot Password
Add to Collection

Museum of the City of Skopje

Skopje, North Macedonia
Museum of the City of Skopje_MG_012.jpg
1 of 16
Archival Photo

The Old Railway Station (today Museum of the City of Skopje) is one of the most significant public buildings constructed during the interwar period. The railway system, introduced in the late 19th Century represented a clear symbol of modernization, whereas the replacement of the first station building (built in 1873) with a larger and architecturally more ambitious one indicated the extent of growth and development of the city.

In 1931 an architectural competition was announced for reconstruction of the railway system and the station buildings. Although the first prize was not awarded, several works were purchased as potential for further development. The construction of the Railway Station begun in October 1937, according to the design of the Serbian architect Velimir Gavrilović from Belgrade, while the building was completed and officially put into use in 1940.

Aiming to be symbol of the growth and development of Skopje in the 1930s, the Railway Station was built with great architectural ambitions. In its spatial composition, the building was monumental and symmetrical, consisted of three segments, the central one slightly pushed forward than the two lateral ones. Each of the sections used to have its own, separate entrance. The main street façade was treated in a representative manner, partially clad with local travertine stone. Still classical in the disposition of the volumes and the central symmetry, the tendency bears romantic reminiscences to the to the local Byzantine tradition – the most remarkable detail being the colonnade with columns connected by semi-circular arches on the upper floor.

On November 13, 1944, the Railway Station was one of the strategic places in the battle for liberation of the city of Skopje. Honoring this important historical date, in 1956 a monumental mural dedicated to the national liberation struggle and the local Partisan movement was painted in the large railway hall by the academic painter Borko Lazeski (the mural was later destroyed in the earthquake).

On July 26, 1963, the Railway Station suffered great damage in the earthquake that hit Skopje – the eastern wing was completely demolished, whereas the rest of the building was seriously damaged. In 1966 a decision was made to renovate and adapt the remains of the building for the needs of the Museum of the City of Skopje (an institution founded in 1924). The main exhibition space was developed inside the west wing, as a contemporary exhibition space for permanent display designed by the Croatian architect Djuka Kavurić. The rehabilitation and adaptation process begun in 1968 and lasted until 1979, when the Museum of the City of Skopje moved into the building. In 1972 the building was listed as a built heritage and to this day is under protection. Although the building has long ceased to function with its original purpose, it has successfully housed the Museum of the City of Skopje over the years and still represents one of the architectural symbols of pre-earthquake Skopje.

Go to article
vldmr, May 30th, 2023
Go to article