Bitola , formerly Monastir; is a city located in the south western part of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The city is an administrative, cultural, industrial, commercial, and educational centre. Bitola is the second largest city in the country. Covering an area of 422,39 km². and with a population of 74.550(2002), Bitola is an important industrial, agricultural, commercial, educational, and cultural center.
Situated near the city centre, the Covered Bazaar (Bezisten) is one of the most impressive and oldest buildings in Bitola from the Turkish period. With its numerous cupolas that make it look like a fortress, with its tree-branch shaped inner streets networks and four big metal doors, it is one of the biggest covered markets in the region. After a fire the Bazaar, from the 15th until the 19th century, was rebuilt and many stores, often changing over time, were located there. Most of them were selling textile and other luxury fabrics. At the same time the Bezisten was a treasury, where in specially made small rooms the money from the whole Rumelian Vilaet was kept, before it was transferred in the royal treasury. In the 19th century the Bezisten hosted a total of 84 stores. Today most of them have a contemporary character and sell different types of products; but no matter what the internal transformations, the outer appearance has remained unchanged.
The Old Bazaar is mentioned in a description of the city from the 16th and 17th centuries.The Old Bazaar, with approximately 900 stores, was the pulse of the city where everything was created and everything was sold. There you could feel the life of Bitola. Numerous craftsmen and professions dictated the tempo of life, for all the population of the city, as well as for the surrounding places.
The present Bezisten does not differ much in appearance from the original one.
Other remarkable monuments include: the Clock Tower; the Church of Saint Demetrius, Heraclea Lyncestis, an important ancient settlement spanning from the Hellenistic period till early Middle Ages founded by Philip II of Macedonia; the Ajdar-kadi mosque built in the early 1560s; the Jeni and Ishak mosques and the Deboj Bath.
CHERPLAN Pilot Site: Old Bazaar
Pilot Activities: Feasibility study for the revitalization of the Old Bazaar and restoration of a building facade as an exemplary case.