Culture

NEVER-ENDING BEAUTY OF THE FORTRESS

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One of the most significant poets and play writers in Europe- Friedrich Schiller wrote a play -which he finished in 1799 – about the fall of power of the Albrecht von Wallenstein. In this three act play the action develops throughout the persuasion of finding ways how to make this general in not fulfilling the emperor’s wishes, which at the end leads to the assassination of this character. This play that was firstly staged and directed by the famous German writer of Jewish decent – Johann Wolfgang Goethe, is liberally inspired from the historic events (though some newly discovered archive materials prove that its writer was actually a very good historian) and in its main plot line includes some characters of the noble family of Piccolomini, mainly Octavio and his son Max- that had a secret romance with the Wallenstein’s daughter Thekla. From this family is also Enea Silvio Piccolomini. Like his famous cousins he was also from Siena and had served in the Habsburg army. His family also gave two popes: Pius I (birth name- Enea Silvio Piccolomini) and Pius II (with birth name- Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini). Enea was a strong fighter against the Ottoman Empery. He successfully led the army all through Bosnia and Kosovo.

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When in Skopje he settled in the Skopje fortress. He burned the city of Skopje in 1689, for which the historians gave many explanations. The most reasonable one is that what happened was due to the presence of plague in the city. Enea contracted the plague and died; the population of the city, due to the fire, declined from 60 000 to 10 000. As you may see, although not directly, this historical site was a part of a significant work of art. But unfortunately the Schiller’s play was never translated into the Macedonian language nor was it ever staged. I had the idea that this significant European work of art should be staged on the opening of some new theatre in Macedonia but it seems I was the one and only.

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This fortress was firstly built in the Byzantine time in the 6thcentury, but was almost immediately destroyed in the earthquake that happened in 518 AD. It was rebuilt in the 10th and the 11thcentury; then a lot was erected on the northern and the southern parallel walls. From this period originated the most impressive part of the fortress- the Cyclopeswalls, which were designed in the classical style of opus quadratum. In the 17th century the famous travel writer Evlija Chelebija said that the Kale (this is how this fortress is popularly called even nowadays) is a fascinated building that impresses with its strong structure and sophisticated proportions. However the new excavations show that this place was inhabited even in the 4th century BC.  The fortress was also ruled by the King Samoil in the 10th century and by the powerfulByzantine noble family- Komnen in the 11th century.

Igor Pop Trajkov

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Categories: Culture, English

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