Macedonia is a young democracy, although its roots go far back in history. Macedonia is a significant crossroad in the Balkans. Therefore, the Turkish authorities opened the first post office in Bitola in 1843 and that is when the philately begun. The so-called Turkish postmark was initially for postal use, and later on, in 1849 the post office in Skopje also used it. In the past, Macedonia has been split and divided by its neighbouring countries.
A genuine curiosity for philatelists are the so-called “revolutionary issues” of 1902 and 1906. The omnibus issues were released in Bulgaria for the needs of the revolutionary committees; they were scarcely ever used and were not acknowledged by the Bulgarian post office. A peculiar rarity is the so-called “Skopje overprint”, a Bulgarian stamp of one stotinka (Bulgarian cent) denomination of 1889, which was overprinted on the three stotinka denomination. The stamp was issued in 1916 and was used for items to be mailed from Macedonia.
In its issues during the war, in 1917 and 1921, the Bulgarian post office used the pictorial designs of The St. Naum Monastery and The Ohrid Lake, of Demir Kapija, Veles, Gevgelija, Shar Planina and of folk garments from Debar, all located in Macedonia. Any philatelist would wish to acquire the so-called “German issue” of 1944. It is an omnibus issue of Bulgarian stamps overprint in Skopje, which read “November 8th, 1944”.
Original Stamps from Macedonia
The colourful pieces of paper that lay before you are the treasures of Macedonia that are worth being placed in your collections. These are some original stamps that cannot be found elsewhere on the internet:
The St. Prohor Pchinski Monastery, located on the Macedonia-Serbia border, where the foundations for the new Macedonian state were laid in 1944, is the first Macedonian design of Yugoslavian stamps. More than 80 Macedonian pictorial designs appear in the Yugoslavian philately, illustrating certain events, persons, cities and cultural legacy.
It is the issues of Sovereign Macedonia of 1991 that will attract Macedonian philately of stamp fans and passionate stamp collectors. In order to commemorate the Independence in September 1991, in December of the same year the post office of Macedonia issued a companion stamp, which travelled the whole world. The stamp featured zurla players. The second Anniversary of Independence in 1992 was marked by the release of the first regular-issue of Macedonian postage stamps featuring a detail of the iconostasis in the St. John Bigorski Monastery located in Debar.
Since that time, the post office of Macedonia has released a large number of stamps and omnibus issues.
Read the Macedonian version here.