Painted Mosque

Top choice in North Macedonia

Tetovo's beautiful Painted Mosque is like something out of the Arabian Tales and quite unique in the Balkans. First built in the 15th century, it was razed to the ground two centuries later in a great fire that annihilated half the city; the design and architecture you see today is a 19th-century reconstruction. The facade is a patchwork of rectangular panels worked in a fresco technique; inside, the decoration becomes rich and floral, with geometric and arabesque ornamentation.

The mosque's design was masterminded by Abdurrahman Pasha of Tetovo, hence the name Pasha's Mosque (though it is much more widely known simply as the Painted Mosque).

The mosque sits on the southern bank of the Pena River, which bisects Tetovo. The town itself is a largely modern place and there's little to keep you here. Buses run every hour, if not more frequently, from Skopje and the journey takes 40 minutes to an hour. Tetovo is 43km west of Skopje.