Martin Panovski used to like hanging out in the center of his hometown, Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, a tiny Balkan nation that was, until 1991, part of Yugoslavia. Skopje's an old city, with complex, multi-ethnic layers of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history.
"Even the communist era produced some interesting contemporary architecture," says Panovski, an architect in hip eyeglasses.
The nationalist government of prime minister Nikola Gruevski did not agree. "The capital did not look European," says Nikola Zezov, a historian and Gruevski supporter. "It looked boring."