Ohrid is the Macedonian cultural safe. The Lake, Fortress of Samuel, many historical and cultural monuments from all historical periods, St. Cyril and Methodius the Cyrillic alphabet that they have left to us, frescoes and icons, the old architecture of the town of Ohrid, the carving, the Ohrid pearl, and everything that this town carries with its archaic sings is a great tourist resort and a great experience. It was inhabited since the Neolithic period, years 6000 B.C. The name probably derives from the Macedonian phrase “Vo Hrid” – meaning roughly, “the town on the hill.”Apart from its ancient theater (which is still in use today), the ancient Lychnidos boasted a classical agora, gymnasium, civil basilicas and temples to the gods of Greek Antiquity. Under Roman rule it developed more of the typical Roman architectural traits, and became an important transit point on the Via Egnatia trade route that bisected the Balkans. The town as we know it today was built mostly between the 7th and 19th centuries. During the Byzantine period, Ohrid became a significant cultural and economic center, serving as an episcopal center of the Orthodox Church and as the site of the first Slavic university run by St. Clement and St. Naum at the end of the 9th century. At the beginning of the 11th century, Ohrid briefly became the capital of Macedonia’s greatest medieval ruler, Samuel, whose fortress still presides over the city today. During Ottoman times, Ohrid remained the seat of the autocephalous Ohrid archiepiscopacy (until 1726).
During its Byzantine apogee, the town was renowned for its 365 churches and monasteries. These, and a large number of sacral edifices, have been preserved and make up a large part of Ohrid’s rich medieval past. Ohrid is the center of the Christianity in this region. The roots of the first country of the Macedonians, the Samuil Kingdom are connected to this town. Ohrid like on open book that has all the details from the past. It is a museum of the antique and middle ages art.There isn`t an anthology of these periods without famous frescoes and icons from Ohrid. Lake Ohrid is the largest and most beautiful of Macedonia’s three tectonic lakes. Its astonishingly clean, clear waters together with the serene stillness of its mountain setting have captivated visitors since prehistoric times. The lake is enormous, at some 30 kilometers (18 miles) long and up to 288 meters (945 feet) deep. While the lake is fed by water from three rivers, most of Ohrid’s water comes from another lake- Prespa, on the other side of the Galichica Mountain. Being at a higher elevation, Prespa spills its water down to Ohrid through mountain springs, the most important being Ostrovo near the monastery of St Naum, and Biljana near Ohrid town. With its unique flora and fauna characteristic of the tertiary period (2-4 million years ago), Ohrid is one of Europe’s great biological reserves. Most of the lake’s plant and animal species are endemic and unique to Ohrid. The most famous among these are two types of Ohrid Trout (letnica and belvica, in Macedonian). Other unique Ohrid creatures include two types of eel as well as the bleak, whose scales are used for making the well-known Ohrid pearl. This treasured jewel is produced according to a secret method passed down from generation to generation. Sport fishing attracts many passionate fishermen from Macedonia, Europe and the world. In 1980 Lake Ohrid was proclaimed a place of world cultural and natural inheritance by UNESCO.
Cultural and Historical Signs Of Ohrid
-Ohrid fortress, the biggest in this region dating from the 3 century before Christ.
- Antique Theater, dating from 2 millenniums ago, great location with the best view of the lake, totally reconstructed.
- Episcope Church, an early Christian church from the 5 century located bellow the fortress. There are 100 m mosaic pictures preserved from this church.
- The monastery of St. Clement and Pantelejmon at Plaosnic. There is a newly built church there. The bones of St. Clement arte kept there. He was the first Slavic Episcope.
- St. Archangel, the monastery of St. Naum, located on the coast of the lake. The grave of St. Naum is there.
- St. Sofia Church, a cathedral church built on the bases of the early Christian basilica with preserved wall painting, architectural sings characteristic for the 4 century. The most important monument for Ohrid and Macedonia.
- St. Clement (St. Bogorodica Perivlepta)
- The Gallery of Icons located in the church of St.Clement. There are 30 icons made in the Ohrid middle age workshops.
- National Museum -the house of Robevci family, a maser of the characteristic architecture in Ohrid. There is an exhibition of various things found in the region dating from the pre-historic times till our time.
-Ohrid Bazaar -used to be a center of different crafts