City of light.
Ohrid – a city in the southwestern part of Macedonia, on the northeast coast of Lake Ohrid, which also has its name based on the city. Ohrid and Lake Ohrid are one of the main tourist destinations in Macedonia. Due to the large number of churches and monasteries, the city is known as the Balkan and European Jerusalem. Ohrid is also known as the “city of light”, a literal translation of its old name, Lychnidos. The Ohrid region is included in the UNESCO World Heritage. Modern Ohrid is the heir of the ancient Lychnidos.
Being the largest and most beautiful out of Macedonia’s three tectonic lakes, Lake Ohrid is about 30 kilometers (18 miles) long and round 288 meters (945 feet) deep. Its astonishingly clean and clear waters, together with the serene stillness of its mountain settings have captivated visitors since prehistoric times. While the lake is filled up by water from three rivers, most of Ohrid’s water comes from another lake – Prespa which is located on the other side of Mountain Galicica. Due to the high elevation, Prespa spills its water down to Ohrid through mountain springs, the most important ones being Ostrovo and Biljana, located near the monastery of St. Naum and Ohrid town, respectively. 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 the Ohrid trout, named letnica and belvica. Other unique Ohrid creatures include two types of eel, and the bleak whose scales are used for making the well-known Ohrid pearl. This treasured jewel is produced according to a secret method which was passed on from generation to generation. Sport fishing attracts many passionate fishermen from Macedonia, Europe and even from the world. of religion.
Ohrid fortress, the symbol of the city without which its urban physiognomy and history can not be imagined is one of the largest medieval fortification constructions in Macedonia. With its ramparts and fortified towers the fortress occupies the entire Ohrid hill which rises to 100 meters above the level of the lake. From all sides, with the exception of the southern, which is facing the lake, the city is being protected by high walls and defensive towers in the length of about three kilometers which is spreading all up to the Ohrid port. The height of the ramparts vary from 3 to 16 meters, depending on the configuration and accessibility of the terrain.
St. Naum Monestery
The Monastery of St. Naum is a magnificently massive complex, located 29 kilometers south of Ohrid, on a plateau close to the Albanian border. It is, without any doubt, one of the most attractive Macedonian tourist destinations. With a wonderful surrounding area, the St. Naum Monastery is a popular day trip where you can enjoy both nature and religious heritage.
Visited by pilgrims and travelers alike, this eastern orthodox monastery is one of the few with locational and architectural splendor. Overlooking the Lake of Ohrid, the walls provide breathtaking panoramic views of the entire bay area.
With serene surroundings, picturesque scenery and religious history, the Monastery of St. Naum (also known as Manastir Sveti Naum) sets the prevailing archetype that runs through the entire country of Macedonia – this is truly a land where wonders of nature blend perfectly with some of the most captivating monuments of religion.
The church of St. Sofia is one of the largest medieval churches on this territory. For a long time it was the cathedral church (“Great Church”) of the Ohrid Archiepiscopate whose ecclesiastical authority covered the territories up to the river Danube to the north, the Albanian coast to the west, and the Bay of Thessalonica to the east.The church was probably used as a cathedral way back in the past, in the period of the Car Samuel who, in the late X century, moved his throne from Prespa to Ohrid. The other assumption is that there used to be another church on the same site during the reign of the Macedonian Czar Samuel, and that later on this church was ruined for unknown reasons. The date of the construction of that church is uncertain because there are no inscriptions that help reveal it. It is also mentioned that today’s church was either built or restored during the period of the Archbishop Leo who was on the throne of the Church in the period between 1035-1056
Bay of bones
The museum on water, otherwise known as Bay of Bones, is an archeological complex located at the excavation site of Ploca Micov Kamen, near Gradishte and Pestani along the Ohrid coast. An authentic reconstruction of the pile dwelling settlement, Bay of Bones is a very popular day trip and one of the most attractive destinations in Ohrid and Macedonia. Dating back between 1200 and 700 BC, the original prehistoric settlement occupied 8500 square meters. The Ohrid Lake, quite shallow around this period, allowed for a massive wooden structure to be erected above the water, considered by many as one of the largest prehistoric palafittes.
The church was built by St.Clement in 893 year on the foundation of an early Christian basilica, and dedicated to St.Panteleimon. It was here that the Ohrid Literary School, a center of Slavonic literary and cultural activity where it was educated more than 3,500 disciples. St. Clement was buried in this monastery, in the tomb which was built by his own hands.
After the advent of the Ottoman Turks, St. Clement’s Church was converted into a mosque, known as the Imaret Mosque, of which only a small enclosure remains. The mosque was built as an endowment and a memorial by Sinan Chelebi, member of the distinguished Turkish family.
Apart from the monastery’s many reconstructions during the Ottoman empire, it has recently undergone extensive reconstruction and excavation. Reconstruction started on 8 December 2000 and the physical church was fully reconstructed by 10 August 2002. Most of Saint Clement’s relics were returned to the church.
Plaošnik (Macedonian: Плаошник) is an archaeological site and holy place in Ohrid, 250 meters below Samuil’s Fortress. In the future, the whole complex will have konaks (mansions) as in the time of Saint Clement of Ohrid, together with several surrounding objects.
Galicica National Park
Galičica is a mountain situated across the border between Macedonia and Albania There is a national park on the North Macedonian side of the mountain, situated between the two biggest lakes in the republic: Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. It stretches over an area of 227 square kilometres (88 sq mi).
The floral life in the Galicica National Park represents over 1600 species, of which many relicts and endems have the final frontier of its range exactly on the mountain Galičica. There is characteristically presence of up to now 13 discovered local endems on North Macedonian side to be found exclusively on the slopes of Galičica and nowhere else, this illustrates the specifically floristic composition of this mountain. At the moment, it is intensively worked on the flora of the National Park and there are indications that the number of endems will be even bigger.
Beautiful views across the lakes and neighbouring mountains can be seen from the Galičica peaks. The second-highest peak is Magaro (2,255 m).
The National Park is confirmed by the government to be a national park in the year 1958.