A CITY - MUSEUM UNDER PROTECTION OF UNESCO, A PEARL OF MACEDONIA
Ohrid is one of the oldest settlements in Macedonia, its origin dates back to the antique period. Nowadays, the city is the most developed as well as the most attractive place for tourists in the Republic of Macedonia. 0hrid is a city in the south-western part of the Republic of Macedonia onto the north-eastern shore of Lake Ohrid. Traffic connections are towards Skopje, Bitola, Debar and Republic Albania. It is located along Via Egnatia, which used to connect Adriatic Sea and White Sea, and that was an important circumstance for develop-ment of Ohrid in the past. There is Ohrid Airport in the vicinity of Ohrid, it is air traffic connection to certain foreign destinati-ons. Water traffic in Lake Ohrid does not have an important role, it is used for tourists sightseeing and fishing. There is not a railway station and that is the only disadvantage.
In the 3rd cen-tury BC, there was Lychnidos instead of the present Ohrid. This important and fortified place was conquered by Roman gover-ning and it be-came an important settlement along the roadof Via Egnatia. Lychnidos as a rich and fortified city fell under Byzantine rule. There were fights between Slavic tribes and Byzantine army in the 6th and 7th century. After conquering the city by Slays Lychnidos was renamed as Ohrid. In 879 Ohrid became Episcopal seat and in 886 by arrival of St. Kliment and St. Naum, this settlement grew into cultural centre. These disciples of St. Cyril and St. Methodius started spreading Slav literacy and literature. Ohrid was the capital of Macedonian state during the rule of tsar Samuil.
The fortress is well preserved fortification in the old part of the city, the oldest data for this fortress date back to 476. After Samuil's death the fortress was destroyed and again it was renewed. It was also used during Turkish Empire. Ohrid had developed crafts and trade and it represented an economic center during 12th and 13th century. After Balkan Wars, population figures in Ohrid were decreased due to Turks migration. There is low development during the period between the First World War and the Second World War. Population and economic progress was marked after the Second World War.
Population growth has been marked since the period after wars: there were 11.169 in-habitants in 1948, over 39.093 in-habitants 1981 and approximate-y 50.000 inhabitants till 2002. The population figures were doubled from 1961 to 1994. Ohrid has an eminent tourist function in the wider region. Important income of Ohrid's economy has been obtained by fishing, industry and craftsman-ship. Having developed city functions and developed tertiary and secondary section, Ohrid represents a center for the surrounding gravitation area. Anyway, whenever we refer to its tourist importance, Ohrid has great attractive power which is spread beyond state borders.
Antique Theatre in Ohrid originates since Hellenistic period. It was built in 200 BC. It is located in the old part of Ohrid and it is between both sides of Samuil's Fortress plateau in suitable area to perform antique Theatre from antique drama scene and gladiators' arena to a contemporary scene of cultural events acoustics during cultural-artistic and sports events. The Classical Theatre offers an extraordinary view of Lake Ohrid and the mountain Galichica.
Golden Mask from Trebenishta
During archaeological excavations of Samuil's Fortress in Ohrid, numerous tombs which were property of inhabitants of Lychnidos were found by the northern bulwark. Chronologically burial period is from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD and the greatest parts belong to Macedonian-Hellenic period (the 3rd century BC). Rich and diverse archaeological findings have been discovered there (decorated ceramic dishes, iron, bronze, silver and golden objects). A tomb with approximately seventy objects of various materials (ceramic, amber, glass, iron, bronze, silver and gold) was discovered on 30th September, 2002, and among the most significant and the most exclusive area golden mask and a golden glove with a golden ring.
The well-known necropolis Trebenishta by the village Gornenci in the vicinity of Ohrid is considered to be epochal discovery for Macedonian and European archaeology as well as additional scientific affirmation. The other four golden masks in the necropolis were found in 1918 and 1934 (today, two of them are in Belgrade and the other two in Sophia). This tomb dates back to the early 5th century BC, therefore it is the oldest burial location in frames of Lychnidos necropolis.
Samuil's Fortress was used and partially extended during Roman period and it had even greater dimension during Byzantine period. During the reign of Samuil, it was significantly extended and built up by well-built bulwarks. The present fortress kept the form of Samuil fortress, although there are some claims that some parts were demolished and then they were restored by Turks and Byzantines. Fortress walls are from 10 to 16 meters high and several meters wide. The hilly part of the town was protected with high towers and walls 3 km long, except the south side which is surrounded by the lake itself. It covers the whole Ohrid Hill with its fortification and walls.
Now, there are eighteen towers and four gates. Some parts of the fortress occupy area towards the lake and lower hilly part of the old part of Ohrid. The old part of the town had three entrance gates and only Gorna Porta (Upper Gate) is preserved. Partially damaged top layer of inner walls reveal Byzantine format of bricks in horizontal layers. Besides defense function from enemies, the fortress was used as a residence. It is also known as Samuil's Fortress. During tsar Samuil ruling from 976 to 1014 and his successors till 1018, Ohrid was the capital of the first state of Macedonian Slays. Then, the restored fortress has kept its monumental urban skeleton till the present days.
Ohrid trout is an endemic species of freshwater fish in Europe and it is the closest ancestor of the species that have lived in this area since the Tertiary. Ohrid trout is different from spring trout because it has a flat body, small head and grey starry freckles all over its body. The colour of the flash to some of them is white and to some of them is pink. The maximum length is from 25 to 60 cm, and the maximum weight is 15, 8 kg. Cross-breeds of spring and Ohrid trout have red circle and grey starry freckles like the letnica trout. Ohrid trout is delicious. It is inscribed on Macedonian coins as a trademark of Macedonia.
Ohrid Lake Beaches
Gorica - 4 kilometres from Ohrid - the whole surrounding makes you feel calm, the beach is surrounded by high rocks, an ideal view to the whole beach area
Slavija - 4 kilometres from Ohrid in the locality Saint Stefan, one of the most frequent Ohrid beaches, always tidy and clean, the biggest attraction is a 75 metres toboggan
Metropol & Belvi - 8 kilometres from Ohrid, only 100 metres from the lake, two hotels are well-known because of modern equipped rooms with views to the lake, sports terrains, bowling room, conference hall, sauna, heliotherapy, casino and fitness centre
Lagadin - the longest beach-285 m, organised various parties with snow-foam, rain and balloons, special park place on the beach for the guests' scooters and speedboats, the special attraction is the platform for relaxation, drink and socializing
Eleshec - a car-camp, 10 km from Ohrid, 700 beds in bungalows and trailers, opportunity to stay in your own trailers and tents
Saint Kliment Monastery - Plaoshnik
This complex is one of the most important archaeological localities in Ohrid and Macedonia as well it is the centre of the Christianization of the Slays, of their literature and culture. Plaoshnik belongs to different archaeological periods which can be divided as pre-Kliment's, Kliment's and post-Kliment's period. Saint Kliment's Monastery Saint Pantelejmon, Plaoshnik (9th century) nearby early Christian episcope basilica in the community of Plaoshnik in 2002, the new-built temple dedicated to St. Pantelejmon was consecrated Saint Kliment (Clement), a patron of Macedonia and MOC-OA as a symbol of education and literacy, he was also a great builder of churches and monasteries, the most famous is the monastery in Plaoshnik.
The newest archaeological excavations in 2000 confirmed that Saint Kliment renewed a former monastery in shape of a trefoil. That is a testimony of the Christian church life in Macedonia since the 1st century -the time of the holy apostle Paul and it is believed that this early Christian basilica was dedicated to St. Paul where Kliment's Monastery was built in the 9th century. There were discovered over 500 monks' graves and other abundant discoveries such as: gilded clothes, crosses, icons with the face of the Holy Mother and the Crucifixion of Christ, relicts of the Saint Kliment's monastery and Roman coins. At the place of the monastery, in the 14th century a new church was built, that the Turks converted into a mosque in the 15th century. Then the remains of Saint Kliment were transferred in the Holy Mother of God Periylepta church in Ohrid, known popularly from then on as a church Saint Kliment.
On December 8, 2000 (the feast dedicated to Saint Kliment) and celebrating 2.000 years of Christianity, foundations of the new monastery of Saint Kliment were laid and it was consecrated on August 11, 2002. After 530 years, on the day of the consecration of the renewed monastery dedicated to St. Pantelejmon, the relicts of Saint Kliment Ohridski were moved again on Plaoshnik, he was the first Macedonian episcope from 893 and a founder of Macedonian Orthodox Church - Ohrid Archbishopric. Ohrid School was located here, the centre of Slav literacy, spirit and culture and it is considered as the first Slav University. St. Kliment was the most gifted pupil of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius, the all-Slays teachers, therefore in Saint Pantelejmon Monastery in Ohrid, in Plaoshnik, he founded the first European and all Slavic University in the 9th century (886), many years before those in Padova and Bologna.
3.500 disciples graduated at the University of Saint Kliment in Ohrid They all went to different places and spread the Christianity in Slavic language all over Europe. The Bible written in old Macedonian Slavic language was spread from Ohrid through the whole Slavic Europe, from Thessaloniki to Ural in 15 European countries. Why did he dedicate this monastery to Saint Pantelejmon? Because Saint Pantelejmon was a doctor with a great gift for miracles. Next to the monastery there was a hospital where St. Clement treated and cured the sick - with prayers, herbs and tea and was called Miracle-maker.
St. John Theologain - Kaneo
St. John Theologian, Kaneo (1280) this medieval church is known after a former fishermen settlement Kaneo, which in Latin means "shines" and it is one of the most photographed symbols. The monastery St. John Theologian was built and painted in the 13th century, but church-donors and fresco painters are unknown. Dome frescoes are preserved century, during this period a lot of frescoes were destroyed and lost forever. There were some renovations and additional building in the recent history of this church, while in 1889 a new wooden iconostasis was set in and certain parts of the old fresco painting were reproduced. The original appearance of the church St. John of Kaneo, as one of the symbols of ancient Ohrid, was being and altar frescoes are quite damaged, because of this the church was demolished and abounded for longer period between the 17th and 19th century, during this period a lot of frescoes were destroyed and lost forever. There were some renovations and additional buildings in the recent history of this church, while in 1889 a new wooden iconostasis was set in and certain parts of the old fresco painting were reproduced.
The original appearance of the church st.John of kaneo, as one of the symbols of ancient Ohrid, was being restored after preservation work from 1963 to 1964, when the bell tower was demolished, which was built up in the 19th century. The dome frescoes were discovered then. The frescoes from the 13th century are destroyed and there are only parts in the cupola and the apse. The two angels from the Communion of the Apostles are wonderful and specific, in tsar's garments, which is a rarity. The architecture of this church is very important for studying of medieval monuments in Ohrid, because it represents a successful combination --- of Byzantine and Armenian elements. The construction is made of trim stone, scale and tiles, on a rectangular base, with a cross-in-square plan and octagonal cupola.
Monastery Saint Naum of Ohrid
Monastery Saint Naum of Ohrid (9th-14th century) was built on a high cliff above Lake Ohrid on the ultimate south point in a place with rare natural beauty, this monastery is one of the most significant spiritual monuments of medieval Macedonian past. Building of this monastery is connected to the name of Saint Naum who was working with Saint Kliment (Clement), they are the most famous educators of Macedonian People. The church is dedicated to The Council of the Saints Archangel, which was built by Saint Naum in 905. And it was same with the monastery of Saint Clement in Plaoshnik as to the shape and size.
The Saint Naum's grave is in it, walled up in the southeast part of the narthex, at the same place as the Saint Kliment grave in his monastery in Ohrid. The church foundation was built in a form of trefoil (a clover leaf). It was completely destroyed from 10th to 12th century. There was built the present church on the existing foundation in the 16th century, it was built up and extended in several phases. The dome over the church was built in the second half of the 17th century, and the last significant restoration was performed in the end of 18th century (1799).
The inscription, which is over western entrance, says that church painting was performed during the period of the abbot Stevan in 1806. The chapel with Naum's Tomb was also painted then. There have been performed certain changes that completely changed the appearance of St. Naum church. The present church has form of a cross in scribed into a dome square, set on four pillars. Naum's Tomb is a sticked building with wide and low dome. Even today in the Saint Naum Monastery the pilasters with engraved Glagolitic and Cyrillic letters remain.
Being the first monastic centre in Macedonia, from the time of Saint Kliment and Saint Naum, there is traditional monkshood and an active church life today. The monastery and its surrounding is quiet place for relaxation and walking. The whole area enchants with its calm beauty of pearl clear water of Crn Drim spring, therefore it is considered to be one of the clearest locations of Ohrid shore. The clear and cold springs and the dense vegetation are considered to be the most exotic place in the region. You must not miss sailing by boat in the springs by the monastery.