SITES AND ATTRACTIONS OF OHRID

Ancient theatre / Bay of Bones Museum / Galicica National Park

Holy Mother of God Perivleptos church / House of Robevci family / Ohrid bazaar

Ohrid lake / Saint Jovan Kaneo church / Saint Naum monastery

Plaosnik monastery / Saint Sophia church / Tzar Samoil's fortress 

(please click on the name)


Ancient theatre

This is a theatre from the Hellenistic and the roman period. It is located in the ancient part of Ohrid, Varosh, in the area of High Kale and Upper Saraj on Ilindenska street. The object is on 4000 square meters. The theatre is a place were many cultural manifestation are held, including the Ohrid Summer Festival, that is held here every year.

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Bay of Bones museum

Ohrid was enriched with another cultural and historical landmark as well as with a tourist attraction - Museum on Water - an exceptional archaeological complex, which is one of a kind in the region.

On the southern coast of Gradiste Peninsula in the Bay of Bones, a pile-dwelling settlement has been erected, which in the past was spreading at a total surface of 8.500 m2. It is an authentic reconstruction of a part of the pile-dwelling settlement, dating back between 1200 and 700 BC.

A Roman military fortification (Gradishte) has been reconstructed on the hill above the Bay of Bones simultaneously with constructing the pile-dwelling settlement and the Water Museum. The walls of the fortification that once had protected the Roman Empire from its enemies, are once again lifted up on the hill near Gradishte. The Roman fortress is connected with the settlement in order tourists and visitors to be given an extraordinary opportunity to experience time travel, from prehistoric to ancient times and vice versa.

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Galicica National Park

The National Park Galicica is located in the Ohrid-Prespa region, the most important tourist region in Macedonia. Besides the mountain of Galicica, the park encompasses areas of the shores of both Ohrid & Prespa lakes.

Particularly distinctive are the relief characteristics of Galicica National Park: the high mountain peaks which often exceed 2000 m (Mt. Magaro being the highest with 2254m asl), the forest areas are located at altitudes between 1564m and 1984m, and in the higher areas, the large pastures with numerous herds are unque feature of the mountain landscapes of Galicica. The national park also includes a large number of impressive caves-geographical reminder of the Glacial Epoch.

The Ohrid & Prespa lakes and the mountain areas in the national park Galicica are especially attractive for their beauty and natural wealth. Especially attractive is the area surrounding the monastery St. Naum, where the springs of the river Crn Drim are located. With its lower slopes reaching the edge of the lake, the mountain Galicica provides vistas of extraordinary beauty. Prespa Lake with its clear waters and the clean sandy beaches also presents a very picturesque landscape. Especially attractive is the island of Golem Grad and the shallow bays near the village of Konjsko, with their small pebble beaches. The mountain areas of Galicica, especially the higher peaks, provide ideal opportunities for panoramic views of both lakes.

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Holy Mother of God Perivleptos church

The Holy Mother of God church was built in 1295. The fresco painting in this church represents some of the first works of the most prestigious Macedonian icon-painters Michail and Eftihije. On the walls of this church, with extraordinary vitality and power, those two icon-painters have painted scenes from the life of Christ and the mother of God. After the destruction of Clement's church St. Pantelejmon, the relics of St. Clement were transferred and kept in this church, and ever since the citizens of Ohrid named the church St. Clement.

When the biggest church of Ohrid, St. Sophia, was converted into a mosque, St. Holy Mother Perivleptos became archbishopal seat.

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National museum of Ohrid - House of Robevci family

The Robevci family house in Ohrid is one of the most famous architectural monuments in Macedonia. It was built in its current state in 1863 - 1864 by Todor Petkov from a village Gari near Debar. Today the house is a protected monument of culture under the Institute for protection of cultural monuments in Ohrid.

The house consists of 3 floors. In the low part of the house are placed the epigraphical monuments from Ohrid, the county, the worth objects "the Milokas" (found on the road Via Egnatia), the two torsos of the goddess Isis and etc. The archeological objects from the ancient times and the medieval period are placed on the second and the third floor. In the upper part of the house are presented parts of objects made by the Ohrid carving school, creations of famous artists from Ohrid and the county. In the eastern part of the house are placed belongings of the Robevci family.

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Ohrid bazaar

The Old Bazaar of Ohrid is one of the most lively parts of Ohrid, especially on the so called market days, where numerous customers, as well as food products, may also buy various handmade items. Especially interesting are the clay products, the old Macedonian musical instruments and the famous Macedonian embroidery.

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Ohrid lake

Lake Ohrid lies in the valley between Ohrid and Struga, in the border region between Macedonia and Albania. It covers an area of 358.2 square kilometers, two thirds of which belong to the Republic of Macedonia, and the rest to the Republic of Albania. The shoreline is 87.5 kilometers long - the maximum length being 30.8 kilometers, and its maximum of 14.8 kilometers. The average depth is 164 meters, and the maximum depth 289 meters. The Ohrid lake is surrounded by mountain ranges of Mount Mokra (Mokra Planina - 1589 m.) and Jablanica (1945 m) on the Albanian side and by the limestone ridge of Mount Galicica (2255m) on the eastern side. The surrounding mountains are extremely carstic. Lake Ohrid is the 7th deepest lake in Europe.

Most of the Ohrid lake water bulk comes from numerous surface and underground springs. That is the reason certain researchers consider it unique in the world. Most of the surface springs lie along the southern shore, near the monastery of Saint Naum on the Macedonian side, and near the villages of Tusemiste and Starovo and the town of Pogradec in Albania. There are about 40 rivers and springs that flow into the Lake (23 on Albanian, and 17 on Macedonian territory). During summer, most of them dry out, whereas the rivers Sateska, Koselska, and Serava are the only waters with significant water flow that feed up the Ohrid lake.

The water temperature in the deepest layers of Ohrid lake is approximately 6 degrees Centigrade, whereas the surface layers may warm up to 24 degrees, and even to 26 degrees closer to the shore.

The Ohrid lake is listed as UNESCO world natural heritage site.

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Saint Jovan Kaneo church

This church is most known for its scenic location, standing on a cliff over Lake Ohrid.Significant to the architecture of the church is the exquisite combination of Byzantine and Armenian elements, which creates very favorable space for examining the medieval monuments in Ohrid. There are only few frescoes left inside, but the feeling of standing in centuries used sanctuary is worth the entrance.

There is written record of the time the church was built, but it is believed that it originates from the 13th century. The donor and the icon-painter of the church are unknown. The fresco-painting for the most part is destroyed. Only the fragments of the altar fresco which present "Communition of the Apostles", the portrait of St. Clement, and St. Erazmo and Constantine Kavasilis have been preserved.

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Saint Naum monastery

Saint Naum is a the most famous monastery complex in the Ohrid area. It is located only 2 kilometers near the border with Albania and 28 km from Ohrid. It was built by St. Naum of Ohrid, one of St. Cyril and Methodius's most famous disciples, and cofounder of the Ohrid literature school. It is said that if You enter inside and put your ear on his tomb, you can hear St.Naum's heart beats.

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Saint Pantelejmon church - Plaosnik monastery

The Plaosnik monastery of Ohrid (Saint Pantelejmon) is believed to have been built when Saint Clement arrived in Ohrid. Historical sources claim that Saint Clement of Ohrid was not satisfied with the size of the church, and therefore built a new one over it and assigned Saint Panteleimon as its patron saint.

Saint Clement of Ohrid used his newly created monastery as a liturgical building and a place for teaching his disciples his variation of the Glagolitic alphabet, known as the Cyrillic alphabet. Saint Clement of Ohrid personally built a crypt inside the Plaosnik monastery in which he was buried after his death in 916, and his tomb still exists today (after was secretly kept in other monastery during the Ottoman period).

In the 15th Century, Ottoman Turks converted the Saint Clement’s Plaosnik monastery into a mosque but, during the beginning of the 16th century allowed ruined churches and monasteries to be restored, therefore, so was Saint Clement's - Plaosnik monastery. The monastery was again ruined during the end of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th century and yet another mosque, called Imaret Mosque, which existed until the restoration of the important Ohrid monastery in 1999.

Many archaeologists believe that Saint Clement of Ohrid himself designed and constructed the monastery on Plaosnik. Saint Clement, along with Saint Naum would use the monastery as a basis for teaching the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets to Christianized Macedonian Slavs thus making it a university. Yes, the first Slavic University in the world, that had 3,500 students at one time.

The Plaosnik monastery stands on the famouse Ohrid hill which is now known as Plaosnik overlooking Lake Ohrid. Saint Clement of Ohrid built his monastery on a restored church and a Roman basilica of five parts (the remains of the basilicas can still be seen outside the monastery). Judging by the architectural style and design of the monastery, researchers say that Saint Clement intended for his building to be a literary school for disciples, thus it is believed to be the first and oldest discontinued university in Europe, as well in the Slavic world.

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Saint Sophia church

One of the most important monuments, architecture and art from the middle ages. This church, was originally the seat of the Ohrid Archbishopry, and later converted to a mosque, has preserved in its interior the traces of several time-period: frescoes from the 11th, 12th and 13th century.

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Tzar Samoil's fortress

Tzar Samoil's Fortress is mentioned in descriptions in the chronicles dating from 476. Today's Samoil fortress relates to the name of Tzar Samoil, who probably extended and built the fortress when he chose it for his seat. Samoil Fortress is the most monumental construction from this period.

The fortress today has 18 towers and 4 gates. The central part of the fortress has wall 10 - 16 meters high and it has strong defensive towers, followed by ramparts in direction of the lake. The entire complex is still being restored.

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