Ohrid City

Lake Ohrid 400
Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Photo by: JasonRogersFooDogGiraffeBee, Creative Commons

Ohrid city is located east of Lake Ohrid, in Macedonia. Ohrid is Macedonia’s seventh largest city and features about 365 churches. Ohrid is considered as the Macedonian Jerusalem.

The city covers an area of about 143 square kilometers and the population here is about 42,000. Ohrid is a major tourist destination whose landscape is dominated by attractive monuments and houses. The city along with Lake Ohrid was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1980.

According to the archaeological surveys, Ohrid is one of Europe’s oldest human settlements. Lake Ohrid was first mentioned from 353 BC in Greek documents. Ohrid, the city, was first called as “the city of light” and was renamed as Ohrid in the year 879. The city prospered during the Byzantine period that a number of churches were built that can still be seen to the present day. The major structures of the city are:

St. Sophia Church
Built in the year 1035 by Lav the archbishop, the terrace of the church was converted into a mosque. The church features an open gallery and a number of paintings belonging to the 11th century. There are several altars on display with scenes from the Old Testament.

St. Bogorodica Perivlepta
This church was built in the year 1295 and it was devoted to the Virgin Mary. The church features a number of paintings and the most important painting here is the “Lamentation of Christ” that shows various emotions such as Mary about to faint and being handled by another woman, women pulling their hair and crying angels.

St. John Kaneo Church
This church was built close to the Lake Ohrid in the 10th century. In the 13th century the church was expanded and a bell tower was added.

King Samoil Fortress
This fortress was built in the 4th century BC by the Emperor Philip II of Macedon. The courtyard features ancient graves and ruins of a cistern and a round tower.

Antique Theatre
Build in the Roman period, it is the only ancient monument in the city that still stands.

Icon Gallery
The Icon Gallery features Macedonia’s art collection and ranks second to Moscow in Icon collection.

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