Magnificent and exciting
Mysterious and surprising
The modern town of Ohrid is nowadays a spiritual, cultural and the most famous tourist center in North Macedonia. In 1980, Ohrid region was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its priceless cultural and historical riches.
Must-see sites when visiting Ohrid region are:
- Lake Ohrid
- Samuil’s Fortress
- The Antic Theatre
- St. Clement’s Monastery
- St. Panteleimon, Plaoshnik Monastery
- St. Naum Ohridski
- St. Jovan Bogoslov, Kaneo
- Cathedral Church H. Sofia from 11th century
- Church H. Bogorodica Perivlepta
- The reconstructed prehistoric settlement Bay of Bones
Lake Ohrid is Europe’s oldest lake, as well as the seventh deepest lake on the continent.
Lake Ohrid is a distinctive shelter of large number of freshwater organisms originating from the tertiary period, whose close relatives can be found in fossil forms only. It is for this reason that it bears the name “Museum of living fossils”. Its remarkable age, continuing existence and geographical isolation enabled most of the lake’s inhabitants to continue the process of their further evolution up to this day.
Along the coast of the Ohrid lake, visitors can enjoy many beaches, some sandy, some covered with fine white rocks. For those who prefer active tourism, there are different options to choose from: diving/snorkeling, sailing, canoeing, foot walking through slopes and mountains, alpinism, horse riding, speleology, and paragliding.
The town of Ohrid (known as Lychnidos) has existed for over 2500 years now. It has a rich history of many civilizations inhabiting the city, all of them leaving their own mark on it. The legend says that the town was founded by Phonecian king of Thebes, Cadmus, who, after being banished from Thebes, fled to Echele. All this led to the founding of the town of Lychnidos.
There are a lot of buildings and monuments that tell stories about the life in Lychnidos. There is Antic Theatre, which was built in the 4the century B.C. and uncovered, reconstructed and used to this day after two millenniums; the Trebenishta necropolis that dates back to the 7th century B.C.; finally, about a dozen early Christian basilicas prove the fact that the town of Lychnidos, as well as Ohrid today, was a spiritual and bishopric center during these ancient times.
Two mile-stone signs were found near the town of Ohrid that witness the town of Lychnidos was built on the main Roman road Via Egnatia – the road that used to connect the Western and the Easter Roman Empire.
The last time Lychnidos was mentioned is during Justinianius’ reign, before being hit and destroyed by a devastating earthquake in the year of 526.
After that, the name Ohrid first appears in 879.
Few years later, in 886, the brothers Clement and Naum established the Ohrid Literary School in the area called Plaosnik, where only a selected group of pupils began their education. Clement became the patron saint and protector of Ohrid.
Owing to the activities of Clement and Naum, the city of Ohrid became a Slavic cultural center in the second half of the 9th century and the emperor Samuil converted it into a religious center and the capital of the kingdom. His fortresses still stand high above the city today. Ohrid used to have more than 300 churches, all of them with works of art from the Byzantine to the Renaissance period. The Renaissance period marks the richest and most valuable period for art in Ohrid, with nearly 30 fresco icons remaining from that time.