Spirituality by the Lake – Ohrid

We are often used to look at cities from the bottom up. Often, places seen from above are simply taking your breath away. If we were to look at Ohrid, a city by the eponym lake in Macedonia, we would be amazed by how many church towers are arising among the ordinary buildings – 365 of them to be precise, one for every day of the year. But Ohrid is not only about spirituality, it is also about time that sits still, about taking a breath and enjoying life the primary way.

Picture of Ohrid Lake

The history of this city goes back to ancient times when these land were inhabited by Greek populations. Over time, here was the place of settlement for ottomans, in the medieval times, and for Christians, in the eighteenth century. During the two great wars of the modern age, Ohrid had different rules, but somehow, managed to keep his essence unaltered by history.

Nowadays, Ohrid is a city where you can walk on cobbled streets, enjoy a traditional plate on one of the restaurants that border the streets or have a coffee by the lakeside. However, reaching up to the highest places of the Old Town gives you a feeling of time traveling, it is like this part of the world has stopped at the peak of its history.

Ohrid is a friendly place to tourists as it gives them the opportunity to relax by the serene lake Ohrid after their long skipping through historic monuments. The city makes most of his natural charms by the tranquil boardwalk and the lovely town beach. That is the reason why summer is the most beautiful season of all here.

Although a historic place, Ohrid gives you the opportunity to take part to a wide range of activities. One of the most beautiful experiences that you can have here is to take a boat ride to the Lake Ohrid. The lake itself is one of the largest in Europe and it is the habitat for more than two thousand species. Ohrid is also the right place for photography aficionados – the churches here are sublime monuments that would enchant any photographic lens.

Picture of Ohrid Church

From all the churches, the most visited are St. Jovan of Kaneo Monstery, St. Clement Chuch and Sveti Naum Monastery. The first, St. Jovan was built in the thirteenth century and it is the most visited and photographed places in Macedonia due to its stunning Byzantine architecture and the fact that it is visible from the lake, therefore a splendid view.  St. Clement has a tangled history for it was originally the place destined to deposit the eponym saint’s reliques and then transformed into a mosque by the ottomans – the beauty of this monument comes from its eclectic style and ornamentation. Sveti Naum Monastery is a special place thanks to the legend that it is liked to. Here, in the monastery, is the resting place for St. Naum. Locals say that if you press your ear to the tomb you might actually listen to the saint heartbeat.

For those who want to visit places that are not included in the spiritual area, Ohrid gives many alternatives. Whether you decide to visit the ancient amphitheater or the Robevci Family House ( a museum where you can track with the aid of the exhibits the Greek and Roman artefacts found here and also what kind of life was lead here by the aristocracy), Ohrid has many treasures waiting to be discovered.

Another must do is looking for Ohrid pearls at local shops. These pearls are unique by their shininess and color. They are obtained with the aid of a special species of fish that is been grown by the locals for decades. Since these pearls don’t come from oysters that are affordable and make a beautiful memory as the time goes by.

So, the next time you are looking for a place where marvels feel like home, you might want to consider visiting Ohrid – a city where beautiful things are linked like the pearls on a necklace.

Ștefana Bostan

Back to Top
© 2017 Agata Asofroniei