According to allcitycodes, Ohrid has been Macedonia’s main tourist attraction for many years. The city owes this status to its location on Lake Ohrid and the city’s particularly long history. Ohrid used to be known as the city of 365 churches. Today there are not so many churches to be found in Ohrid and the immediate vicinity. According to the last count, there would be 14 more. Fortunately, there is much more to be found in the city, such as an old Ampi theater and statues of the saints who invented the Cyrillic script. The historic center of Ohrid is a busy and lively tourist attraction with many terraces and restaurants.
Ohrid.’s Top 10 Things to Do
#1. Lake Ohrid
Lake Ohrid is probably the most beautiful and breathtaking sight in all of Macedonia. This beautiful lake, which consists of many different shades of blue, is one of the oldest lakes in the world and it is even said to be the oldest lake in Europe. The lake is almost three hundred meters at its deepest. On the lake there are many attractions such as the monastery of St. Naum, hot springs and the open-air museum “Bay of Bones”. Lake Ohrid forms part of the border with neighboring Macedonia.
#2. Ohrid pearls
Ohrid pearls are not real pearls that are made in an oyster, but are synthetic pearls that are made through a natural process. The exact secret behind these pearls is an ancient family secret known only to four families. These four families produce all the pearls that are sold in Ohrid. The only thing we know about it is that fish scales and a certain fish oil are used.
#3. Sveti Bogorodica Perivlept
The Holy Mother of God Church in Ohrid is a few minutes’ walk from the ancient theater of the city. The Sveti Bogorodica Perivlept or Sveti Kliment Church is known for its beautiful wall paintings. The quality of these murals is so beautiful and special that art historians from all over the world flock to this church. The figures depicted have much more depth and expression than you normally see with these types of paintings.
St. Clemens Monastery The St. Clemens Monastery is named after Saint Clement of Ohrid. This Bulgarian saint was an important spiritual writer who founded one of the first universities in the region in the monastery. The official name of the monastery is St. Clemens Monastery of St. Paneleimon. According to tradition, the monastery was built when Saint Clement arrived in Ohrid. In this monastery, Saint Clement and Saint Naum simplified the Glaglitic script and converted it into the Cyrillic script. This shift is still used in six countries to this day. The Monastery of Saint Clement is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#5. Fort Samuel
On the highest point of the mountain against which Ohrid is built are the remains of Fort Samuel. This fortress is more than a thousand years old. It was commissioned by Samuel of Bulgaria during the First Bulgarian Kingdom. Of the original fortress, eighteen towers, four towers and a few kilometers of city wall have been preserved today. Much of the fort is now open to the public. From the various towers and city walls you have a beautiful view over Ohrid and the surrounding area.
#6. Sveti Jovan Kaneo
The Sveti Jovan Kaneo is dedicated to the Apostle John. This beautiful church is probably located in the most beautiful place in Ohrid. It is built on the part of the hill that is furthest into the lake. As a result, the church is surrounded by water in three places. This creates a beautiful effect. The Sveti Jovan Kaneo is therefore one of the most photographed sights of Ohrid. The pictures that you can take from a higher point are very beautiful. It is not known exactly how old this church is. It is believed to date from the thirteenth century as it is mentioned on several documents in the fourteenth century. The walk from Ohrid to this church is definitely recommended.
#7. The Ancient Theater
In the middle of the historic center of Ohrid, an ancient Greek theater was discovered in the early twentieth century. The theater was probably built in the second century BC. At the time it could accommodate about three thousand people. Which was about a third of Ohrid’s total population. The theater was completely excavated in the 1960s and since then it has played an important role again. Concerts and events are regularly held in the theater. The theater, along with several other historical sites, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
#8. Bay of Bones
A few kilometers from Ohrid is the open-air museum, the “Bay of Bones”. The museum owes this sinister name to the discovery of a particularly large amount of animal bones in this bay. The museum consists of a number of stilt houses built in the same way as it probably was done in the tenth century BC when the first people settled on this place. In addition to an open-air museum, the “Bay of Bones” is a popular diving site.
#9. Boulevard of Ohrid
Something that you should not miss during your visit to Ohrid is a stroll on the boulevard of the city. This produces beautiful pictures, especially in the evening and early morning. However, don’t expect a succession of tourist shops, terraces and hotels along the boulevard. These are also located on the boulevard, but not as massive as in the larger tourist resorts on the Mediterranean Sea, for example. During your walk along the boulevard you will come across the statues of the founders of the Cyrillic script, the monument of the Dutch writer A. Den Dolaard and a small harbor.
#10. Sveti Sophia
The Church of Saint Sophia or Sveti Sophia is one of the most important monuments in Ohrid and is one of the most important architectural highlights in Macedonia from the Middle Ages. The church was built during the First Bulgarian Kingdom in the ninth century. The frescoes in the church date from the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries and are still in very good condition. From the outside of the building you can clearly see that the church has been adapted several times over the centuries. This mishmash of different architectural styles gives the church its ultimate character.