Ohrid and Lake Ohrid
Location in Macedonia
|Coordinates: 41°07′01″N 20°48′06″E / 41.11694°N 20.80167°E|
|• Mayor||Nikola Bakracheski (VMRO-DPMNE)|
|• Total||383.93 km2 (148.24 sq mi)|
|Elevation||695 m (2,280 ft)|
|• Density||142.97/km2 (370.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|Area code(s)||389 46|
|Patron saints||Saint Clement and Saint Naum|
Ohrid (//, Macedonian: Охрид [ˈɔxrid]) is a city in the Republic of Macedonia and the seat of Ohrid Municipality. It is the largest city on Lake Ohrid and the eighth-largest city in the country, with over 42,000 inhabitants as of 2002. Ohrid is notable for once having had 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as a "Jerusalem (of the Balkans)". The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments, and tourism is predominant. It is located southwest of Skopje, west of Resen and Bitola. In 1979 and in 1980 respectively, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Ohrid is one of only 28 sites that are part of UNESCO's World Heritage that are Cultural as well as Natural sites.
In antiquity the city was known under the ancient Greek: Λύχνιδος (Lychnidos) and Latin: Lychnidus , probably meaning "city of light", from Greek λυχνίς (lychnis, gen. lychnidos), "a precious stone that emits light", from λύχνος (lychnos), "lamp, portable light". By 879 AD, the town was no longer called Lychnidos but was referred to by the assimilated native people as Ohrid, possibly from the Slavic words vo hrid, meaning "on the hill", as the ancient town of Lychnidos was at the top of the hill. In Macedonian and the other South Slavic languages, the name of the city is Ohrid (Охрид). In Albanian, the city is known as Ohër or Ohri and in modern Greek Ochrida (Οχρίδα, Ωχρίδα) and Achrida (Αχρίδα).
The earliest inhabitants of the widest Lake Ohrid region were the Dassaretae, an ancient Greek tribe and the Enchelei, an Illyrian tribe. According to recent excavations by Macedonian archaeologists it was a town way back at the time of king Phillip II of Macedon. They conclude that Samuil's Fortress was built on the place of an earlier fortification, dated to 4th century B.C. During the Roman conquests, towards the end of 3rd and the beginning of 2nd century BC, the Dassaretae and the region Dassaretia were mentioned, as well as the ancient Greek city of Lychnidos (Greek: Λυχνιδός). The existence of the ancient Greek city of Lychnidos is linked to the Greek myth of the Phoenician prince Cadmus who, banished from Thebes, in Boeotia, fled to the Enchelei and founded the town of Lychnidos on the shores of the modern Lake Ohrid. The Lake of Ohrid, the ancient Greek Lacus Lychnitis (Greek: Λυχνίτις), whose blue and exceedingly transparent waters in antiquity gave to the lake its Greek name; it was still called so occasionally in the Middle Ages. It was located along the Via Egnatia, which connected the Adriatic port Dyrrachion (present-day Durrës) with Byzantium. Archaeological excavations (e.g., the Polyconch Basilica from 5th century) prove early adoption of Christianity in the area. Bishops from Lychnidos participated in multiple ecumenical councils.
The South Slavs began to arrive in the area during the 6th century AD. By the early 7th century it was colonized by a Slavic tribe known as the Berziti. The Bulgars conquered the city in 867. The name Ohrid first appeared in 879. The Ohrid Literary School established in 886 by Clement of Ohrid became one of the two major cultural centres of the First Bulgarian Empire. Between 990 and 1015, Ohrid was the capital and stronghold of the Bulgarian Empire. From 990 to 1018 Ohrid was also the seat of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. After the Byzantine reconquest of the city in 1018 by Basil II, the Bulgarian Patriarchate was downgraded to an Archbishopric and placed under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
The higher clergy after 1018 was almost invariably Greek, including during the period of Ottoman domination, until the abolition of the archbishopric in 1767. At the beginning of the 16th century the archbishopric reached its peak subordinating the Sofia, Vidin, Vlach and Moldavian eparchies, part of the former medieval Serbian Patriarchate, (including Monastery of the Patriarchate of Peć itself), and even the Orthodox districts of Italy (Apulia, Calabria and Sicily), Venice and Dalmatia.
As an episcopal city, Ohrid was a cultural center of great importance for the Balkans. Almost all surviving churches were built by the Byzantines and by the Bulgarians, the rest of them date back to the short time of Serbian rule during the late Middle Ages.
Bohemond leading a Norman army took the city in 1083. Byzantines regained it in 1085. In the 13th and 14th century the city changed hands between the Despotate of Epirus, the Bulgarian, the Byzantine and the Serbian Empire and local Albanian rulers. In the middle of the 13th century Ohrid was one of the cities ruled by Paul Gropa, a member of the Albanian noble Gropa family. In 1334 the city was captured by Stefan Uroš IV Dušan and incorporated in the Serbian Empire. After Dusan's death the city came under the control of Andrea Gropa, while after his death Prince Marko incorporated it in the Kingdom of Prilep. In the early 1370s Marko lost Ohrid to Paul II Gropa, another member of the Gropa family and unsuccessfully tried to recapture it in 1375 with Ottoman assistance. In 1395 the Ottomans under Bayezid I captured the city which became the seat of the newly established Sanjak of Ohrid. In September 14-5, 1464 12,000 troops of the League of Lezhë and 1,000 of the Republic of Venice defeated a 14,000-man Ottoman force near the city. When Mehmed II returned from Albania after his actions against Skanderbeg in 1466 he dethroned Dorotheos, the Archbishop of Ohrid, and expatriated him together with his clerks and boyars and considerable number of citizens of Ohrid to Istanbul, probably because of their anti-Ottoman activities during Skanderbeg's rebellion when many citizens of Ohrid, including Dorotheos and his clergy, supported Skanderbeg and his fight.
The Christian population declined during the first centuries of Ottoman rule. In 1664 there were only 142 Christian houses. The situation changed in the 18th century when Ohrid emerged as an important trade center on a major trade route. At the end of this century it had around five thousand inhabitants. Towards the end of the 18th century and in the early part of the 19th century, Ohrid region, like other parts of European Turkey, was a hotbed of unrest. In the 19th century the region of Ohrid became part of the Pashalik of Scutari, ruled by the Bushati family. By the end of 19th century Ohrid had 2409 houses with 11900 inhabitants out of which 45% were Muslims while the rest was mainly Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian. Before 1912, Ohrid was a township center bounded to Monastir sanjak in Manastir Vilayet (present-day Bitola). The city remained under the Ottomans until 29 November 1912, when the Serbian army took control of the city. In September 1913 local Albanian and pro-Bulgarian Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization leaders rebelled against the Kingdom of Serbia. It was occupied by Kingdom of Bulgaria between 1915 and 1918 during World War I.
Geography and Climate
Ohrid has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen: Cfb/Cfa), as the mean temperature of the warmest month is just below 22 °C (71.6 °F). The coldest month is January with the average temperature 2.5 °C (36.5 °F) or in a range between 6.2 °C (43.2 °F) and −1.5 °C (29.3 °F). The warmest month is August with average range of 27.7 °C (82 °F)-14.2 °C (57.6 °F). The rainiest month is November, which sees on average 90.5 mm (3.6 in) of rain. The summer months of June, July and August receive the least amount of rain, around 30 mm (1.2 in). The absolute minimum temperature is −17.8 °C (0.0 °F) and the maximum 38.5 °C (101.3 °F).
|Climate data for Ohrid|
|Average high °C (°F)|| 6.2
|Average low °C (°F)|| −1.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)|| 53.7
|Average precipitation days||11||12||11||13||12||8||6||6||7||10||12||13||121|
|Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)|
- Macedonians, 33,791 (80.4%)
- Albanians, 2,959 (7.0%)
- Turks, 2,256 (5.4%)
- others, 3,027 (7.2%)
The mother tongues of the city's residents include the following:
- Macedonian, 34,910 (83.1%)
- Albanian, 3,957 (9.4%)
- Turkish, 2,226 (5.3%)
- others, 1,017 (2.4%)
The religious composition of the city was the following:
- Orthodox Christians, 33,987 (80.9%)
- Muslims, 7,599 (18.1%)
- others, 447 (1.1%)
|Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (Macedonia)|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Criteria||i, iii, iv, vii|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1979 (3rd Session)|
There is a legend supported by observations by the 17th century Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi that there were 365 chapels within the town boundaries, one for every day of the year. Today this number is significantly smaller.
- Church of St. Sophia
- Church of St. Panteleimon
- Church of St. John at Kaneo
- Church of St. Clement
- Church of St. George
- Church of St. Zaum
- Icon Gallery-Ohrid
- Monastery of Saint Naum
- Church of St. Petka
- Church of St. Stefan
- Vestiges of basilicas from the early-Christian time, e.g. Basilica of St. Erazmo (4th century)
- Robevi family house, museum of archeology
- Ancient Theatre of Ohrid
- Church of St. Vrači, with frescos from the 14th century. A 14th-century icon from the church is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 1000 denars banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.
Besides being a holy center of the region, it is also the source of knowledge and pan-Slavic literacy. The restored Monastery at Plaošnik was actually one of the oldest Universities in the western world, dating before the 10th century.
There is a nearby international airport, Ohrid Airport (now known as "St. Paul the Apostle Airport") that is open all year round.
The Ohrid Swimming Marathon is an international open water swimming competition, established in always taking place in the waters of the Ohrid Lake. The swimmers are supposed to swim 30 km (19 mi) from monastery of Saint Naum to the Ohrid harbor.
- Ohrid Summer Festival, annual theater and music festival from July to August
- Ohrid Choir Festival, annual international choir festival at the end of August
- The Balkan Festival of Folk Songs and Dances, annual folklore music and dance festival at the beginning of July
- Balkan music square festival, music festival in August in which ethnic musicians from the whole Balkan peninsular participate
- Ohrid Fest (Охридски Трубадури), music festival in August in which musicians from the whole Balkan peninsular participate. This festival is held for four days which are divided into Debutant Night, Folk Night, Pop Night and International Night.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Ohrid is twinned with:
- View from the Lake
- Archeological site of Plaosnik
- Cliff in Ohrid
- Street in the old town
- The Church of St. John at Kaneo high above the lake
- Interior of the Samuil's Fortress
- Monument of saints Cyril and Methodius
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ohrid.|
- Archbishopric of Ohrid
- List of archbishops of the Archbishopric of Ohrid
- List of people from Ohrid
- Ohrid Agreement
- Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric
- Press online Gradovi u jesen (Serbian)
- "The Mirror of the Macedonian Spirit, Zlate Petrovski, Sašo Talevski, Napredok, 2004, ISBN 978-9989-730-38-2, page 72: "... and Macedonia in the Cathedral Church St. Sofia in the Macedonian Jerusalem — Ohrid..."
- Dnevnik newspaper - Interview with the ambassador of Israel to Macedonia (Macedonian)
- Between past and future: civil-military relations in post-communist Balkan states, Biljana Vankovska, Håkan Wiberg, I.B.Tauris, 2003, ISBN 1-86064-624-7, p. 71.
- Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region
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- λυχνίς, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- λύχνος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- Evans, Thammy, Macedonia, Bradt Travel Guides, 2012, p.173
- Municipality of Ohrid
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- Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 978-0-631-19807-9,page 98,"the Illyrian Enchelei, the 'eel-men', whose name points to a location near Lake Ohrid"
- Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 978-0-631-19807-9,Page 99:"... 99 victory would be theirs if they received Cadmus as king. After this had come about as foretold, Cadmus and Harmonia ruled over them and founded the towns of Bouthoe (Budva) and Lychnidus (Ohrid). ..."
- Old Hermit's Almanac by Edward Hays,1997,ISBN 978-0-939516-37-7,page 82: "... He sent word to Samuel, the ruler in the Bulgarian capital of Ohrid, that he was returning 15,000 of his prisoners of war. ..."
- Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe, (University of Washington Press, 2002), 10.
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- Shukarova, Aneta; Mitko B. Panov, Dragi Georgiev, Krste Bitovski, Academician Ivan Katardžiev, Vanche Stojchev, Novica Veljanovski, Todor Chepreganov (2008), Todor Chepreganov, ed., History of the Macedonian People, Skopje: Institute of National History, p. 133, ISBN 9989-159-24-6, OCLC 276645834, retrieved 26 December 2011,
deportation of the Archbishop of Ohrid, Dorotei, to Istanbul in 1466, to-gether with other clerks and bolyars who probably were expatriated be-cause of their anti Ottoman acts during the Skender-Bey’s rebellion.Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Srpsko arheološko društvo (1951), Starinar (in Serbian), Belgrade: Arheološki institut, p. 181, OCLC 1586392,
После борби које је водио султан Мехмед против Скендербега 1466 године. Пошто је победио Скендербега, султан је, у повратку, преселио известан број грађана и свргнуо охридског архиепископа Доротеја. Очигледно је, да су бар извесни Охриђани покушали да се ослободе Турака и да су и да су помагали борбу Скендербега. Исто тако је јасно да је ову акцију помагао и охридски архиепископ Доротеј.
- Institut za balkanistika (1984). Balkan studies. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. p. 71. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
Mehmed II moved considerable number of prominent Ohrid families. The cause for that was the worsening of the relations between Ottoman authorities and Ohrid archbishopic... were in favor of helping the struggle of Albanian people
- Iseni, Bashkim (2008). La Question Nationale En Europe Du Sud-Est: Genese, Emergence Et Developpement de L'Identite Nationale Albanaise Au Kosovo Et En Macedoine. Peter Lang. p. 120. ISBN 978-3-03911-320-0. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
- "World Weather Information Service – Ohrid, Macedonia". United Nations. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Macedonian census, language and religion
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- "Kragujevac Twin Cities". ©2009 Information service of Kragujevac City. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
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- VisitOhrid Official Booking and Info Website
- The Pearls of Ohrid
- Ohrid travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Ohrid Lake Macedonia 1958 - Kinoteka na Makedonija Ohridsko Ezero
- Municipality of Ohrid
- Ohrid Saint Paul the Apostole Airport
- Ohrid News
- "Ohrid Climate Guide".
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Achrida". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.