Posted by: Caroline | April 22, 2010

Lovely Lake Ohrid

After our side trip to Kosovo, we wanted to explore Macedonia’s tourism jewel: Lake Ohrid.

Macedonia has chosen Ohrid as the star of its heavy advertising campaign on CNN International (you can see the commercial here), and when you’re there, it’s easy to see why.

Its lakeside locale is idyllic. Stone streets lead to white lakefront hotels and homes, ancient churches, and hilltop viewpoints.

And at this time of year, the lake is still ringed by snow-capped mountains.

Like any ancient Balkan city, Ohrid has its own fortress…

… and amphitheatre.

The Romans transformed this from a theater into a gladiator pit, giving one restaurant overlooking the scene its name.

The Byzantine churches are the stars of the show.

This is Sveta Sofija, patterned after Aya Sofia in Istanbul. Unlike its model, it does not allow photographs inside (perhaps because of the disintegrating frescos?).

Sveti Kliment i Pantelejmon is really interesting to see because it was renovated as part of an archaeological project. Much of it looks new, but its older elements are incorporated into the updated design. For example, the remnant pieces of mosaic biblical scenes have been fashioned into new mosaics incorporating a variety of biblical stories–so they are mosaics of the former mosaics.

But unfortunately, we can’t show you any of that. And we certainly can’t show you any of that while wearing our bathing suits.

Ohrid’s prized possession is this church perched on the lake, Sveti Jovan at Kaneo.

The water below is unbelievably clear.

Perhaps the best part of our stay by Lake Ohrid was lucking out on a pleasant lakeview terrace (there are rewards to traveling in low season and dealing with the cold weather!).

Perhaps the worst is that Ohrid is full of lovely pearl shops, and I’ve already spent all my souvenir money. Oops.


  1. […] …or a church harkening the finer bits of Macedonia. […]

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