Macedonian Cities -- Ohrid Monuments


The Amphitheater

The Amphitheater

This ancient theatre was built on the hills of the old town of Ohrid in the 3rd century B.C. In the 2nd century B.C. the Romans added rows of seats and made a radical intervention in the orchestra pit in order to adjust it for fights with animals. The cages for the animals were built adjacent to the surrounding walls.
Initially designed with over 4,500 seats, the theatre was reconstructed in 2002 and now has the capacity of 1,700 seats. Theatre plays and concerts are performed on this stage during the Ohrid Summer Festival in the magical atmosphere of this theatre.

St. Sofija ChurchSt. Sofija Church
The cathedral of the church of the Ohrid Archbishopric, St. Sofija was built during the time of Archbishop Leo (1037-56) in the beginning of the 11th century over the foundations of an old temple. This is the largest church preserved in Ohrid and, together with St. Sofija in Kiev, has the greatest number of frescoes, dating from the 11th and the 14th centuries, which portray rare scenes from both the Old and the New Testaments.

St. Bogorodica-Perivleptos/St. Clement

St. Bogorodica-Perivleptos

This church was commissioned by Progon Zgur in 1295, a relative of Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II the Paleologist. A narthex was added to the church in the 14th century and many other architectural features to the earliest works, made by painters Michael and Eutichios dating from 1295. Some of the most remarkable scenes are: the Great Holidays, the Passion of Christ, the Last Supper, and Lamenting over Christ. At the time when the Ottomans conquered Ohrid and converted the cathedral Church St. Sofia into a mosque, the church of St. Bogorodica Perivleptos became the cathedral church of the Ohrid Archbishopric. By the end of the 15th century, the Turks demolished the St. Clement Church in Plaosnik, and the bones and relic of the saint were transferred to the church of St. Bogorodica, where they were kept until 2002.

The gallery of icons
A gallery of icons is located in St. Clement Church and includes 30 mediaeval icons. Most of them are local and date from the 11th and the 19th centuries.

King Samuel's Fortress

King Samuel's Fortress

During King Samuel's reign (976-1014 A.D.) Ohrid was the capital of the first state of the Macedonian Slavs. Samuel’s Fortress in Ohrid dates back to the 3rd century and initially had three entrance gates, of which only one, the Upper Gate, has been preserved to this day. Before and after Samuel’s reign, the fortress had been demolished and rebuilt several times.
The highest part of Ohrid, which is 100 meters above the lake level, is surrounded by 10-16m high walls, built of stone, lime, and sand from the lake, and two defense towers.
After the arrival of colonizers from Asia, led by their commander Mino, the town started spreading outside the walls, on the surrounding plain.

St. Clement built the monastery in 893 A.D. and dedicated it to St. Pantelejmon, the protector of health. During the Ottoman Empire the church was destroyed and Sultan Mohamed’s Mosque built on the remains of the church, which eventually did not survive on Macedonian soil. In 2000, the construction of today’s church began and was finished and consecrated on August 11, 2002.
During the construction, the tomb of St. Clement was also restored, which is the tomb that St. Clement designated for himself and where he was buried in 916 A.D. In the centre of one of the friezes there is an image of a lion, which is unique to mosaics in Macedonia.

St. John the Theologian Church – Kaneo


Located on one of the most beautiful spots in Ohrid, this church was built in the13th century, successfully combining the Byzantine and Armenian styles. The frescoes on the dome and on the altar are quite damaged, because somewhere between the 17th and the 19th centuries the church had been partially demolished and abandoned. Here you can see the portrayals of St. Clement of Ohrid and the first early Christian missionary who came to these parts of Europe, Erasmus of Lychnidos.

St. Naum MonasterySt. Naum Monastery
This monastery is situated on the most southern spot of Lake Ohrid, about 30 kilometers away from Ohrid. Its founder Naum was one of the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, who died in 910 A.D. and was buried in the monastery. St. Naum was well known among the people for the many miracles he performed to heal people.
After his death, the monastery was dedicated to St. Archangel and Michael, and continued with its activities, remaining a religious and cultural centre. The present-day church underwent several restorations during the period of Ottoman rule. It is most famous for the impressive wood-carved iconostasis from 1711, the despotic icons by painter Constantine, the royal doors by painter Michael, and the frescoes showing St. Naum's miracles in the funeral chapel, painted by artist Trpo in 1799-1806.

National MuseumNational Museum
The National Museum in Ohrid is located in the Robev family house in the centre of the town, which is a real masterpiece of the 19th century. The museum exhibits  an archeological collection from prehistoric times, a number of items originating from the Classical and Mediaeval periods of Ohrid’s history, as well as icons and 9,000 coins dating from the Classical Age.

Zeynel Pasha TekkeZeynel Pasha Tekke
The complex, dating from 1590, is situated in close vicinity to the old oak tree (CINAR). This tekke (the Bektesi equivalent to a monastery) belonged to the Halvet dervish order. A mausoleum of Mohamed Hayati, who was the founder of this dervish order, can be found in the yard of the complex.