Ohrid (Охрид)


Ohrid - a city in the southwestern part of Macedonia and the administrative center of the municipality of the same name, on the northeastern shore of Lake Ohrid, which bears its name after the city. Ohrid and Lake Ohrid are one of the main tourist destinations in Macedonia. It can be reached through the regional road Bitola - Resen - Ohrid. It has 42,033 inhabitants (2002) and is located 135 km south of the city of Tetovo.

Due to the large number of churches and monasteries, the city is known as the Balkan and European Jerusalem. Ohrid is also known as the "city of light", which is a literal translation of its old name, Lychnidos. The Ohrid region is included in the UNESCO World Heritage.


Origin of the name
The name of the city is derived from the Old Slavic words "in hridi", ie. "In the hill", as a descriptive name for the location of the city that has existed for centuries in the southern hollow of the rocky hill.

According to a legend, written by the Miladinov Brothers, when the Ohrid fortress was being built, Emperor Justinian climbed the hills on which the city lies and, looking at the beautiful surroundings, shouted "oh hill", ie. what a beautiful hill and since then the city has remained to be called Ohrid.

Ancient history
Modern Ohrid is the successor of the ancient Lychnidos. According to the data, the city was first mentioned 2,400 years before the new era. Lychnidos was located on the Via Egnatia, the oldest and most important Roman road in the Balkans. The Brigids and Encheleans make up the oldest population that can be identified by name in the wider area of ​​Lake Ohrid. The Phrygians are the same as the Phrygians.

After the Third Macedonian War against King Perseus, Lychnidos became the main Roman base in the northern areas of Macedonia. That is the time when he is most heard. The latest news about Lychnidos is the news of his demise. An earthquake, according to historical sources, on May 29 and 30, 526, killed tens of thousands of people in Lychnidos. Then the city is no longer mentioned in historical sources.

Medieval history
The Ohrid area at the end of the VI century was exposed to mass Slavic colonization. The Ohrid area was completely colonized by the Slavic tribe Berziti until the 1930s. Lihnid has since been renamed Ohrid.

The Ohrid region became an attractive area for the Bulgarian state in the second half of the 8th century. During the reign of the Bulgarian Tsar Boris I Mikhail, the Macedonian territories in military-administrative terms were included in several "committees". Ohrid was in the committee that covered the Ohrid-Devol area. In 886 Clement, after a short stay in the Bulgarian court, was sent to Macedonia on an important state mission. He was sent to an area called Kutmicevica as a teacher. The area covered southwestern Macedonia and southern Albania, with the capitals Ohrid and Devol.

As a teacher and Bishop Clement together with Nahum laid the foundations of the so-called Ohrid Verbal Literary School. Thanks to the work of Clement and Nahum, the city of Ohrid, in the second half of the ninth century grew into one of the most developed and famous medieval Slavic cultural centers.

During the reign of Emperor Samuel, Ohrid became a religious center and capital of the empire. Its fortresses still stand high above the city. In the autumn of 1015 the Byzantine emperor Basil II succeeded in capturing Ohrid, but the fortress remained under the rule of Emperor John Vladislav, the successor of Gavrilo Radomir, son of Emperor Samuel.

The Bulgarian assassin Emperor Basil II allowed Ohrid to remain the seat of the Ohrid Archbishopric.

In 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, the Ohrid region, together with other southwestern Macedonian areas, was included within the Latin Kingdom of Thessaloniki. In 1334, the Serbian king Dusan took over the cities of Ohrid, Prilep and Strumica. In 1378, the church of the Holy Mother of God Peribleptos (St. Clement) in Ohrid was added.

Ohrid was not only the most important city in the region, but also the most important educational center and source of literacy of all Slavic peoples. Ohrid is the oldest university in Europe (IX century), while in the place Plaoshnik near the city is the restored church of St. Clement whose findings indicate the fact that there was a university from the XIII century.

Ottoman period
Towards the end of the 14th century, the Turkish Sultan Bayezid I succeeded in imposing his rule almost everywhere in Macedonia. In 1408, Ohrid fell under the rule of the Ottomans and for the next five centuries existed as part of the then Ottoman Empire. The Turks, after their arrival in this area, settled in the plain part to the east and west of the city, while the more respectable and richer Turkish beys also built their dwellings along the lake shore, outside the fortress, in the locality of Trsia.

In 1466, Sultan Mehmed II ordered the deportation of Ohrid Archbishop Dorothea to Constantinople, along with many Ohrid clerics and boyars, probably because of their anti-Ottoman activities during the Skanderbeg uprising.


The famous Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi, who visited Ohrid in 1670, noted in his travelogue about this city: “The city is well inhabited, with a heavenly scent, just like the city of Damascus. His houses are also on the ground floor, with seventeen neighborhoods (ten Muslim and 7 Christian). The houses of the greats are located by the lake. The city has 17 Muslim temples (large and small mosques), several madrassas, seven schools, two public baths, three shops ... The bazaar is scattered in four places with about 150 shops and craft shops.

In 1767 the Ohrid Archbishopric was abolished.

The establishment of the first TMORO committee in Ohrid took place in August 1894. In the spring of 1901, a detachment was formed with the return of several migrant workers. During the Ilinden Uprising in the Ohrid region, continuous battles were fought throughout the month of August, 1903. During the uprising in the Ohrid region there were 31 fights. The detachments from the Ilinden Uprising continued their struggle during the Young Turk Revolution in 1908.

Contemporary history
The Ohrid district during the First Balkan War was divided by Serbia and Bulgaria into two parts: one that came under Serbian rule and another whose status was to be decided after the end of the war. The Serbian army entered Ohrid on November 22, 1912. Many citizens of Ohrid joined the war in the hope that Macedonia would be liberated.

Due to the dissatisfaction with the signing of the Bucharest Peace Agreement and the partition of Macedonia, in September 1913 in Western Macedonia (Debar, Ohrid, Struga) an uprising was launched, known as the Ohrid Uprising. On September 12, the companies of Petar Chaulev and Pavle Hristov entered Ohrid. The Serbian army and administration were expelled from Ohrid, an assembly was convened and an interim administration was formed, which included: Lev Ognenov, Ivan Grupchev, Pavel Hristov, Lev Kackov, Petar Filev and other prominent citizens. On September 19, the villages in the Ohrid region were conquered and set on fire by Serbian troops, and VMRO troops retreated west to Golo Brdo.

During the First World War, Ohrid and the Ohrid region came under Bulgarian rule. During this occupation, numerous robberies were committed and items, books and other material wealth were taken away, which for centuries testified to the achievements of the Ohrid Archbishopric. After the breakthrough of the Macedonian front in September 1918, the Entente forces defeated the Bulgarian and German armies, so they left Macedonia.

Ohrid was under Bulgarian occupation during World War II. The partisan units liberated the city on October 15, 1944, but only for a short time, as they retreated under pressure from German forces. The city was liberated on the night of November 7 and 8 after fighting between partisans and German forces.

In 1958, the Second Macedonian Church-People's Assembly was held in the church "St. Sophia", at which a decision was made to restore the Ohrid Archbishopric and to name it the Macedonian Orthodox Church. At the Third Macedonian Church-People's Assembly, which was also held in the church "St. Sophia" in 1967, a decision was made to declare autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

The city of Ohrid is located in the southwestern part of Macedonia, on the northeastern side of Lake Ohrid, in the Ohrid-Struga Field. The city is located at the foot of Mount Galicica, at an altitude of 695 m, while the old part of the city is located at a higher altitude of 740 m.

From 1018 to 1767 Ohrid was the seat of the Ohrid Archbishopric. As an independent church organization, it managed the religious life of Christians in Macedonia and other Balkan countries, and for a certain period under its rule had the Orthodox churches in Dalmatia and parts of Italy. That is why Ohrid is called the "Balkan Jerusalem". On the territory of the municipality of Ohrid there are more than 100 Orthodox churches, of which 60 are active, 10 Islamic religious buildings - mosques and one Catholic church. The seat of the Diocese of Debar and Kichevo is located in Ohrid.


Buildings and museums
The Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi visited Ohrid in the 14th century and noticed that the city had 365 churches, one for each day of the year.

Churches and monasteries
Hagia Sophia Cathedral (11th century)
The Church of St. John Kaneo (XIII century)
The Church of St. Clement and St. Panteleimon in Plaoshnik
The Church of St. Mother of God Peribleptos
The Church of St. Mother of God of Kamensko
The Church of St. Mother of God Hospital
The Church of St. The Virgin Pandonos
The Church of St. Georgia
The Church of St. Barbara
The Church of St. Dimitrij
The Church of St. Clement of Ohrid
The Church of St. Constantine and Helena
The Church of St. 40 Martyrs of Sebastia
The Church of St. Kuzman and Damjan
The Church of St. Nikola
The Church of St. Nikola Gerakomija
The Church of St. Nikola Bolniчкиki
The Church of St. Trinity
The Church of St. Erasmus
The Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus
The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
The Church of the Holy Annunciation - Racha
The Church of St. Nikola - коekostina - cornerstone laid on December 20, 2015. It is located in the settlement Chekoshtina, part of the eighth Ohrid parish;
Many early Christian basilicas such as The Basilica of St. Erasmus (4th century)

Fortresses, archeological sites, memorial houses and museums
Samuel's Fortress (X / XI century)
Icon Gallery-Ohrid
Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments and National Museum - Houses of Robevci and Hristo Uzunov
Museum of Slavic Literature (XVIII century)
Ancient amphitheater
The memorial house of Grigor Prlichev
St. Clement's University and the archeological sites of Plaoshnik

Archaeological remains
Temple of Isis

Temple of Isis - Temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis in the city of Ohrid (then Lychnidos), whose remains are in the present city center. It is located underground, in the area between the locality of Karabegomala and the City Hall. In May 1967. During the construction of a residential building, this archeological site was discovered by experts from the Ohrid Institute and Museum. However, due to the specificity of the area where there are several residential buildings, and mostly due to lack of funds, more extensive research was not continued. The largest archeological excavations were carried out in the northwestern part of the site - the extreme northern foundation of the building. A part of the building, which consisted of two rooms, was discovered. The most interesting thing is that two statues of the Egyptian goddess Isis were found in this area. They are now kept in the windows of Robevci's house and are particularly attractive exhibits. The space under the building where this deposit was discovered is protected by a special method.

It is assumed that this building, dedicated to the goddess Isis, dates back to the time when the Macedonian armies withdrew from Egypt in Macedonia. With their arrival in this area, they brought with them part of the cultural heritage, some beliefs from ancient Egypt. This is how it happened that the cult of the goddess Isis was transferred to us. However, it should be noted that this is an ancient building. As for Isis, she was the goddess of fertility, of travel. Isis is an Egyptian goddess, and there are temples dedicated to her throughout Macedonia. Some Ohrid archaeologists say that new knowledge about this building can be obtained only if the exploration of the space in the central city area in Ohrid continues. They assume that parts of the statues of Isis, which are now missing, will also be found.