It’s not far from Tirana, Albania, to the Kjafasan border crossing with Macedonia. 100 kilometres, give or take. It takes longer to drive those 100 kilometres than it should given the windy, climbing roads leading to the crossing, one that yields great vistas before eventually arriving in beautiful Ohrid by the shores of the equally beautiful lake of the same name, Macedonia’s UNESCO World Heritage listed jewel.

Leisure craft ripples on a calm Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. September 14th 2006.

Pleasure craft ripples on the mirror-like, picture perfect Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

Writing, education and Slavonic culture – all spread out from Ohrid in the 7th to 19th centuries. It is a cultural centre of great importance for the history not only of this part of the Balkan Peninsula, but also for all nations of the Slavonic tongue and for world history and literature, with precious manuscripts and other rarities. This city and its historic-cultural region are located in a natural setting of exceptional beauty, while its architecture represents the best preserved and most complete ensemble of ancient urban architecture of the Slavic lands.

– UNESCO commenting on the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region

Ohrid || The Village Version

Immortal Ohrid – a kingdom of light and water, a repository of ancient ruins from Macedonia’s earlier kingdoms – is the sublime lakeside town that for many represents the culmination of the Macedonian experience. And even if it doesn’t, it has to be one of the most laid-back, picturesque places in Europe.

Sunbathing by the shores of Lake Ohrid in the village of Ohrid, Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

Sunbathing by the shores of Lake Ohrid in the village of Ohrid (map-pointer-icon), Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

The town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe – it was first mentioned in Greek documents from 353 BC. However, the charming tourist friendly town found today nestling by the shores of the lake was built mostly between the 7th and 19th centuries. With its abundance of history, heritage & architecture, not to mention the uniqueness of its lake, the Ohrid region was awarded UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

Situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav monastery (St Pantelejmon) and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. After those of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, this is considered to be the most important collection of icons in the world.

– UNESCO commenting on the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region

Buildings in the village of Ohrid on the shores of Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

Buildings in the village of Ohrid on the shores of Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

A section of the Ancient theatre of Ohrid overlooking Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

A section of the Ancient theatre of Ohrid overlooking Lake Ohrid. This ruin is from the Hellenistic period, the period of ancient Greek and Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire. Built in 200 BC, only the lower section of the theatre remains today, situated between two hills that both protected it from winds and amplify its acoustics. Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

Fishing at sunset off a pier in the village of Ohrid in Macedonia. September 13th, 2007.

Fishing at sunset off a pier in the village of Ohrid in Macedonia. September 13th, 2007.

Ohrid || The Lake Version

Lake Ohrid, the jewel in Macedonia’s crown, is over three million years old. It came into existence in a remote geological period as a result of tectonic shifts & it means that today not only is the Ohrid region an historic one but also a beautiful one.

Pleasure craft on mirror-like Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

Pleasure craft on mirror-like Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. September 14th, 2007.

St. Jovan Kaneo Church overlooking Lake Ohrid on the outskirts of the village of Ohrid, Macedonia. September 13th, 2007.

St. Jovan Kaneo Church overlooking Lake Ohrid on the outskirts of the village of Ohrid. A Macedonian Orthodox church dating from the 13th century, it was built in the shape of a cruciform with a rectangular base. It has been restored many times with a 1964 restoration leading to the discovery of frescoes in its dome. Perched on a cliff overlooking the peaceful lake, it is Macedonia’s most iconic building and certainly its most photographed. Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. September 13th, 2007.

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