Ohrid Region with its Cultural and Historical Aspect 
and its Natural Environment (1979, 1980)
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 

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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. 

Macedonia 1999. Icon. The Annunciation. Macedonia 1999.  Souvenir sheet. Icon:  Christ with Archangels. Macedonia 1999, Icon. Group of Holy Men.
Macedonia 1999.  Icon: Virgin Mary and Christ. Macedonia 1999.  Icon: Christ.

Ohrid is a town in southwestern Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), located on the northeastern side of Lake Ohrid near the border with Albania. 

Macedonia 2000. Souvenir sheet. Saint Sophia Church. Ohrid.

The old town, built on a cliff overlooking the lake, is separated from the modern section in the valley below by a well-preserved medieval town wall. 

Ohridís numerous historical monuments include an early Christian basilica with 5th-century mosaics, the ruins of a 10th-century citadel, and the 11th-century Saint Sofia Church. 

Part of a Roman amphitheater has been uncovered in the town, and there is an archaeological museum. 

  • Macedonia 2000. Souvenir sheet. Saint Sophia Church, Ohrid. 

Ohrid is situated on or near the site of a Greek colony dating from the 3rd century BC. It was conquered by Rome in the 2nd century AD and developed as an important trade center on a historic road connecting the Adriatic and Aegean seas. It also served as the seat of bishops. From the 9th century to the early 11th century it was the political and cultural center of the first Bulgarian empire with many monasteries. 

Macedonia 1997. Saint Naum on the background of Naum Monastery. Yugoslavia 1978. Naum Monastery. Bulgaria 1941. Ohrid.

Yugoslavia 1983. Jovan Monasery in Ohrid.

It was then held by a weakening Byzantine Empire until 1334, briefly taken by a Serbian kingdom, and conquered by the emergent Ottoman Turks in 1394. Serbian troops captured the town during World War I (1914-1918), after which it was joined to the former Yugoslavia. It became part of FYROM when the republic of Macedonia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The below stamps are part of a set of six icons, of which these three are related to Ohrid. 

Yugoslavia 1968. Ancient Macedonian Icon. "The Descent". Yugoslavia 1968. Ancient Macedonian Icon. "The Crucifixion". Yugoslavia 1968. Ancient Macedonian Icon. "The Annunciation". Yugoslavia 1968. 
  • Anonymous 13th/14th century.  Ancient Macedonian Icon "The Descent".  The National Museum of Ohrid. 
  • Anonymous 13th, 14th century.  Ancient Macedonian Icon "The Crucifixion".  St. Clement's Church, Ohrid. 
  • Anonymous, 13th/14th century.  Ancient Macedonian Icon "The Annunciation".  National Museum of Ohrid. 

Lake Ohrid (Albanian Liqeni i Ohrit; Serbo-Croatian Ohridsko Ezero), is located in southeastern Europe, straddling the mountainous border between the southwestern region of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and eastern Albania, 340 sq km (130 sq mi) in area. The deepest (286 m/938 ft) lake of the Balkan Peninsula, it is drained to the north by the Drin River. 

Macedonia 1995. Aerial panorama of Lake Ohrid, issued for UNESCO's 50th anniversary.

Yugoslavia 1975. House in Ohrid in the 19th century.

Yugoslavia 1980. Lake Ohrid.

Underground springs feed the lake, which is also connected by underground channels to nearby Lake Prespa. Its picturesque setting and good beaches and fishing, as well as the interesting medieval ruins in the towns on its shores, make Lake Ohrid a popular resort center. 

Sources and links:

Many thanks to Mr. Miomir Zivkovic (Serbia Montenegro) for all help, support, and encouragement. 

There are at present no other World Heritage Sites in Macedonia than the Ohrid-Region. For further information about this property, please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Macedonia-section

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
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