Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ohrid (Cyrillic: Охрид) is a city on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid in western Macedonia. It has about 41 thousand inhabitants. It is the capital of the Ohrid district. The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments, and tourism is predominant. Historical names include Ochrida, Okhrida, and Achrida. It is located E of Elbasan and Tirana in Albania, SW of Skopje, and WNW of Resen and Bitola.
The city was founded during classical antiquity with the name Lychnidos. It was located along the Via Egnatia, which connected the Adriatic port Dyrrachion (today Durrės) with Byzantium. Archaeological excavations (e.g., the Polyconhous Basilica from 5th century) prove early adaption of Christianity in the area. Bishops from Lychnidos participated in multiple ecumenical councils.
The name Ohrid first appeared in 879. Between 990 and 1015, Ohrid was capital of the Bulgarian empire. Above the city still remain the ruins of the stronghold of Tsar Samuil. As an episcopal city, Ohrid was an important cultural center within the Bulgarian empire during the Middle Ages, which still can be seen in the numerous churches and monastery buildings.
In the monasteries around Ohrid, numerous religious manuscripts have been written since the 9th century, which marks the beginning of Old Slavonic as a written language. During the rule of the Ottomans, there was a Patriarch until the 18th century, responsible for the major part of Orthodox Christians in the Balkan Peninsula. Ohrid is credited as being the birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet.
Also, there are 365 chapels within the town boundaries, one for every day of the year.
Buildings and museums (selection)
- Cathedral of St.Sofia (10th century)
- Church of St.John of Kaneo (13th century)
- Church of St.Clement
- Church of St.George
- Church of St.Naum
- Church of St.Petka
- Church of St.Stephan
- Many basilikas from the early-Christian time, e.g. Basilika of St.Erasmus (4th century)
- Stronghold of Tsar Samoil (10th/11th century)
- Museum of Slavic writing culture (18th century)
- Anthic Theatre
Note: Even before the 15th century, Ohrid and its surroundings had 365 churches and monasteries, one for each day of the year, as noted by the Ottoman traveller from that time, Evlia Celebia. Besides being a holy center of the region, it is also the source of knowledge and pan-Slavic literacy. The recently restored church at Plaosnik, previously destroyed by the Ottoman army, was actually one of the oldest Universities in the western world, dating before 13th century.
- Ohrid Summer Festival, annual theater and music festival from July to August
- The Balkan Festival of Folk Songs and Dances, annual folklore music and dance festival in the beginning of July
Places in the Ohrid district
- Sveti Naum
- Sveti Stefan
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