BRIEF HIS­TORY OF OHRID

Timeless Travels Magazine - - MACEDONIA -

Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­mains in­di­cate lo­cal set­tle­ment ex­isted since Ne­olithic times (about 6,000 BCE). Long-van­ished tribes, like the Bryges and Enchelaens, ar­rived later. Dur­ing an­cient Mace­do­nian and Ro­man times, Ohrid was called Ly­ch­nidos (a Greek term de­scrib­ing the lu­cid­ity of its wa­ters). An im­por­tant point on the Ro­man Via Eg­na­tia, it was a bish­op­tic by the 4th cen­tury.

With the Slavic mi­gra­tions, the site was re­named Ohrid (the Mace­do­nian phrase ‘vorid’ means ‘on a hill’). In 867, the ex­pand­ing Bul­gar­ian Em­pire in­cor­po­rated the town, which hosted Saints Kli­ment and Naum. In­spired by their teach­ers, Cyril and Method­ius, these scholar-monks pro­duced valu­able manuscripts and ed­u­cated cler­ics at Ohrid’s lit­er­ary academy.

Af­ter pass­ing back-and-forth be­tween Byzan­tium and Bul­garia in fol­low­ing cen­turies, Ohrid was swal­lowed up by the Ot­tomans in the 14th cen­tury; it re­mained Turk­ish-con­trolled un­til the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. The lake’s di­vi­sion oc­curred af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the new Al­ba­nian state and Roy­al­ist Yu­goslavia af­ter World War I, and has been re­spected since Mace­do­nian in­de­pen­dence from Yu­goslavia in 1991. Ohrid to­day is Mace­do­nia’s premier tourist des­ti­na­tion, whilst ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dis­cov­er­ies con­tinue to shine new light on its fas­ci­nat­ing and var­ied past.

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