Ohrid Region Of Albania Facts: Natural And Cultural Heritage | Kidadl


Ohrid Region Of Albania Facts: Natural And Cultural Heritage

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Lake Ohrid is one of the deepest and oldest lakes in the world, estimated to be 4-10 million years old.

With a maximum depth of 944.88 ft (288 m), it is the deepest lake on the Balkan Peninsula. Ohrid is a transboundary lake amid the mountains that separate Albania and North Macedonia.

The Ohrid lake and its surroundings are home to rare plants, water birds and Threatened species, Byzantine cathedrals, and prehistoric ruins, making the area culturally, historically, and naturally significant. Both nations have listed it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a critical habitat. While the Albanian side has designated it as a Ramsar Site. The lake's breathtaking mountain vistas and crystal-clear water add to its attractiveness and appeal as a tourist attraction and world heritage site.

Discovery And History

The Ohrid region has been inhabited since the prehistoric era and was an important crossroads for trade and cultural exchange. The first recorded settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, and the Ohrid Region was later conquered by the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. In recent history, the Ohrid Region was part of Yugoslavia and is now part of Albania.

The first evidence of people was discovered in Dolno Trnovo and the Bay of Bones near Gradiste, both from the Bronze Age.

Brigians, Ohrygians, and Enhelians resided on the lake's banks after the Bronze Age. These tribes were eventually replaced by the Desaretes. Lychnidos was in the center of what is now Ohrid. Cadmus the Phoenician, who established and called Thebes in the 14th century, founded and named Lychnidos. He abdicated in order to favor his grandson and traveled to the north to battle for the Enhelians. Water levels are supposed to have been substantially lower when Lychnidos was formed than they are today.

A Macedonian prince named Philip II captured the area in the fourth century BC. The Lake Ohrid region was conquered by the Romans in the late second century BC. During Roman times, the territory was further developed, mostly by visitors on the Via Egnatia, which traveled via Lychnidos and Radoza. These migrants also carried with them, Christian preachers.

The earliest basilicas were erected at Lychnidos in the fifth century AD. According to legend, there were 12 of them, but only six have been unearthed by archaeologists, the greatest of which is the monastery of Saint Kliment at Plaosnik.

In 879, the Slavs began referring to the location as 'Ohrid', most likely derived from the words 'vo hrid', which means 'on a hill'. A few years later, two missionaries, Kliment and Naum, established the first monastery, where they taught Slaving, further enhancing the region's religious variety. The monastery has about 3,500 students. Kliment was made a patron of the city and a saint in recognition of his three decades of service and the establishment of the Clement Slavic University. From the seventh through the nineteenth centuries, Slavic education was widely diffused.

Tsar Samoil relocated his empire's capital to Ohrid in the 10th century, making it the seat of its own autocephalous patriarchate. He was overthrown in 1014 by Basilius II, who established Byzantine sovereignty over Lake Ohrid. Despite the fact that the patriarchate of lake Ohrid was reduced to an archbishopric throughout the Byzantine Empire, it remained a powerful religious and cultural center. At the end of the 16th century, the Archbishopric of Ohrid's authority extended to the Orthodox communities in Dalmatia, Venice, Malta, and Sicily.

By the 1980s, the lake had become a destination for national and international visitors due to its pure natural heritage and richness of historical landmarks. Almost 200,000 travelers went on a literal pilgrimage on the lakeside. Because Tito had a few vacation villas on the beaches of Lake Ohrid, there was some development in the tourism sector during Yugoslav administration. During the inter-ethnic clashes, tourism in the region suffered and eventually collapsed in 2001.

Facts For Tourists

Lake Ohrid is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination, thanks to its attractive hills lined with stunning churches and a medieval fortress, all of which overlook the lovely lake. The peak season is between July 15 and August 15, when the greatest music festival in north Macedonia takes place around the lake. The region is most recognized for its family-oriented hospitality, particularly in the Tushemisht area.

Because of the range of water sports, Lake Ohrid is frequently referred to as North Macedonia equal to the Croatian Adriatic. Swimming, speed boating, sunbathing, scuba diving, waterskiing, and fishing are among the most popular activities.

On the shores of Lake Ohrid, there are about 40 churches, many of which are extremely old structures in the historical area. Such as Saint Sophia Church, Bogorodica Perivlepta, Saint John Kaneo, and Saint Pantelejmon-Plaoshnik. Human-made tourist attractions include the modest Old Bazaar, the Antique Theater, and Ohrid's fortification. Lake Ohrid also holds the yearly Swimming Marathon and the Balkan Folklore Festival in addition to the cultural Summer Festival.

In the Galicica National Park, popular activities include caving, hiking, and paragliding. The natural lake springs at Sveti Naum and the cave chapels at Kalista and Radozda are well worth a visit. They hold the cultural heritage of the region in the natural surroundings. Locals can also organize day visits to the nearby region by boat, vehicle, donkey, or foot.

One of the unique world heritage sites is Lake Ohrid. Know all the Ohrid region of Albania facts here.

Geographical Facts

Lake Ohrid and its nearby Lake Prespa were part of a set of Dessaret basins that formed around five million years ago during the Pleocene in the Dinaric Alps' Western precinct. Lake Ohrid is located in Albania's south-eastern region and in Macedonia's south-western region. It is the largest natural and most picturesque of the three tectonic lakes in Macedonia.

Only a few other world heritage lakes, such as Lake Baikal and Lake Tanganyika, have such remote beginnings. Natural lakes seldom persist for that long since they are frequently filled with sediments. Due to the depth of Lake Ohrid and the little sediment influx from its constituent streams, this process was slowed. The Ohrid-Korca graben, located near the lake's southern end, is still tectonically active and may compensate for sedimentation by subduction. Lake Prespa, on the other hand, may have dried up multiple times in the past due to karstic subterranean activity. Since 1892, Lake Ohrid has served as a scientific research site for limnological studies.

Lake Ohrid is nourished by natural subterranean springs from the east, which account for half of the inflow. Rivers and direct precipitation contribute 25% of Lake Ohrid's water. The remainder pours in from Lake Prespa, which is located to the southeast. Because of the 492.13 ft (150 m) height difference, Prespa's waters flow through mountain springs (such as Ostrovo and Biljana). Ostrovo enters the lake at the Monastery of Sveti Naum, whilst Biljana flows in near Ohrid Town. It needs conservation of cultural heritage to thrive.


How old is the city of Ohrid?

The city of Ohrid is over 2,400 years old.

How was Lake Ohrid formed?

This stunning body of water was formed over millions of years as a result of tectonic activity.

Why is Lake Ohrid in danger?

It may be added to the list of endangered places due to the main threats of unlawful development and pollution.

What is Ohrid known for?

Ohrid was formerly noted for having 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been dubbed the Jerusalem of the Balkans'.

Is Ohrid the oldest lake in Europe?

Lake Ohrid is Europe's oldest lake. An international scientific team has recently discovered that the lake was formed 1.36 million years ago and has persisted in conservation constantly since then.

Where is Lake Ohrid located?

Lake Ohrid is a lake in southeastern Europe on the boundary of North Macedonia and Albania.

What language is spoken in Ohrid?

The Macedonian language is spoken in Ohrid.

Is Ohrid protected by Unesco?

Yes, Ohrid is a UNESCO protected area.

How deep is Lake Ohrid?

Lake Ohrid has a maximum depth of 944.88 ft (288 m).

Written By
Sakshi Thakur

With an eye for detail and a penchant for listening and counseling, Sakshi is not your average content writer. Having worked primarily in the education space, she is well-versed and up-to-date with developments in the e-learning industry. She’s an experienced academic content writer and has even worked with Mr. Kapil Raj, a professor of the History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) in Paris. She enjoys traveling, painting, embroidery, listening to soft music, reading, and the arts during her time off.

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