Monday, July 11, 2016

Struga, the City of Poetry


Struga is a town in south-western Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It lies on the shores of Lake Ohrid at the source of the River Drini (Drimi in Slavic). Struga is a quiet city. The houses are beautiful and decorated. A well-known saying: "There is no other place like Struga" is still actual. Crn Drim flows gently through the town, as it does not want to disturb the visitors walking along its banks. There are other places that show the beauty and culture, like the old Struga bazaar, the century old churches and mosques.

What to See?

The Struga of today is quite modern. One can enjoy a pleasant walk through the town, along the river and by the lakeshore. One top destination is the Old Bazaar a lively market lined with traditional houses, cafes and shops. Nearby is the crossroads and the Church of St. George, built in 1835 on the foundations of an older sacred object and an excellent example of revival period architecture. The iconostasis is exceptional, the lower part made of stone, the upper part from wood, with a detailed woodcarving.

Halveti Teke is a classic example of Ottoman architecture, protected by the Macedonian Cultural Memorial Institute, while other interesting examples can be seen along the streets of Braka Miladinovci and Niko Nestor near to the Bazaar.

Close to the River Drin stands the Girl Going for Water, a statue that symbolises the tradition of young girls and brides carrying water from the fountain to their home.

Struga Poetry Evenings is the most important event in the town. It has been held by the Bridge of Poets in the second half of August for more than 40 years. The event gathers poets, writers and artists from across the world. Two awards are presented: one for lifetime achievement, and one for young poets.
Struga National History Museum houses more than 10,000 examples of flora and fauna from the Ohrid and Prespa region in the south-west FYR of Macedonia, and Albania.

Meanwhile, The Struga Museum hosts 150 items of folk costumes from throughout the country, including several complete costumes, items of jewellery, and 80 pieces of furniture, tools and other household objects, as well as a large collection of photographs.

The Church of St Dimitrija is a small church dedicated to St Dimitrija (Demetrius) located by one of the main streets slightly to the west of the town centre.

What to do?

You can enjoy a daytrip from Ohrid by boat, combining a visit to the villages along the west coast of Lake Ohrid where a major feature, aside from the lovely quiet beaches, are the cave churches. Struga is a flat town, spread around the Drin River, and is a great place to relax with a cup of coffee. It is small and easy to get around by foot. A 15-minute walk along the lake will take you to Kalishta Village and the cave monastery. For those seeking a little more adventure and outdoor activities, hiking or biking, there are no limits in Vodno Mountain forest. Before sunset you can enjoy three different types of beach, located by the source of the River Black Drin.

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