Monday, September 5, 2016

Ohrid- the history on the lake

The history and values of Lake Ohrid are featured in Australian leading national news media "The Australian"
The article "Ohrid, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: history on the lake" is written by ANGELA SAURINE. She writes some reasons why people of Australia should visit and learn about this region:

ICONIC IMAGE: If there is one sight that symbolises Ohrid, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s southwest, it is Church of St John (or Jovan) overlooking the lake. Built on a cliff above the fishermen’s settlement of Kaneo, a short water-taxi ride from the port, the Orthodox Church is dedicated to John of Patmos, who is also believed to be John the Apostle. While the exact date it was built is unknown, archaeologists believe it was in the 13th century, before the rise of the Ottoman Empire, with a mix of Byzantine and Armenian architectural styles. While there, grab a bite at one of the restaurants built into the rocks at Kaneo, which have inviting decks over the water.

ANCIENT GLORIES: Ohrid is one of 28 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites recognised for both their natural and cultural attributes. With its narrow cobblestone streets and traditional two-storey houses with rectangular windows and timber beams, the medieval old town is a wonderful place to wander. Built in 200BC, the city’s well-preserved ancient theatre was once used for gladiator fights. Since being revived in the 1980s, it has been used as a venue for concerts and the performance of ancient plays and comedies during the annual Ohrid Summer Festival in July and August. A Game of Thrones-esque fortress also sits at the top of the hill overlooking the city. In the early 11th century, Ohrid was the capital of a Slavic empire ruled by Car Samuil, and his fortress was one of the most impregnable strongholds in the Balkans, with 16m-high walls that stretched for 3km. Archaeological excavations indicate the fortress was constructed on the site of an earlier fortification that was likely built by Alexander the Great’s father, Phillip II of Macedon, in the 4th century BC. The city is also home to one of the first Slavic universities, the Ohrid Literary School, which dates to the 10th century.

SAIL AWAY: At 350sq km, Lake Ohrid is so big it feels more like an ocean. It is one of the oldest lakes in the world, formed by tectonic shifts in the Earth’s crust three to four million years ago and, at 300m, also one of the deepest. Hopping on a boat and exploring the lake and its many attractions is a must. Mato Co International offers tours ranging from half an hour to a full day that visit cave churches, fishing villages and monasteries. A highlight is the Museum on Water at the Bay of Bones, a recreation of a settlement that existed from 1600-800BC with houses built on a wooden platform on stilts.

GRAPE ESCAPE: On a similar latitude to California’s Napa Valley and Tuscany in Italy, this area is emerging as a wine destination. Evidence of oak wine barrels from 500BC have been found near the capital city of Skopje, 170km from Ohrid, and the country has more than 100 wineries. The most famous grape variety is vranec, which means “a strong, black and powerful horse”, and accounts for nearly half of the vineyards planted with red grapes. But cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, shiraz, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, muscat and riesling are also grown. Tikvesh Winery, Stobi Winery and Popova Kula Winery are all worth a visit on a day trip.


Original Article:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/travel/ohrid-former-yugoslav-republic-of-macedonia-history-on-the-lake/news-story/1fb1e30c6488b1b83ac9de01e9fe21f2

No comments:

Post a Comment