All visits in the region usually start with Ohrid. According to the historians, Lychnidion i.e. Lychnidos (the ancient name of Ohrid) was built in the 4th century B.C., but again, myths and legends tell us that it was built during the times of the legendary classical civilizations such as Phoenicia and Troy in the 2nd millennium B.C. Whatever the actuality is, Ohrid was and will eternally stay a mystical and sacred place. A town irresistible for great ancient rulers and kings, such as the legendary Phoenician prince Cadmus who built it, Fillip II of Macedon who once conquered it, Alexander the Great who enjoyed it, Czar Samuil who ruled from it…
It is a town where mysterious royal golden masks have been discovered, where the Goddess of destiny Isis, through her cult, ruled for centuries, where grandiose basilicas were built as Christianity evolved. A place where the Ohrid Archbishopric was founded… where the Cyrillic Alphabet, education, and Macedonian culture spread from. It is a town which with its legacy endowed not only Macedonia, but also the entire human civilization.
Ohrid is built at the shores of one of the oldest fresh water lakes in the world, understandably it has been affected from its longevity. They together make the unbeatable combination of “the Lake and the Town”, a combination which in this case created a bond which lasts for millennia.
Ohrid is one of those places where eternity and continuity co-exists and the past and the present join together as time passes forward. A place that radiates with spirituality accumulated for centuries. It is also a place where life is slow and people are passionate, a place which magnetizes every one who comes here… forever.
In 1979, the Committee of UNESCO decided to inscribe Lake Ohrid on the World Heritage List of outstanding universal value, under natural criteria. In 1980, this property was extended to include the cultural and historical area of Ohrid, and cultural criteria were added. It’s worth mentioning that from 810 places in 138 States of the UNESCO list, only 24 places are designated as both, natural and cultural heritage sites.