|View from our room at Grebnos Stone House Apartments|
We visited St. Sophia a cathedral built in the 11th century. During the Ottoman Empire, the church was converted into a mosque and then it became a warehouse. In 1912 it was returned to it's status as a church. In making it into a mosque the 11th-century frescos were covered with whitewash. In the 20th century, the whitewash was carefully removed and the rare 11th-century frescos uncovered. The interior is cavernous, austere, and cold.
|Early 11th C Church of Sveti Sophia|
Besides the church we went to on Good Friday evening, our favorite church was Sv. Jovan Kaneo. The 13th C church sits on a rocky outcropping high above the lake.
We took photos from every angle and just enjoyed being there. The sun was mostly out and the sky was fabulously photogenic. The cliffside was covered with wildflowers and blooming mustard and two white swans swam by the churches coastline. It was like a fairy tale. Finally, we went inside the church. I gave the church custodian a 1000 MKD bill for our 100 MKD each admission. He gave me 700 MKD in change because that was all he had. To make up for the short, he offered us candles, and he gave us a tour in French of the small interior. Strangely, that while I'm not able to speak French, I can understand it pretty well. At the end of the tour, he gave both of us a small glass of rakija.
|Wood-carved Iconostasis at Sv. Jovan Kaneo|
|Custodian at Sv Jovan Kaneo|
|Studio of an Ohrid Woodcarver|
The Muslim (Turkish and/or Albanian) neighborhood is at the far end of the Tourist Street.
A few mosques and the outdoor market are in this neighborhood. Our guidebook didn't provide any details about the mosques so we picked an interesting looking one (Ali Pasha's Mosque) to enter. The structure is a round shape dome with a rather austere interior. A group of kids were practicing music and singing inside during our visit.
|Turkish Coffee Delivery|
|St. Kliment at Plaošnik|
The area around the current church is the site of an extensive archaeological dig. This church also commands a beautiful view of the lake.
A century after Kliment, Tsar Samoil moved the capital of his empire to Ohrid. His fortress remains high above the old city of Ohrid.
Yes, it's spring.