Welcome to Day #28 of 100 Days of Travel! They say that Lake Ohrid has 365 churches, one for each day of the year. And while that might seem excessive, that’s only because it’s extremely excessive. Today, I’m taking you on tour of the holiest spots around the Lake.
Monastery of Saint Naum
Arriving late at night in the middle of the winter, this monastery is the first building I ever encountered in Macedonia. Built in 905 AD by Saint Naum of Ohrid, the Manastir Sveti Naum is a massive complex with unique architecture, a floating restaurant raft, and more peacocks than you would expect.
St. John of Kaneo
As I wrote in my other article about Ohrid, you may recognize this church from thousands of Instagram selfies. Perched on the edge of a cliff, the Church of Saint John the Theologian of Kaneo was built sometime in the 13th century and is literally as pretty as a postcard.
St. Atanasij Veliki Cave Church
Am I the only one that is super in cave churches? Nearly hidden by the trees, this cliffside dwelling features detailed frescos from the 1370s.
Holy Mary Perybleptos
Built in 1295, the The Holy Mary Perybleptos Church in Ohrid is known for the frescos painted by two famous medieval painters. That’s all I got on this one.
Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon
This church sits on the historical Plaošnik, an archaeological site and holy place in Ohrid. St. Clement built the place in 893 on the foundation of an early Christian basilica and dedicated it to St. Panteleimo.
St. Archangel Michael Cave Church
My favorite cave church in the country, this tiny church sits just above the village of Radozhda. Take a quick tour up the two hundred steps and take in the lovely views of Ohrid below.
Church of Saint Sophia
From a church to a mosque to a church again, this Ohrid house of worship has lived many lives since construction back in the 9th century. Today, it holds architecture and art from the Middle Ages. If you head around the back, there’s a peaceful shaded area with benches.
Holy Mother of God Kamensko
A relative newcomer to the Ohrid church scene, this building was constructed in the 17th century with frescos done by the famous Dicho Zograf in 1863.
Monastery of Kališta
Renovated in 1977 over the bones of a much older church, this complex features a cave church (closed due to COVID!) from the 13th century. The monastery, just south of Struga, sits right on the shores of Lake Ohrid with scenic views of the mountains.