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Ohrid History, Macedonia

In the Republic of Macedonia is a lake named Ohrid. On the eastern shoreline of the lake lies a city with the same name. This city has a population of approximately 42,000, which makes it the 7th biggest city in Macedonia. The city is the capital of the Ohrid Municipality. Ohrid City is known as the Macedonian Jerusalem and had become a World Heritage Site in 1980. Besides these pertinent facts about this city, one may trace its humble beginnings through Ohrid History.

Ohrid History – Prehistory

Archaeological artifacts from the 2006 excavations have proven that there were prehistoric settlements in Ohrid as early as 5,000 years BC. Based on historical resources the most primitive settlers near the Ohrid Lake were Brigians, Enhelians, and the Ohrygians.

During that time, Ohrid was still known by the name Lychnidos, which according to legends was founded by the banished Phoenician Cadmus. At about the mid-4th century BC Lychnidos was taken into possession by Macedon’s Philip II.

Ohrid History – Roman Occupation

The Romans conquered Lychnidos and the surrounding regions in 148 BC. By the end of the 3rd century, along with the spread of Christianity, classical temples were progressively knocked down and substituted with first colossal Christian churches. Based on documents, the town became the capital of the bishops of Lychnidos in the 5th century. By the 6th century, Slavic tribes began to inhabit the region.

The name Ohrid was first noted in 879 in a protocol released by the Constantinople Assembly. When Kliment and Naum, disciples of two missionary brothers, arrived in Ohrid, the city evolved into a chief center of Slavic culture and literature.

Ohrid History – Middle Ages

The first medieval state in Macedonia, Samuel’s Empire, had its beginnings in the region of Ohrid. In the mid-10th century, Nikola, a Slav prince, together with his sons Aron, David, Moses, and Samuel rebelled against the Bulgarian regime. Samuel transpired as the leader of the Macedonian state of The Middle Ages.

After four decades of reign, Samuel was defeated by the Emperor Basil II of Byzantine. After which, Ohrid’s status was reduced from being a patriarchate to an archbishopric.

Ohrid History – Ottoman Occupation

One turning point in Ohrid History happened when the Ottomans governed the city from the end of the 1300s until the beginning of the 1900s. During the early years of the Ottoman rule, the Turkish sultans aided the city’s archbishopric. However, in 1466, the sultans withdrew their help because several notable personalities in Ohrid supported the uprising against the Ottoman Empire.

Ohrid became an influential capital of culture and economy during the turn of the 19th century. The leather industries exported their goods to a number of European cities. Many citizens from nearby towns moved to the city when building activities and woodcarving became prominent in Ohrid.

During the Ilinden Uprising in 1903, Ohrid citizens took part in the rebellion and asked the city’s population to move to the nearby mountains. Although the Turkish forces were more powerful, the Macedonians never gave up. Finally, in 1912, the Turks were finally defeated.

Ohrid History – Recent History

On November 7, 1944, Ohrid was freed. Ever since the liberation, the city has become a part of the Republic of Macedonia. Ohrid is known to this day as a significant tourist resort and has since developed in culture, education, medicine and tourism.

Ohrid is just one of the cities in Macedonia and in Europe that continued to flourish throughout the years. Check Tirana Travel Guide and Sofia Travel Guide and see how they influenced the growth of the continent.

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