The Lake Ohrid region, a mixed World Heritage property covering 83,350 ha, was inscribed for its natural values in 1979 and for its cultural values a year later. Lake Ohrid is a superlative natural phenomenon, providing refuge for numerous endemic and relict freshwater species of flora and fauna dating from the tertiary period. As a deep and ancient lake of tectonic origin, Lake Ohrid has existed continuously for approximately two to three million years.
Situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav monastery (St Pantelejmon) and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. After those of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, this is considered to be the most important collection of icons in the world.
Extended in 2019, the site now encompasses the the north-western, Albanian, part of Lake Ohrid, the small Lin Peninsula and the strip of land along the shoreline that connects the peninsula to the Macedonian border. The peninsula is the site of the remains of an Early Christian church founded in the middle of the 6th century. Also, in the shallow waters near the shores of the lake, three sites testify to the presence of prehistoric pile dwellings.
Unesco WHS list ref: 99
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