Ohrid Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Ohrid

A resort town of Ohrid, sitting on the shore of the eponymous Lake Ohrid in southwestern Macedonia, is a compact old settlement and a World Heritage Site renowned for its medieval churches, monasteries and open-air ruins. The massive walls of the ancient Samoil’s Fortress, crowning the hill over the town, is one of the top local attractions. To see the rest of them, follow this orientation walk.
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Ohrid Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Ohrid Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Macedonia » Ohrid (See other walking tours in Ohrid)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 16
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Author: gene
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Ohrid Central Square
  • Old Bazaar
  • St. Clement Monument
  • Waterfront Park
  • Lower Gate
  • The Church of St. Bogorodica Bolnicka
  • The Robevi House
  • Lapidarium Museum
  • Church of St. Sophia
  • St. Bogorodica Perivlepta Church
  • Upper Gate
  • Ancient Theatre of Ohrid
  • King Samoil Fortress
  • Plaošnik
  • Church of St. John at Kaneo
  • Ohrid Beaches
Ohrid Central Square

1) Ohrid Central Square (must see)

The main square of the town is truly an old and cozy place. It is famous for the fountain that is in the center of the square and a one-thousand year old tree. The tree is hollow inside and legend has it that some time ago, it housed a barber shop inside. Ohrid Central Square is located at the intersection of St. Clement and Goce Delcev Street.
Old Bazaar

2) Old Bazaar (must see)

Since Ohrid was a big religious and cultural centre, it was never an important trade center, which is explained by the size of its bazaar. It is a simple bazaar consisting of just one street. It starts with the food market (in the past it was an animal market). After the market, the bazaar begins with a small square. In the square there is a 1000 year old tree and a nice fountain. Above the square stands the clock tower of Ohrid. As you walk down the bazaar on your left, there are couple of stone stores, which are the only original stores in the bazaar. In the past, the bazaar was covered with grape vines, protecting shoppers from the sun and the rain. Very few crafts are preserved.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Clement Monument

3) St. Clement Monument (must see)

Saint Clement of Ohrid was a medieval Bulgarian scholar and writer, the first Bulgarian archbishop and one of the seven Apostles of Bulgaria. Evidence about his life before his return from Great Moravia to Bulgaria is scarce, but according to his hagiography by Theophylact of Bulgaria, Clement was born in the southwestern part of the Bulgarian Empire, in the region of present day Macedonia. Today, some historians hold the view that Clement of Ohrid belonged to a family of Bulgarian Slavs. Upon his death in 916 he was buried in his monastery, Saint Panteleimon, in Ohrid. He was one of the most prolific and important writers in Old Bulgarian.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Waterfront Park

4) Waterfront Park

The Waterfront Park is a quiet, simple and relaxing park in the old part of the city. You can always stop here to rest in the shade of a tree and savor the picturesque view of the lake and the slow movement of boats on its surface. The great location of the park makes it famous among tourists.
Lower Gate

5) Lower Gate (must see)

Lower Gate is one of the two city gates which remain well preserved nowadays. It is located on the King Samoil Street not far from the main square. One tower out of two is still in place at the gate. The gate was used as an entrance point for all the town’s visitors in ancient and medieval times.
The Church of St. Bogorodica Bolnicka

6) The Church of St. Bogorodica Bolnicka

This church is located in the proximity of the Lower Gate. There are no historical confirmations reagarding the date of the church’s construction, however, the architecture and design of the interior paintings is very similar to the sixteenth century style. The church bore many renovations throughout its time but nonetheless, has original frescoes within its interior.
The Robevi House

7) The Robevi House

Robevi House was built in its current state in 1863–1864 by Todor Petkov from a village Gari near Debar. The building of the first Robevi house was finished on the 15th of April 1827, as witnessed by the inscription in Greek on the marbled flagstone. This famous Ohrid merchant family lived in the house for 35 years between 1861–1862 when a famous criminal from Ohrid Ustref Beg burnt it to the ground. Two years later, between 1863–1864 the house was rebuilt. It was divided in two parts: left and right. Konstantin Robev lived in the left part of the house and his brother Atanas Robev in the right part. The main builder was Todor Petkov who built the house from scratch.

The house is a protected cultural monument consisting of 3 floors. Epigraphical monuments from Ohrid are placed on the ground part of the house including precious objects as the "Milokas" (found on the Via Egnatia) road, the two torsos of the goddess Isis etc. The archaeological objects from the ancient times and the medieval period are exhibited on the second and the third floor. The upper part of the house serves as exhibition space for objects made by the Ohrid carving school, creations of famous artists from Ohrid and the county.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Lapidarium Museum

8) Lapidarium Museum

The Lapidarium Museum specializes in the exhibition of books and articles related to the town of Ohrid. It also offers a collection of original artifacts found on the archaeological sites of the town. There is a yard exhibition as well, where visitors can check on monuments and marble artifacts.
Church of St. Sophia

9) Church of St. Sophia (must see)

The Church of St. Sophia is one of the most important monuments of Macedonia, housing architecture and art from the Middle Ages. It was built during the First Bulgarian Empire, after the official conversion to Christianity. Some sources date the building of the church during the rule of Knyaz Boris I (852 – 889), others during the rule of Tzar Samuel of Bulgaria (997 – 1014).

Originally the synod church of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, it was later converted into a mosque during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The interior of the church has been preserved with frescoes from the 11th, 12th and 13th century, which represent some of the most significant achievements in Byzantine painting of the time. The main part of the church was built in the 11th century, while external additions were built by Archbishop Grigorie in the 14th century. In November 2009, Macedonian Orthodox Church introduced a new Coat of Arms with church of St. Sophia as a charge on the shield. A detail from the church is depicted on the reverse of the Macedonian 1000 denars banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Bogorodica Perivlepta Church

10) St. Bogorodica Perivlepta Church

The church was built and painted in 1295. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Perivlepta is an attribute given to her that means "the Omnisicent and Clairvoyant". The benefactor was Progon Zgur, son-in-law of the Byzantine emperor Andronicus II. The church was painted by Michael and Eutychius. The frescoes they painted have all the elements of Renaissance art except perspective. The figures painted by Michael and Eutychius are not presented the traditional Byzantine way, skinny, emotionless and with their thoughts wandering somewhere. They are presented like healthy, chubby young men with red cheeks. Mihailo and Evtihie are the first Byzantine artists to sign their work (on 20 different hidden locations, look on the front columns of the sword and the cloth of two holy warriors). Their work left a strong impact on Byzantine art. 100 denars entrance fee.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Upper Gate

11) Upper Gate (must see)

Nowadays, there are only two gates that are well preserved out of the four that the town had since its establishment. The Upper Gate is one of them. The interesting fact about this gate is that up until the beginning of the twentieth century, the gate was closed every night and was open at dawn. It is also an archaeological site where many ancient objects have been found.
Ancient Theatre of Ohrid

12) Ancient Theatre of Ohrid (must see)

The Ancient Theatre of Ohrid was built in 200 B.C. and is the only Hellenistic-type theatre in the country as the other three in Scupi, Stobi and Heraklea Lynkestis are from Roman times. It is unclear how many people the original theater used to seat, as only the lower section still exists. The open theater has a perfect location: the two hills that surround it keep it protected from winds that could interfere with acoustics during performances.

During Roman times, the theater was also used for gladiator fights. However, since the theater was also a site of executions of Christians by the Romans, it rapidly turned to a highly disliked site by the locals. In fact, as a result of this dislike, the theater was abandoned and buried by the locals after the demise of the Roman Empire. Fortunately, this allowed for most of the structure to be well preserved, only to be uncovered accidentally in the 1980's.

Namely, during construction work around some of the houses in the area, large stone blocks with carvings of the Greek god Dyonisius and the muses were showing up, which led archaeologists to believe that a Greek theater must have been located nearby. Since the late 1980's, the theater is again a site of public performances, such as plays, concerts, operas, ballet performances.
Sight description based on wikipedia
King Samoil Fortress

13) King Samoil Fortress (must see)

Samuil's Fortress is a fortress in Ohrid, Macedonia's old town. It was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire during the rule of Samuil in the Middle-Ages. Today, this historical monument is a major tourist attraction and was renovated in 2003. According to recent excavations by Macedonian archaeologists, it was alleged that this fortress was built on the grounds of an earlier fortification, dated to 4th century B.C., which was probably built by king Phillip II of Macedon. From Plaoshnik, take a small path through the woods to reach it. In the second courtyard there are ancient graves, remains of a round tower and a cistern. It offers great views over the lake and Ohrid. Entrance is free.
Sight description based on wikipedia

14) Plaošnik (must see)

Plaošnik, or Plaoš, is an archaeological site and holy place situated 250 meters below Samuil's Fortress. In the future, the whole complex will have konaks (mansions) as in the time of Saint Clement of Ohrid, together with several surrounding objects. The church was built by St.Clement in 893 year on the foundation of the early Christian basilica, and dedicated to St.Panteleimon. It was here that the Ohrid Literary School, a center of Slavonic literary and cultural activity where it was educated more than 3,500 disciples. St. Clement was buried in this monastery, in the tomb which was built by his hands. On Plaošnik has been discovered the baptistery of the five aisle basilica with hooked crosses (swastikas) on the mosaic floors which date from the period between 4th and 6th century.

It is assumed that this early Christian basilica at Plaoshnik upon which the Kliment’s monastery was built in the 9th century, was dedicated to St. Paul, the apostle. On 10 October 2007, a deposit of approximately 2,383 Venetian coins was discovered by archaeologists while excavating the monastery. A prominent archaeologist of the Republic of Macedonian, Pasko Kuzman, stated that the coins are of special significance because they indicate that Ohrid and Venice were commercially linked.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Church of St. John at Kaneo

15) Church of St. John at Kaneo (must see)

Saint John the Theologian, Kaneo, or Saint John at Kaneo, is a Macedonian Orthodox church situated on Kaneo beach overlooking Lake Ohrid. The church is attributed to the author of the Gospel of John, John the Evangelist. The construction date of the church remains unknown but documents detailing the church property suggests that it was built before the year 1447. Archaeologists believe that the church was constructed some time before the rise of the Ottoman Empire very likely in the 13th century.

Restoration work in 1964 led to the discovery of frescoes in its dome. The church was built into the shape of a cruciform with a rectangular base. The architect of the church is unknown but it is believed that he was influenced by the architecture of Armenian churches. A wooden iconostasis was constructed within the church and by the 20th century numerous saints along with the Virgin Mary have been portrayed on the apse. A fresco of Christ Pantocrator can be seen on the dome of the church. A fresco of Saint Clement of Ohrid (whose monastery, Saint Panteleimon, is located close to the church) accompanied by Saint Erasmus of Ohrid can also be seen on a wall of the church.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ohrid Beaches

16) Ohrid Beaches (must see)

Another activity that you can practice on your stay in Ohrid is going to the beaches. Apart from sightseeing, there are a few different natural beaches, usually the further from the city center the more scenic they become, and each offers a unique beach experience. Gradiste beach is known by many young people that are music lovers, for instance, while others cater to families or offer a tranquil atmosphere. Beaches are most crowded in July and August, and quiet the rest of the year, which offers a whole different experience.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Ohrid, Macedonia

Create Your Own Walk in Ohrid

Create Your Own Walk in Ohrid

Creating your own self-guided walk in Ohrid is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museums and Art Galleries

Museums and Art Galleries

Ohrid is a town that is proud to share its heritage with visitors. Due to the small size of the town, there are only a few museums in Ohrid. Take the following tour through the historic and art exhibitions that offer a fascinating glimpse into the local culture.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Ohrid's Historical Churches

Ohrid's Historical Churches

There is a legend supported by observations by Ottoman traveller Evlia Celebia, from the 15th century, that there were 365 chapels within the town of Ohrid's boundaries, one for every day of the year. Today this number is significantly smaller. However during Medieval times, Ohrid was called Slavic Jerusalem

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles