Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ohrid, Macedonia

Zok and I took a couple of days to drive out to Ohrid, Macedonia.
As modern day Macedonia no longer has a coast line, this lake is a big draw during summer when the days are mostly in the upper 30 c.
Ohrid is also a UNESCO site as there are archeological digs not only on land but in the lake.  In the lake there are settlement remains from the neolithic through the end of the Bronze age.
There is a theatre from sometime in the Hellenic period, probably after the Roman conquest.  There are finds from the time that Ohrid was a world power during the early Byzantine era.
They are still uncovering sites - the larger monastery here has been beautifully reconstructed- the interior walls have just about three feet of the original frescoes from the 10th century.  But after the fall of the Macedonian Czar, the walls were whitewashed and parts torn down to convert the building into a Mosque during the early 15th century. On the same site is the remains of a basilica from the 4th or 5th centuries. 
This is activity of building on top of buildings is common as the area was conquered, then liberated, then conquered again.  As I read about the areas, the attitudes of people, and the modern day museum of 'The Macedonian Struggles' make more and more sense.  The Mosques in particular caused much damage because by custom they must be "highest", so Macedonian churches were destroyed, and if allowed to be built they are built in such a way that you must walk down into the church.

People do not have to be religious in the American sense- because religion simply permeates everything.

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