When the 17th-century Ottoman traveler Mehmed Zilli traveled through scenic Ohrid, he observed that there were 365 chapels here, one for every day of the year. Whether legend or fact (today there are far fewer), the reputation stuck and Ohrid is still known as the “Macedonian Jerusalem.” The Church of St. Sophia is one of the most important in the nation, boasting splendid medieval architecture and beautifully preserved frescoes dating as far back as the 11th century. One of the most dramatic remaining ecclesiastic centers is the Monastery of St. Naum, perched on a rocky upwelling beside the lake. But the most dramatic site of Ohrid is the Fortress of Tsar Samoil; its ramparts look out over the lake as if still searching for invaders approaching by boat. Ancient Greece, too, left its mark in Ohrid, in the form of an open-air theater tucked between two hills.



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