A boat glides across the golden, shimmering surface of Lake Ohrid on the eve of Orthodox Easter. A silhouetted version of Saint John at Kaneo stands guard in the background. Archaeologists think that the church was built before the rise of the Ottoman Empire, perhaps in the 13th century. Frescoes adorn Saint John’s dome; they were discovered in the 1960s.
Where in the World?
Are you looking for accommodation in the heart of Ohrid’s Old Town? Shawn and I spent two weeks at the Svetlana Guesthouse (affiliate link), run by friendly and thoughtful Svetlana, along with her extended family. The location was fantastic, as it was about 100 meters to Ohrid’s Ancient Theater, and roughly 200 meters from Samoil’s Fortress. We loved having our own balcony, as well as access to a communal kitchen when we wanted to cook. Svetlana, her children, and grandchildren made our stay in Ohrid extra special – even inviting us to share an Eastern Orthodox Easter lunch with them.
Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene.
A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia.
Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.
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31 thoughts on “Photo du Jour: St. John Orthodox Church at Sunset – Ohrid, North Macedonia”
How beautiful! I’m lost for words.
Carol, what’s incredible is that this city (Ohrid) has more than 300 historic churches like that. It’s a joy walking around the cobbled lanes and stumbling upon the little chapels. This is a beautiful part of the world that we’ve only recently heard of.
I’m looking forward to reading more from you about Ohrid.
I’ll report more soon, Carol, but give you a teaser – we had a scorpion drop in to our guesthouse bed the other night. :)
Oh, that’s not quite the kind of story I was hoping for. Sometimes we get them in the house and they are nasty little things.
Carol, this was the first scorpion we’ve ever seen outside of a zoo, so it was quite an event for us. Have you ever been stung by one? I also pondered how our scorpion made it up to the second floor apartment.
No I haven’t been stung thank goodness. The ones we get here aren’t very big, but I don’t like them all the same. I don’t know how they even get into the house.
We’re still trying to figure out how Samuel the Scorpion (more on that nickname later) climbed up onto the bed. I’ve never seen my husband so startled before.
It sounds like you’re very friendly with Sammy. I think this would make a great new post. Did you take a photo of your husband at that precise moment?
I didn’t get a shot, Carol, because I was running away from the bed. Once things slow down, I’ll share a post about our memorable interaction with Sam. :)
Beautiful! I have been so busy, but after next week I am going to catch up on some of your travels around the Balkans! Hope all is well!
Hi Andy – nice to hear from you! Are your studies all-consuming? :)
We went from relative calm in Croatia (since we made that our headquarters for a few weeks) to being on-the-go the past month – rolling through Montenegro, Albania and now Macedonia. This part of the world is so intriguing; I want to keep exploring, but I think we’ll be returning to Germany soon.
Wow! That is an outstanding photo!
Thank you, Marilyn. Of course, I had a lot of help from Mother Nature. This lake and the surrounding mountains are really quite spectacular.
Bashar, we visited that silhouetted church several days later, and it’s equally beautiful. More soon!
Mark, Ohrid is indeed stunning! We were surprised to have only recently learned of this beautiful city.
We’re sad to leave lovely Ohrid today but happy to have spent 2 beautiful weeks here.
A fabulous shot Tricia!
Thanks, Madhu. This is a region you’ll definitely have to add to your must-see list. I know you’re focusing upon the less-accessible locations now though. :)
You are right. Europe is not in our immediate radar :-)
What are the next spots on the radar?
My previous comment should have concluded ‘except for Paris this July for a special birthday’. :-)
Otherwise Africa and Mexico, but not this year though. I just HAVE to see the Taj Mahal before another foreign taxi driver poses an incredulous “You haven’t seen the TAJ???” :-D
Madhu, you really haven’t seen the Taj? :) I guess I have a lot of treasures to see in my native country’s backyard too.
A Parisian birthday celebration sounds magnifique! I’m still trying to work out how we might live/work there someday. It’s been a dream of mine since high school.
No I haven’t!!! And I could live in Paris too, or Provence! :-D .
Thank you, Deepak. It was indeed a special evening – quite a nice blend of manmade and natural beauty.
Terrific to see your blog! Had lived in Ohrid with husband some years ago and though we live in CA (USA), it so reminded me of Laguna Beach … but so much more tranquil and an amazing place so few people ever visit… had no idea of its richness of Christianity … and I believe in the St John Church was where the Apostle Creed was read and where the inspriation was made…
How lucky you were to have lived in Ohrid, Diane! How long did you spend there? If you’re curious about more of the Eastern Orthodox traditions there, I did a photo essay on our experience participating with a local Ohrid family during their Easter traditions: https://triciaannemitchell.com/2013/05/06/orthodox-easter-greetings-from-ohrid-macedonia/
I haven’t yet been to Laguna Beach, but would be curious to see how they compare. I particularly appreciated Ohrid’s blend of natural and manmade beauty.