A Mask-Maker in Ohrid, Macedonia

In Ohrid, Macedonia, the Marinov family has been fashioning utilitarian and decorative objects out of copper and brass for one hundred years.

Shawn and I happened upon the third and fourth-generation artists’ small studio one afternoon, while exploring Ohrid’s UNESCO-registered Old Town, which is replete with hundreds of Eastern Orthodox churches. The Marinov shop is filled with handmade warrior’s masks and shields – said to be designed with motifs from the Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia. They also sell jewelry and home accessories.

Ever a young boy at heart, Shawn was instantly drawn to the warrior’s masks. Had our luggage not been already overflowing, I think he just might have left Ohrid with one.

Continue reading “A Mask-Maker in Ohrid, Macedonia”

Orthodox Easter Greetings from Ohrid, Macedonia

This spring, we’ve had the fortune of observing Easter celebrations not once, but twice. In Croatia, where Catholicism predominates, we celebrated Easter in late March, whereas we also got to participate in Orthodox Easter festivities in Macedonia this past weekend.

Given its spiritual ties and the fact that it once had more than 365 churches, Ohrid, Macedonia earned the title, ‘Jerusalem of the Balkans.’ Today, many of the UNESCO World Heritage site’s churches have been restored, but others are still awaiting their renaissance. It is not uncommon to see a collapsed church juxtaposed against scenes of everyday life in a thriving neighborhood. Just behind our current ‘home away from home,’ for example, sits the small St. Nicholas Church, which is in ruins. Our hosts noted that local authorities are trying to raise more funds to restore it.

Continue reading “Orthodox Easter Greetings from Ohrid, Macedonia”

Photo du Jour: St. John Orthodox Church at Sunset – Ohrid, Macedonia

A boat glides smoothly 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.

Continue reading “Photo du Jour: St. John Orthodox Church at Sunset – Ohrid, Macedonia”