Prehistoric pile - dwelling on Lake Ohrid

‘…But those who dwell about mount Pangaion, and about the lake Prasias itself, were not conquered at all by Megabazos. He tried however to remove even those who lived in the lake and who had their dwellings in the following manner:—a platform fastened together and resting upon lofty piles stood in the middle of the water of the lake, with a narrow approach to it from the mainland by a single bridge. The piles which supported the platform were no doubt originally set there by all the members of the community working together, but since that time they continue to set them by observance of this rule, that is to say, every man who marries brings from the mountain called Orbelos three piles for each wife and sets them as supports; and each man takes to himself many wives. And they have their dwelling thus, that is each man has possession of a hut upon the platform in which he lives and of a trap-door756 leading through the platform down to the lake: and their infant children they tie with a rope by the foot, for fear that they should roll into the water. To their horses and beasts of burden they give fish for fodder; and of fish there is so great quantity that if a man open the trap-door and let down an empty basket by a cord into the lake, after waiting quite a short time he draws it up again full of fish. Of the fish there are two kinds, and they call them paprax and tilon.’

In the last decade in collaboration with the famous archeologist Pasko Kuzman underwater research are done on the Ohrid Lake in which a prahistorical remains of pile dwelling are found.

The only one of the found dwellings which was reconstructed is called ‘Plocha Mikov Grad’ (Miko’s city on platform) by the name of the men, instructor of underwater activities, Milutin Sekulovic- Miko, who found the dwelling in 1997.

‘Plocha Mikov Grad’ is a part of the Water Museum. Water Museum is located 20 km from Ohrid, by the Ohrid Lake, after the village Pestani, next to camp Gradiste

This museum complex has tree components:
• A reconstructed part of a prehistoric settlement on a platform above
water, built on wooden piles attached to the lake bottom;
• Accessible museum building and a diving base
• The Gradishte – Roman castrum

On this site with underwater activities were registered 6000 remains of wooden piles at the bottom of the lake at depth of 3-5 m which were the support most probably of a common platform on which about twenty prehistoric dwelling building built also of wood functioned. Based on the re-measurements of the surface area of the settlement it was determined that it had spread on a surface of about 8500 m2. It was built on a platform of wooden piles attached to the bottom of the lake. Because of the type of the material used to built this settlements (timber, reed and straw), they were often renewed. That explains the concentration of the piles in the bottom of the lake. The settlement was connected with the shore by a light path – a bridge built in the same manner and with the same material. The bridge was lifted up at night for protection of the animals and enemies. Based on the results of the underwater field investigations and based on the analysis of the movable archaeological material this pile dwelling settlement belonged to the Late Bronze Age and the beginnings of Iron Age, i.e. the period between 1500 and 700 BC.

The settlement which is reconstructed on Lake Ohrid has 7 houses built on a platform which is supported on 1200 piles.

In the diving base, tourist who would like to dive and explore could have that chance, guided by an diving instructor.

In the near future there will be a restaurant with a great view on the settlement and the lake with traditional Macedonian food. At the moment this complex offers coffee terrace in front of the settlement.

The reconstructed interior of the settlement is shown on the next pictures.

Part of the remains that are found on this site are presented in the museum. The museum also has an aquarium in which the piles as they were put under water are presented.

The bay in which this settlement is found and rebuilt is called Bay of the Bones, because of the animal bones found on the site, which is characteristic of the period of which this settlement is.

The museum is connected with a Roman trail with another ancient monument the Roman castrum, that is a fortification from the 2 century BC.

The last few years with these underwater activities several pile dwellings are found in the lake Ohrid. One of these settlements is found near the village Trpejca in the bay which locals call ‘Na Dol’ and onother one in northern Riviera of the village Pestani in the recently named Bay of Bombs (because of the bombs found in the water from the First World War).

On a beautiful location, with great scenery, with the efforts of great archeologist Pasko Kuzman, The Ohrid diving club and the Ministry of Culture of RM which invested 2 million Euros for this project, Ohrid and the tourists have unique opportunity on the Balkan with these kind of presentation to go back in time from the prehistory to Roman time and back to the present on the beautiful perl Lake Ohrid

Ohrid guide - where to go out & to stay

Ohrid and Ohrid Lake is a great getaway for summer period, for the holidays and weekend when people can enjoy in this beautiful place with spirit older then 2 000 years.

No matter in which season you are visiting Ohrid, you can relax by the Ohrid Lake, visit the amphitheater (which is revitalized after more then 2000 years), St. Jovan Kaneo, St. Panteleimon - Plaoshnik, Samuel Fortress, drink a cup of coffee by the lake in the Liquid café or on the Ohrid Square and enjoy the great view on the lake.

In Ohrid there is a great day and night life. Liquid , Kadmo café and all the places on the main square are great for having a coffee with friends while enjoying a great view on the lake. Liquid , Kadmo café are situated in the old town of Ohrid, by the Lake shore. Cuba Libre is also a great place, but it’s on the other side of the canal away from the city which is preferable for same people (you have to walk till the end of the pier).

All the places that are available for the day life are also available for nightlife. Café bar Duck which has live performance of local bands on Fridays and Saturdays has a very nice atmosphere. Duck is located on the pier. Liquid Café has live performances on Thursdays. The night bar Jazz Inn is always a great place for the jazz lovers and cool atmosphere till late hours. Discotheque Park which is 4km away from the town is opened till morning and offers different music (techno, rock, DJ performances). Nearby Duck there is a newly opened pub Dublin which offers snack and drinks.

A good choice for food is Belvedere restaurant (not a fancy one) which offers a great barbecue, Macedonian food and live acoustic music with folk songs. More sophisticated restaurants are Dalga, Momir (in the old town), St Sophia (in front of the church St. Sophia).

Good pica places are Cosa Nostra, Leonardo, Big Blue (taste the hot cheese in pot).

You can find good accommodation in recently renovated Villa Ginek which is located on the main square where everything is near - the old town, the pier, the monuments, bars, shops.

The house is built in 1932 when it was used as a hotel. The front side of the house is protected by the city and has its original construction.

Vila Ginek offers accommodation in double rooms. The rooms are with pleasant interior, clean, with TV, air conditioner, mini fridge, wireless Internet, private bathroom. They offer coffee and tea for free.

This is the view to the square and the lake from the terrace of the hallway.

This is the view to the shops and promenade ( ‘ohridska carsija’).

If you like to be in the heart of Ohrid, near everything you have to visit, and to have a pleasant and clean accommodation, Villa Ginek is a perfect place to stay.

Berovo Lake - place for peace and tranquility

If you are looking for a place for a weekend in Macedonia where you can relax and enjoy nature in all its beauty, away from city noise and traffic jam, Berovo lake is a perfect getaway for you. This place is a synonym for peace and tranquility. It is situated in eastern Macedonia, near Bulgarian border.

Berovo can be reached from the main city of Macedonia, Skopje, through the cities Veles, Stip, Kocani and Vinica( You enter only the city of Vinica, the rest of the cities are bypassed). Berovo is 165 km far from Skopje, and 335 km far from Ohrid.

After passing the Kocani rice fields, you are welcomed with mountains, vegetation and pine forest. The region of Malesevo is also known as ‘little Switzerland’. Malesevo is full of pine and oak trees.That is why Berovo craftsmen are well known for their skill in traditional wood crafting.

Berovo Lake is 7 km far from Berovo, it is 1000 m above sea level and can be reached by car using a single asphalt road. On the way to the lake you must visit the women monastery Sv. Arhangel Mihail.

This region is characterized wit cool summer and cold winter. It has mainly rainy days, mostly in May, June and November. Because of its nice climate it is a great getaway in summer.

Because of its high concentration of oxygen, the visitors are coming to get energy for working days and to rehab. In Malesovo the natives prepare home made traditional medicaments for different diseases. Most famous is the pine syrup or pine honey, cure for the respiration disorders.
Due to the wide green meadows and the clear and unpolluted air, also famous for its taste is the white berovo cheese (‘berovsko sirenje’).

Accommodation is offered in the city of Berovo, hotel Manastir (near the Monastery St.Arhangel Mihail), in the Loven dom, in the children resort with simple cabins by the lake or in private accommodation in the villas surrounding the lake.

If you are more then 3 people, good choice are the villas, because they are rented as a hole house, not by room. My recommendation is vila Lina or Ciplakova koliba.

We were staying in vila Lina. It was with a view on the lake, neat, clean, comfort, with modern interior, internal fireplace, external barbecue, beautiful yard and big terrace. This house is vertically separated with own entrances and can be used by 2 different groups of visitors. It has capacity of 17 beds. The only problem is that is by the road which is not so bad because there is almost no traffic (at least at the beginning of June when we were there).

If you are in a mood for taditional accommodation in the country, separated from everything, surrounded only by mountains and greenery, Ciplakova koliba is the ideal place for you. It doesn’t have a lake view, but it has a breathtaking view to the green mountains.

These are the pictures from the Berovo Lake and its surrounding

The dam on the lake...

This is the restaurant of the children resort where you must have a cup of coffee surrounded by trees and lake.

The view of the restaurant terrace...

The villas surrounding the lake...

Vila Lina...

The view on the lake from the terrace of Villa Lina...

And a barbecue...

If you are staying near the lake its good to know that there is no market in the villa settlement, so you must buy everything you need in the city of Berovo.

Vevcani springs, nature in Macedonia

Vevcani is situated in the southwestern Macedonia and is one of the villages in Macedonia that must be seen for its natural beauty, the water all around the village and Macedonian tradition. Vevcani people are known as skilful builders which can also be noted in the village architecture.

The village is famous for its Vevcani Carnival which celebrates St. Vasilij the Great (Sveti Vasilij Veliki). The Vevcani Carnival, which claims a 14 century long legacy, is held every year from 13 to 14 January. Recognized by the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC), the carnival attracts thousands of both domestic and international visitors to see the people of Vevcani disguised in elaborate masks expressing humor and sarcasm. Some of the most common costumes include devils, demons and other mythical characters.

Vevcani is the village where a team of workers led by archaeologist Pasko Kuzman found Mason elements – a triangle with an eye, under a 19-20 th Century church.

The village is also famous for its inhabitants which on 7 August 1987 defied the decision of, in that time, the Yugoslavian government to redirect Vevcani streams to water-supply town Struga, Oktisi and Elen Kamen. This protests were followed with police intervention. These events led to self-acclamation of Vevcani as a Republic with its own currency and passport. On the picture bellow is an antic store in which Vevcani passport can be issued.

This antic store is in authentic house.

The water – source of the life is everywhere. We follow the river trough the village and to the beautiful strings. We are welcomed with a gate ‘We belong to the nature – not the otherwise’.

By the water, to the strings we walk on a beautiful trail.

There is neat picnic space.

The springs where water arises from the soil....

After seeing this beauty you mustn’t leave this village before you eat in one of the restaurants that prepare traditional Macedonian food. I recommend ‘Macedonian house’ (‘Makedonska kuka’) or ‘Via Ignatia’ (Via Ignacija). ‘Macedonian house’ has traditional atmosphere. In ‘Via Ignatia’ you can eat fish that is cached in front of your eye in the fishpond which surrounds the restaurant. This restaurant is in the pictures bellow.

Vevcani is 14 km far from Struga, and 30 km far from Ohrid. To get to Vevcani from Ohrid, you have to take the road to Struga (not entering the town), than through villages Vranista and Velesta. The road is asphalted and well marked. In Vevcani there are also signs to all the places that can be visited (springs, restaurants, enviroment). There is also a Tourist Information office in the middle of the village. In front of the village St. Nikola there is a map with all the places that can be seen in the village end in its near surroundings.

This village is a 'must see in Macedonia', especially if you are staying near Ohrid lake.