The city of Pogradec is located in the southeastern part of Albania, along the shores of Lake Ohrid, the deepest of the Balkans.
The border with the Macedonia it is only at 5 km from the city center. Pogradec is one of the favorite tourist resorts in Albania for its pleasant climate, for the extraordinary alpine landscape with ample opportunities to sunbathe, swim, fish, practice water sports etc. The other mountains of Kamja and Guri i Topit overlook the city as if they were a crown.
Archaeological excavations on the hill above the city have uncovered an Illyrian settlement from the 5th century BC. Drilon, the name of the river that flows into the lake near the village of Tushemisht, is mentioned in the earliest texts of antiquity.
On the top of the hill overlooking Pogradec there is an ancient Illyrian fortress named Encheleana. In the Middle Ages this fortress was rebuilt and the place was renamed by the Bulgarians, who in that period invaded south-eastern Albania.
During the 18th century under the Turkish rule, the city became an administrative center, but was largely destroyed during the first and second world wars; however, a number of characteristic houses have been preserved as cultural monuments.
One of the first Albanian language schools was opened in Pogradec. The city has long been the favorite summer getaway for many government officials during the communist period.
Worthy of mention is the fish 'Koranlocal, very tasty and found only in Lake Ohrid. Other rare species of fish, birds, fauna and other wild animals are found in the lake and surrounding area.
Attractions include the town of Drilon, very famous for its natural beauty, the ruins of the Illyrian settlement and a Christian basilica dating back to the 5th century with beautiful mosaics found in the lakefront of the village of Lin. At 'Selca e Poshtme' it is possible to see the ancient settlement of Pelion, where the Illyrian king lived, and four monuments and tombs from the 4th century BC engraved on a rock.
In the 1980 the lake of Ohrid and the surrounding area were declared by UNESCO as a place of natural heritage and world culture.
The places of the city of Pogradec
A list of places in the city of Pogradec
Lake of Ohrid
Il lake of Ohrid it was known during ancient times as Lacus Lychnidus. It is the second largest lake in Albania. It has a total area of 358 square km. Its maximum depth reaches 286 meters.
It is one of the deepest lakes in the Balkans. The lake is known for the purity and transparency of its lake, which is home to two unique and extremely tasty trout species, the Koran and the Belushk.
The scenery with Lake Ohrid in front and the typical fishing village, Lin, on the right, is so attractive that you can't help but stop and photograph it. At the top of the hill near this area are the remains of the Christian basilica built at the end of the 5th century.
It has a rich multicolored mosaic with animal, vegetable and geometric motifs. On clear sunny days it is possible to see on the left the city of Struga and a part of the city of Ohrid, both belonging to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Mosaics by Lin
The archaeological site is located on the hill of the village of Lin north of Pogradec. The site was once an important settlement and fortress of the ancient Illyrian tribes that lived throughout the Lake Ohrid area.
The site is mostly not yet completely excavated; however, the beautiful mosaics and exposed sections of the ancient walls offer the visitor a glimpse of the hidden treasures that are found underground. The views of the lake and the surrounding mountains of the hill above Lin are particularly beautiful.
The sources of Drilon
They are located near the village of Tushemisht and Gurras, at 4km from Pogradec, at the foot of the hills and offer wonderful views. This natural monument can be visited if you follow the Pogradec-Customs-Saint Naum road. It is a large spring that continues to flow into Lake Ohrid. The water comes from Prespa Lake through the 'dry' mountain. It is surrounded by dense vegetation and fauna.
The bridge of Golik
The Golik Bridge is an archaeological site at 40 km from the city of Pogradec, on the Shkumbin River in the village of Golik. It is long 17m, wide 3 me high 10m.
It is the work of art of the old street 'Via Egnatia'. It was built in the second century and is classified as a first-class cultural monument. It is a bridge with two semicircular arches: one of these is a discharge gate (also with a semicircle).
The bridge is built with carved stones, where the lower part of the arch has a large beautifully carved part, not only for aesthetics, but to make the structure more solid and stronger.
Church of Santa Marena
The Church of Santa Marena is a monument of culture established in the 1660. It was rebuilt in 1754 and decorated with frescoes and icons by the famous master Konstandin Shpataraku.
On the day of St. Mary the 17 is celebrated every year in July, with dozens of believers developing the traditional pilgrimage. After visiting the cave of Santa Marena and having washed in the nearby waters, they spend the night at the church following the annual ritual.
This article was originally published in www.turismo.al
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