This would be our day to visit some of Ohrid's churches which was very apt as it was a Sunday after all. All the more so since I am writing this on the following Sunday too. Ohrid is often referred to as the 'Jerusalem of the Balkans' because it once had 365 churches within its city limits - one for every day of the year! Aren't you glad they don't still have that many so we weren't able to visit a good chunk of them last Sunday! Most of the surviving churches were built during the Byzantine era or during the Serbian rule of the Middle Ages. A few of them have been reconstructed, but the majority are still filled with archaeological wonders that rival early Christian churches found in Turkey and Greece.
He only spoke Macedonian yet wanted to tell us all about the church he was so proud of. We nodded at the appropriate times but of course had no clue what he was talking about. We had very little tourist information about Ohrid so the only name we could find of the church was from the sign below. Normally, we're pretty good about deciphering signs but no this one, I'm afraid.
Over the entrance, the guide and the priest pointed out The Lamentation of Christ painting drawn with many emotions: the Virgin Mary is about to faint and women are holding her; the army of angels above the whole scene are crying. I hadn't noticed the moving, not static, clouds and the images of the Apostles. In addition, it was very rare to see anyone with upraised arms in any frescoe.
The following photo is of The Transfiguration with Moses and the three disciples. The church was also considered to be so important because of the colors that were used at that time. The vibrant blue paint came from using lapis lazuli from Afghanistan. It was staggering to learn that one kilo of blue paint cost as much as one kilo of gold.
The guide said that the icon on the left always showed who the church is dedicated to. In this case, it was to the Mother of God and St. Kliment, the founder of the St. Ohrid Bishopric.
The old city's Upper Gate was well preserved due to reinforcements made in the 16th century.