Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ohrid, Macedonia

And in the end, something home made...

What i hate about this country is the overall disinterest in postcards production and the overall lack of stamps in the post offices since nobody uses them...once i was told that if it wasnt for me, the post offices wouldnt have what to do...and due to that issue i cant always get stamps or they are of the limited kind...but whats worse, i cant get the cards i want, and most of them get out of stock, permanently...and there is a number of cards from here i really love but i dont have a copy of since i had no idea i had to save a copy coz they would run out of stock...well, the card you see here, last time i checked was out of stock...actually i took the last one..and since (for now) its the last one, i decided to keep it for myself...mainly coz i love the view on this one, and it would be a real pity that i dont have it in my collection.
Well what you can see here is a view of the St. Naum Monastery in Ohrid...which is located in the immediate vicinity of the Albanian border. Ive been at this place, and i have to say its really lovely...if you ever get the chance to visit Ohrid, visiting St. Naum is a must...its a bit away from the town itself, around 30km...but its worth it.

As with most Byzantine churches, St. Naum was chosen primarily for its location – on a high, rocky outcropping over the lake, above deep forests and the life-giving springs of the Crn Drim. The monastic complex and church of St. Naum were built originally at the turn of the tenth century by the monk of the same name; Macedonians believe you can hear the saint’s heartbeat by pressing an ear to his stone coffin inside the church.

The monastery has been renewed and enlarged several times over the centuries. While most of its iconostases and frescoes date from the 16th and 17th centuries, earlier etchings in the Byzantine Greek vernacular also remain. But numerous orthographical mistakes indicate that they were written by Slavic-speaking local monks. Other inscriptions in the church make up some of the oldest epigraphic evidence of Slavic literacy.

The icons of St. Naum are among the best achievements of religious painting in the Balkans. They date from the first half of the 18th century. The wood-carved iconostasis itself was made in 1711 by an unknown artisan.

A final unusual element of St. Naum is located not on the inside of the church but on the outside: the preponderance of multi-colored peacocks strutting around and luxuriating in the grass.

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