IVO ANDRIC, Nobel Laureate (excerpt from travelogue “Beside Luminous Lake Ohrid”)
Lake Ohrid lies in a basin surrounded at all sides by mountains with peaks of over 2,000 meters. To the east there are Mount Petrino and Mount Galicica with the Magaro peak (2,275m) which separates Ohrid basin from that of Prespa. To the south there are the hills and lower mountains of Albania.
Lake Ohrid rightly deserves the name “Macedonia’s freshwater sea”. Not only for its warm water blue colour, which gains its intensity from the sky blue colour, but because of its size, this lake gives an impression of being a sea. It covers an area of 358 square kilometers and one gets an impression of being in front of a large bay of the sea as if a part had been uprooted of the sea’s breadth, and launched among high mountains 695 meters above sea level. On its northern shore the ancient city of Ohrid, rises above the lake like some colossal piece of scenery, located on a double hill with highest point at Samuel’s Fortress 800 m. above sea level.
An opportunity to grasp its picturesque dark – blue surface and the harmonious ellipsoid shape is given from different places. From the monastery of St. Naum the invisible frontier line extends towards the village of Radozda on the other shore and divides the Lake into two parts. Two thirds of its surface area belong to the Republic of Macedonia and one third to Albania.
With its unique flora and fauna the lake is one of the largest biological reserves in Europe. The earliest scientific studies, undertaken in the course of the 19th century, showed that, as one of the oldest lakes in the world, it has preserved primeval life – forms which no longer exist in other places or only exist as fossils.