Which Countries Share Lake Ohrid?

The Church of St. John the Theologian overlooking Lake Ohrid in Ohrid, Macedonia.
The Church of St. John the Theologian overlooking Lake Ohrid in Ohrid, Macedonia.

Lake Ohrid is a 150 square mile lake situated in the southeastern part of Europe where it straddles the border between Albania and Macedonia. It is considered one of the most ancient and deepest lakes on the European continent. Lake Ohrid is of great economic significance mainly because it is home to a large number of species, about 200 of which are endemic to the lake. In 1979, UNESCO declared Lake Ohrid a World Heritage Site. In 2010, NASA named one of the lakes on Titan, a moon that revolves around Saturn, after Lake Ohrid. Several rivers drain into Lake Ohrid such as the Sateska River and the Biljana's springs while the Black Drin River flows out of the lake.

Lake Ohrid in Macedonia

The larger portion of Lake Ohrid, nearly 96 square miles is situated within the borders of Macedonia. Lake Ohrid's shoreline in Macedonia is roughly 34.8 miles long. Lake Ohrid is considered one of Macedonia's most beautiful tectonic lakes. The lake's scenic location and its beauty have been attracting visitors to the region for a long period. In the modern era, most of the tourists who visit the lake prefer to visit during the summer months. Tourists can easily get to the lake from any of Macedonia's major cities. Tourists can also easily get to the lake by flying from major European cities such as London, Belgrade, and Zurich to St Paul the Apostle Airport. Several settlements are found on the Macedonian side of the lake such as Ohrid and Struga. Ohrid is Macedonia's eighth largest city as well as the largest city in on the shores of the lake. Ohrid is mainly famous because at one point in the past, it was home to 365 churches and people often referred to it as the Jerusalem of the Balkans. The city of Struga is also popular with tourists most of whom visit the town to enjoy the beauty of Lake Ohrid. Struga is also popular because it was the hometown of Ibrahim Temo, one of the most influential individuals in the Ottoman Reform Movement.

Lake Ohrid in Albania

The smaller portion of Lake Ohrid, roughly 42.5 square miles is situated within the borders of Albania. Lake Ohrid's shoreline in Albania is approximately 19.58 miles long. A large section of the lake that is located within Albania's borders is considered a protected area. Several settlements are found around the lake in Albania with Pogradec being the most significant one. Pogradec is deemed to be one of the most beautiful cities in Albania because hills surround it on its western and southern limits. The town is one of Albania's most historic cities with a history that dates back to the 6th century. During the First World War, the city was the site of battles between several groups such as the Austro-Hungarians and the French.

Human Influence on Lake Ohrid

Human activities such as the construction of tourist facilities and pollution have had significant negative effects on the lake. However, other human activities such as conservation efforts have contributed to improving the lake's condition.


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