“Old Tracks and New Landmarks” By Mary Walker, 1897
OCHRIDA, AND THE MONASTERY OF ST. NAUM.
The situation of Ochrida is one of the most beautiful in this land of picturesque beauty — the lake district of Western Turkey, on the borders of Albania. The city rose into importance in the reign of Justinian, when Lychnidus, on the
eastern shore of the lake, was destroyed by earthquake. Justinian, a native of these parts, endowed Ochrida with churches, which remain to this day, though partly fallen to ruin. Two of these, the Metropolitan Church and St. Sophia, are remarkable for the great amount of fresco painting with which they are lined. In the latter the walls, roof, galleries, staircase, crypt, all exhibit the industry, and, sometimes, the skill of the artist ; not an inch of space is left unemployed, and the building is very large.
The Metropolitan Church, on the contrary, is small ; it is ornamented throughout in the same manner, but in a
The community of St. Naum, formerly composed of fifty or sixty monks, now^numbers only five or six. The monastery was built in the ninth century, by St. Naum, who was one of the ‘Mission of Seven ‘ sent by the Greek Church for the conversion of the Bulgarians to Christianity. The two principal members of this missionary band — the brothers Cyril and Methodius, sons of a patrician family of Thessalonica — undertook a task of immense difficulty, it being necessary to arrange an alphabet and found a written language, in order to translate and explain the Holy Scriptures. History slates that they converted a large proportion of the Bulgarian people, and, finally, the King, Bogaris, to the Christian faith ;
The people of Ochrida declare that this simple plan never fails in its preservative effect. The embroidery of the splendid costumes of Albanian ladies of the better class also gives much occupation ; the work Is done entirely by men. A description of this dress, contributed by an eyewitness, shows it to be infinitely richer and more picturesque than the costume of Turkish ladies. The scene was the harem of the Mudir of Ochrida, then living in the old palace of Jellaleddin Bey.
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