Showing posts with label Lake Ohrid Macedonia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Ohrid Macedonia. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2017

UNESCO mission recommends halting the construction projects of the Galičica ski resort

From 9 to 14 April 2017, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission visited the World Heritage property of Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The report with findings from this mission is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/99/documents/.

The mission discussed with the authorities the overall state of conservation of the property and provided technical assistance on the scope and development of a SEA, which should comprehensively assess the potential individual and cumulative impacts of all above-mentioned projects on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property.

The 2017 mission concluded that some of the proposals for large-scale infrastructure and construction projects, such as sub-sections (a) and (e) of the A3 road and the Galičica ski resort within the property could lead to irreversible changes to the property, in combination with the developments and transformations that have already occurred in the urban settlements and lakeshore since its inscription. The mission strongly recommended to completely abandon the Galičica ski centre project, keep the internal national park zoning as is, and consider developing ecotourism options that would not negatively impact the property.

Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to halt the construction projects of the Galičica ski resort, as well as the sub-sections (a) and (e) of the A3 road. It is also recommended that the Committee reminds the State Party that all projects including those submitted to major donors such as the European Union which may have potential negative impacts on the OUV of the property, should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. 

Considering the level of threats to the property, the mission identified a set of recommendations, some of which need to be prioritized and fulfilled over the next two years, in addition to those adopted in 2016 that still need to be fulfilled. The findings of the mission suggest that the overall state of conservation can be considered as vulnerable, and if the priority recommendations are not implemented within the suggested two-year time frame (i.e. in 2019), the property may meet the criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2018, a progress report on the implementation of these priority recommendations for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies. If in their assessment insufficient progress is being made, the property will be examined by the Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.

http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2017/whc17-41com-7BAdd-en.pdf

Monday, February 20, 2017

Why you should visit Ohrid in winter

When tourists are gone and winter is in the air, Ohrid becomes again the picturesque lakeside town that has enchanted visitors since the Byzantine Empire.
Actually, it is one of the 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are on both the Cultural and the Natural lists.
But I can’t help thinking about the time when I was on the other side of the lake, on the Albanian shore

The two experiences could not be more different: the touristy, postcard-perfect Macedonian outline of the Ottoman houses and the rough, neglected jumble of concrete on the Albanian side.
Anyone who has visited both sides of Ohrid Lake knows that these two landscapes are not a just lake, but a whole world apart.

By Giulia Blocal
The Ottoman houses on the shore of the lake are veiled in the morning mist, as if they were white ghosts against a blanket of white. This enveloping whiteness hovers over the wooden boats scattered around the lake and swallows the crown of houses ranged around it. Nevertheless, I know how beautiful the view is, having seen countless postcard-perfect pictures of this UNESCO-listed lake, which is one of the oldest in the world.
Ohrid in winter
When tourists are gone and winter is in the air, Ohrid becomes again the picturesque lakeside town that has enchanted visitors since the Byzantine Empire.The pale light of the sun reflects on deserted cobbled streets, and this glowing fog melts in time with the footfalls of the few people wandering around. The ancient stones drenched with rain emanate a wet, winterish smell, which –here and there- is abruptly interrupted by the warm smell of oven-baked bureks. 
The churches are scented with incense. Ohrid is well-known for its churches, which were 365 originally –one for each day of the year- a feature which won it the epithet of ‘the Jerusalem of the Balkans‘.
  
Ohrid’s churches, as well as its architecture, span more than two millennia, but this is just one of the reasons why this enchanting city is recognized by UNESCO. Actually, it is one of the 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are on both the Cultural and the Natural lists.

I didn’t stumble upon any celebrations inside Ohrid’s churches. Rather, I always found a profound silence only occasionally interrupted by footsteps tiptoeing on the marble floorings: a solemn atmosphere I bet you can only find during this time of the year, when the town becomes quiet and idyllic again.

Unlike with my usual ‘travel-style’, I visited a lot of churches when in Ohrid, starting off with an ambitious plan in the early morning, but then slowly adopting a more Balkan approach as the day passed by. 
This implied Turkish coffees, Skopsko beers, some meaty snacks and the ubiquitous Ohrid trout, which is the protagonist of the traditional cuisine of the area and the only thing that the Macedonian shore has in common with the Albanian side across the lake.The area is also well-known for its centuries-old tradition of wine making. Macedonians love to drink, and Ohrid’s porches overlooking the lake are the perfect place to do it. During the summer, all these lakeside cafés are bustling, but now the paved promenade is empty and everything looks more authentic.

Even the accordion player at a fancy restaurant goes for Tose Proeski’s very Macedonian songs rather than the international repertoire of the summer. When the music stops, the only sound I can hear is the rhythmic percussion of waves on sand.
As I watch them coming and going, I can’t help thinking about the time when I was on the other side of the lake, on the Albanian shore. The two experiences could not be more different: the touristy, postcard-perfect Macedonian outline of the Ottoman houses and the rough, neglected jumble of concrete on the Albanian side.
Anyone who has visited both sides of Ohrid Lake knows that these two landscapes are not a just lake, but a whole world apart.

Original source:
http://www.blocal-travel.com/balkans/macedonia-fyrom/ohrid/ohrid-in-winter/

Monday, December 12, 2016

Beautiful Lake Ohrid has it all, from pure spring water to precious icons

After being recommended as one of top 10 destinations for 2017 by Lonely Planet, Ohrid city and lake ohrid region, is continously attracting the worldwide media to write about the amazing place, and inviting tourists to know and visit it.
This time is 'Daily Mail' with a special report on Sunday, writing an article about this amazing destination. Among others, the author writes:

"On our journey to Lake Ohrid, the diamond in this country of many treasures, we crossed part of the ancient Via Egnatia, one of the great Roman military roads of the ancient world – a 696-mile link between Macedonia and Istanbul. Much of the route fell into disuse but some sections are now a walking trail. 
Straddling the Albanian border further south, beautiful Lake Ohrid has it all – pure spring water, some of the country’s most precious icons and, supposedly, a church for each day of the year. Ohrid town, a blend of cobbled old quarter and modern resort, has sandy beaches, lakeside walks and waterside restaurants. It’s blissfully relaxing".  Enjoy the full article:

Great surprises in the ancient land of Alexander: Macedonia's magnificent scenery and intriguing history are beginning to attract visitors

By Dymphna Byrne For The Mail On Sunday
Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and St Paul were among those to stride its paved highways in ancient times; much of its artwork and architecture can rival any in Europe, while the sandy shores of its magnificent inland lake beat many a seaside resort.

Welcome to Macedonia. Landlocked by Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, the country may have a turbulent past. But after centuries of invasions and border disputes, it became an independent state in 1991. With Soviet gloom banished, the magnificent scenery, excellent sporting facilities, intriguing history and archaeological sites are beginning to attract visitors.

On our journey to Lake Ohrid, the diamond in this country of many treasures, we crossed part of the ancient Via Egnatia, one of the great Roman military roads of the ancient world – a 696-mile link between Macedonia and Istanbul. Much of the route fell into disuse but some sections are now a walking trail.
This ancient and modern link threaded through our journey. Our accommodation included two nights in mountain monasteries – St Joakim Osogovski near the Bulgarian border in the east, founded in the 12th Century with its great collection of frescos; and St Jovan Bigorski, near the Albanian border in the west.

Straddling the Albanian border further south, beautiful Lake Ohrid has it all – pure spring water, some of the country’s most precious icons and, supposedly, a church for each day of the year. Ohrid town, a blend of cobbled old quarter and modern resort, has sandy beaches, lakeside walks and waterside restaurants. It’s blissfully relaxing.

Phoenicians, Macedonians, Romans and Christians all left their mark on Ohrid. We walked the ramparts of the 10th Century fortress of Tsar Samuil, built over the 4th Century BC fort of Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. Centuries later, in 2002, a gold funeral mask and glove, possibly dating from the 7th Century BC and now in the Gold Room of Ohrid museum, were found nearby.

So many ancient treasures must lie under the ground of this remarkable country, criss-crossed over the centuries by royalty, pilgrims, peasants and merchants. No wonder curious visitors are now following the archaeologists and historians to this captivating country.

Alexander the Great, warrior king of the ancient world, is Macedonia’s hero. But be careful – the locals are touchy about his birthplace. Having explored the capital Skopje’s atmospheric old Ottoman quarter of cobbled streets, busy stalls, slender minarets and shining cupolas, we crossed to the east quarter. This, with its shining neo-classical buildings, art galleries and statues, is the serious side of town.

Daniel, our guide, stopped at a statue of a man on a rearing horse entitled The Warrior. ‘Who is he?’ he asked. ‘Alexander the Great?’ ‘Good. Where was he born?’ A pause then a hesitant ‘Macedonia?’ ‘Correct. Alexander III of Macedon was born in Pella, which was then in Macedonia, but is now in Greece. He is not Greek, he is Macedonian.’ Phew!

Macedonia is an exhilarating country. The lakes, streams and mountains of its three national parks are perfect for walking, climbing, caving, paragliding, swimming and skiing.

Our last night was spent in the Hotel Molika, high in the Pelister National Park with magnificent mountain views. An evening walk through the Molika pines led us past the remains of First World War trenches; a dark and unexpected reminder of the spread of the ‘war to end all wars’ and another fascinating historical element in an enthralling country.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-4019786/Great-surprises-ancient-land-Alexander-Macedonia-s-magnificent-scenery-intriguing-history-beginning-attract-visitors.html#ixzz4ScXo8jtF

Monday, October 31, 2016

Lonely Planet ranked Ohrid one of the 10 best destinations for 2017

Every year Lonely Planet puts out their new book Best In Travel. For 2017 the little-known city of Ohrid in Macedonia sneaks in at number five, renowned for its position overlooking an extraordinary blue lake.

5. Ohrid, Macedonia

Overlooking the extraordinarily blue waters of its eponymous lake, Ohrid enjoys a stunning position that is best viewed from a boat. From the water you’ll see the town’s terracotta roofs broken up by centuries-old church spires (the city claims once to have had 365) and overlooked by the turreted walls of Car Samoil’s Castle.
Ohrid has transformed itself from Macedonia’s religious centre to its busiest holiday resort, and its beaches are the best by far in this otherwise landlocked nation. However, a planned new lake-shore development will likely change this sleepy town forever, making now a great time to go.

Read the original article:  http://www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel/cities?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=best%20in%20travel#5

Monday, August 29, 2016

Project Milestone- The boundaries of potential World Heritage property

The Albanian National Council of Restoration approves the boundaries of the potential World Heritage property The National Council of Restoration under the Albanian Ministry of Culture through a decision on 25 May 2016 approved the proposal for delineation of the boundary of the potential extension of the transboundary World Heritage property and its buffer zone. Based on the results of the joint field mission: ICOMOS, IUCN, ICM, NAPA, RAPA, Municipality of Pogradec and Institute of Archaeology carried out in March 2016 as a contribution to the identification of the boundaries, the National Council of Restoration decided to approve the proposal of the boundary of the potential transboundary World Heritage property that includes: the waterline of the Lake Ohrid, cultural features of the landscape of the Lin Peninsula and Lin Village, areas critical to the scenic integrity of the Lake Ohrid (Drilon, coastal landscapes to the North of Lin), pile dwelling areas. This is a great milestone the in preparation of a nomination file to extend the World Heritage property "Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region" to the Albanian side.

 **
ARRITJE E PROJEKTIT
Këshilli kombëtar shqiptar i restaurimit miraton kufijtë e zonës së mundshme për Pasuri Botërore të Uneskos

Këshilli kombëtar i Restaurimeve në varësi të Ministrisë së Kulturës, përmes një vendimi të datës 25 maj 2016 ka miratuar propozimin për përcaktimin e kufijve të zgjerimit të mundshëm të pasurisë ndërkufitare të Trashëgimisë Botërore të Liqenit të Ohrit dhe zonës së saj. Bazuar në rezultatet e misionit faktëmbledhës të kryer nga ICOMOS, IUCN, ICM, AKZM, RAPA, Bashkia e Pogradecit dhe Instituti i Arkeologjisë kryer në mars të vitit 2016, Këshilli Kombëtar i Restaurimeve vendosi të miratojë propozimin e kufirit që do të përfshijë: vijën e Bregut të Liqenit, veçoritë Kulturore të pejsazhit të Gadishullit të Linit dhe Fshati Lin, Zonat kritike për integritetin skenik të Liqenit (Driloni, peisazhi i bregut në veri të Linit) si dhe zonat ku janë identifikuar vendbanimet palafite. Ky është një hap i madh për përgatitjen e dosjes nominale për të zgjeruar pasurinë e Trashëgimisë Botërore të Rajonit të Liqenit të Ohrit me pjesën shqiptare.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Summer issue of "Protecting Lake Ohrid" Newsletter is now published

The second newsletter "Protecting Lake Ohrid" on behalf of the Project:"Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region", is now published and is available in three languages:
Albanian http://whc.unesco.org/document/143548
English  http://whc.unesco.org/document/143550
Macedonian http://whc.unesco.org/document/143546

In this edition published in Summer 2016, besides information  about meetings, activities and and updates on the progress of the Lake Ohrid project, the reader will get to know the winners of social media Photo Contest:  http://lakeohrid.blogspot.al/2016/05/10-winners-of-ourlakeohrid-social-media.html which lasted from 7 March- 7 April 2016 with hashtag #OurLakeOhrid, on Facebook and Instagram with almost 450 submission competing for "Top Ten". They were voted not only for the good quality photo, but also for the story behind it.  The social media competition helped at raising awareness about the unique values of Ohrid Lake. 

Inside this issue:
  • a forward by  Ms. Lydia Topuzovska, General Secretary of National Commission to UNESCO of the FYR of Macedonia
  •  interview with Zhuljeta Harasani, Director General, Directorate of Strategic Planning for Cultural Heritage and Diversity
  •  information on project meetings,  the fourth and the fifth Management Planning Workshop as well as the next steps & important upcoming dates;
  •  and some original articles on tourism aspects of Struga, Macedonia and hospitality in Tushemisht, Albania.  
The third edition will be published in Autumn and will bring more news on activities, and developments in the frame of this 3 year project, financed by European Union and Albanian Ministry of Environment and implemented by UNESCO. More is to come, stay with us!