About Ohrid

Ohrid is a city on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid in the Republic of Macedonia. It has about 42,000 inhabitants, making it the seventh largest city in the country. The city is the seat of Ohrid Municipality. Ohrid is notable for having once had 365 churches, one for each day of the year and has been referred to as a "Jerusalem".[2][3] The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments, and tourism is predominant. It is located southwest of Skopje, west of Resen and Bitola, and east of Elbasan and Tirana in Albania. In 1980, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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Its first known bishop was Zosimus (c. 344). In the sixth century it was destroyed by an earthquake (Procopius, Historia Arcana, xv), but was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian (527-565). The new city was made the capital of the prefecture, or department, of Illyricum, and for the sake of political convenience it was made also the ecclesiastical capital of the Illyrian or southern Danubian parts of the empire (southern Hungary, Bosnia, Serbia, Transylvania, Moldavia, Wallachia). Justinian was unable to obtain immediately for this step a satisfactory approbation from Pope Agapetus or Pope Silverius. The Emperor's act, besides being a usurpation of ecclesiastical authority, was a detriment to the ancient rights of Thessalonica as representative of the Apostolic See in the Illyrian regions. Nevertheless, the new diocese claimed, and obtained in fact, the privilege of autocephalia, or ecclesiastical independence, and through its long and chequered history retained, or struggled to retain, this character. Pope Vigilius, under pressure from Emperor Justinian, recognized the exercise of patriarchal rights by the Metropolitan of Justiniana Prima within the broad limits of its civil territory, but Gregory the Great treated him as no less subject than other Illyrian bishops to the Apostolic See (Duchesne, op. cit., 233-237).

 

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