Struga | history & culture

Struga | history & cultureStruga | history & culture

Struga in antiquity

Struga is an old settlement where traces of an old civilization dating even from the Neolithic period can be found. Its excellent locality enables the town to become part of the big road communication Via Egnatia connecting two Roman Empires, the east one and the west one. In the ancient period it was called Enhalon which in translation means eel. This name is not by accident. Namely, here on the inflow of river Crn Drim in Lake Ohrid, the longest way of the eel starts, which leads to the Sargasso Sea where the fish satisfies its biological needs for continuing its kind.

It has been known since the time of Ylirians, and many of old writers of traveling guides have noted that Struga was a very vivid city, with developed trade,great markets and the houses of the wealthy citizens were always beautiful and decorative.

Early middle ages and the Slavs in Struga

When the Slavs came, the name of the town was changed, and it was named by its current name, which in translation means hunting place. Struga as well, like all towns in Macedonia, during its history had different rulers and each one of them, on his own way, left part of his culture.

There are several cultural monuments in Struga and in its vicinity such as the Monastery of Kalista, a few kilometers away from Struga, lying on the shore of Lake Ohrid. It is believed that it dates from the 16th century, with frescoes from the 14th and the 15th centuries. The Church Sveta Bogorodica (Virgin Mary) in the village of Vranista, is believed to be the one where Tzar Samoil was crowned. The church has many doors and far fewer windows and often the people call it "the kings church" especially at nighttime when it's cold.

The church of Saint George is also located in the town; built on top of Samuil's church, it has many icons from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. Near the village of Radolista, a basilica from the 4th century has been discovered, with a mosaic.

The small town of Struga has important cultural significance for Macedonia, as it is the birthplace of the poets Konstantin and Dimitar Miladinov and the Albanian activist Ibrahim Temo. The main event of the cultural life in Struga is the world's largest poetry gathering, Struga Poetry Evenings, which lauerats included several Nobel Prize for Literature winners such as Joseph Brodsky, Eugenio Montale, Pablo Neruda, Seamus Heaney and many others.

Struga's old architecture, dating from the 18th and 19th century is also a cultural highlight.