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Struga Host City

The name of the town Struga was used for the first time in a document in the 11th AC, but it originates from the 7th AC. Struga is situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid.

The Lake Ohrid region, a mixed World Heritage property covering 83,350 ha, was inscribed for its natural values in 1979 and its cultural values a year later. Lake Ohrid has existed continuously for approximately two to three million years as a deep and ancient lake of tectonic origin. Its waters conserve over 200 species of plants and animals unique to the lake, including algae, turbellarian flatworms, snails, crustaceans, and 17 endemic fish species, including two trout species as a rich birdlife.

In ancient times the city of Struga was known as Enchalon, which means eel (fishing eels in Drim river used to be very popular in Struga). The Via Egnatia road that connected Rome with Thessaloniki and Constantinople passed through Struga.

Struga is also a place of important cultural significance in North Macedonia, as it is the birthplace of the poets Konstantin and Dimitar Miladinovi. These brothers collected and published a collection of folk songs (named “Folk songs from Macedonia”) in 1862. In addition, Konstantin Miladinov wrote Sorrow for the south (also translated as ‘Longing for the South’) during his studies in Saint Petersburg. Today, in his honor, the biggest poetry festival in the world is held in Struga every year.

Fun facts:

  • The river Drim, which enters Ohrid lake in the St. Naum monastery, comes out in Struga after going through the whole lake.
  • Before the Drim had been blocked by several dams downstream of Struga, Lake Ohrid was home to a large population of eels. When they were leaving the lake en masse every fall, the annual run of the eels, to spawn in the Atlantic Ocean, was a significant event in Struga, where weirs were constructed to catch the fish.
  • Vlado Maleski, a poet from Struga, wrote the Macedonian national anthem “Denes nad Makedonija se raga.” It was sung for the first time in Struga.
  • The Vasilica carnival in VevĨani village is organized each year on the 14th & 15th of January for over 1500 years.