Lake Dojran

According to an old legend, a Macedonian girl named Dojrana was accustomed to fetching water from special springs that had to be sealed following use. Yet at the very moment Dojrana was filling her jugs, she heard that her beloved had come back from the army, and forgot to seal the springs. Lake Dojran was, the legend says, the result of her unthinking euphoria.

Due to the Mediterranean climate of southern Macedonia and the proximity of the balmy Aegean not far to the south, vegetation starts blooming in the Dojran area in early spring and continues to do so until late autumn. And so though Lake Dojran is only 10 meters (30 feet) deep at its deepest point, it is brimming with life.

Owing to the large quantity of weeds that grow in the lake and the large number of plankton on its surface, Dojran’s waters are considered to be very beneficial for treating rheumatism, skin diseases and respiratory diseases, and many tourists come for precisely this reason.

Characteristic of the lake are the fishing boats and the fishermen’s huts standing on stilts above the surface of the water. The method of fishing here is very original and very old, performed with the help of the cormorants, gulls and other birds that fly above the lake, directing the fish into the baskets where they are gathered in huge quantities.

The father of history himself, Herodotus, noted Dojran’s great richness in fish way back in the 5th century B.C.E. According to him, the lake was so teeming with fish that if you put an empty basket in the water at night, by morning it would be full. These days, the best known types of fish are red-finned carp, trout, perch, sheatfish, eel and claw-fish.

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