St.Sophia - Ohrid

The church is dedicated to St. Sophia i.e Christ as divine wisdom, and was raised on the grounds of an early Christian basilica. In the time of the Macedonian tsar Samoil, was used as a cathedral patriarchy church, who towards the end of the 10th century moved its capitol from Prespa to Ohrid.

Today's frescoes had been drawn after the fall of Samuil's empire, and that is the time of the archbishop of Ohrid Leon (1037 - 1054), who renovated and expanded this cathedral temple. In the 11th century, St. Sophia was a "large church" of the Ohrid archbishopric under whose dioceses, in that time, was the territory from Danube to the Albanian shores and the Thessalonica bay.

During the next centuries this church organization was a very respected one among the orthodox world, and Ohrid archbishops its Justinian legacy up. Her throne was seated by the most glorious people from the eastern ecumene. In the second halve of the 15th century it was turned into a mosque and that is when most of the changes were made.

All the frescoes were covered with lime , the dome was torn down and it was brought to the same level as the roof, and concerning the old altar marble fence with plastic decoration was removed, and above the northwestern dome a minaret was built. The former pulpit of the church in the naos, received a function of a Turkish mimbar.

More than sixty painted figures of the most famous patriarchs, bishops and priest assistants are set up on the lover areas of the altar space. The most numerous on the most imposing place, on the central part of the altar are the pictures of the heads of the Constantinople patriarchy: St. Vasilius the Great, St. Jovan Zlatoust and St. Grigorius Bogoslov, painted on the lover part, between the windows of the main apse.

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