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Struga

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Struga

Struga [1] is a city in Western Macedonia, nicknamed "city of poetry." The population is 63,376 (Struga municipality).

Understand[edit]

Struga has always been in the shadow of Ohrid, as Ohrid has more monuments and better preserved houses. But Struga can still be a fun daytrip from Ohrid if one combines it with a trip to the villages on the west coast of lake Ohrid where main sight, aside from the nice quiet beaches, are the cave churches. Unlike Ohrid which is situated on hills, Struga is flat, spread around Drim river. It is a great place to relax with a cup of coffee by the river.

History[edit]

In ancient time the city was known as Enchalon, which means eel (fishing eels in Drim river was very popular in Struga up until recently). The Via Egnatia road that connected Rome with Thesaloniki and Constantinople passed through Struga. The name Struga was used for the first time in a document in the 11th c, but it originates from the 7th c. The Byzantine travel writer Ana Komnina visited Struga in the 11th century and named it “City of 100 bridges”. While Ohrid was always cultural and religious centre, Struga played the role of trading centre of the region. It still does and a visit on market day can be fun. In the 19th century Struga played important part in the national revival as it was home town of Konstantin and Dimitar Miladinovi, brothers who collected and published a collection of folk songs (named "Folk songs from Macedonia") in 1862. Konstantin Miladinov wrote Sorrow for the south (also translated as 'Longing for the South') during his studies in Moscow. Today, in his honour, the biggest poetry festivals in the world is held in Struga every year.

Curiosities[edit]

  • The river Drim, which enters Ohrid lake in the St.Naum monastery, comes out in Struga after going through the whole lake.
  • 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 Vevčani village has been held on 14th & 15th of January for over 1500 years.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

There are direct buses from Skopje and other cities in Macedonia to Struga. Also there are buses to Tirana, Albania. Ohrid is just 15km away and there are frequent buses between them, a taxi ride from Ohrid to Struga would cost you same as the bus ticket (50 MKD). Telephone of the bus station: 046-782770

[Aug 2014: Actually no. The bus ticket from Struga to Ohrid is 40d. If you want to get a taxi it is normally 50d per person but it is a shared taxi - they will wait until they get four or preferably five people before making the journey. It is slightly more expensive to go from Ohrid to Struga via taxi and not apparent why.]

Bus from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia[edit]

Eurobus is an international coach operator based in Struga that has almost daily tours from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia. Prices from 70€ and possible to get student discount.

Get around[edit]

Struga is small and easiest to get around is by walking. To visit the cave churches on the west coast of Ohrid lake take a taxi or check out the bus schedule. A 15 minutes walk along the lake will take you to Kalishta village and cave monastery.

See[edit][add listing]

Unfortunately Struga has lost most of its old houses and atmosphere. Still one can enjoy a pleasant walk around the city and spend an hour or two here.

  • Old Bazaar is a straight street, and today has more cafes than shops. It ends with a lively market. On the end of it after the crossroad is St.George Church a good example of revival period architecture built in 1835. The church is most famous for the St.George Icon painted in 1267, and considered miraculous as it was found in the lake. The only part of the city which has managed to preserve couple of old houses and atmosphere is along Goce Delcev Street left of the old bazaar. It starts with a lovely small stone house which once was a residence of church officials (notice the small altar of the chapel that once was in the house). Towards the end of the street there are couple of traditional houses preserved, including the so-called island house as it stands alone in the middle of a small square.
  • Halveti Teke - is one of the most representative examples of Ottoman architecture in Struga and it is protected by the Macedonian Cultural Memorial Institute. The tekke (Muslim monastery) was established by Hasan Baba (Asan Dede) in the beginning of the 18th century and consists of five rooms in the shape of the letter T.
  • Other interesting examples of traditional architecture can be seen on Braka Miladinovci and Niko Nestor Streets right from the bazaar. The first one begins with Miladinovci House in which the brothers were born and lived and today it serves as a museum dedicated to them. Right opposite of it is Vangel Kodzoman Gallery one of the most famous Macedonian painters of the 20th c. Checking out his paintings will show you Struga which unfortunately does not exist any more. On Niko Nestor Street check out *Nikola Nezlobinski Nature Museum with fauna from the area including some extinct species. The museum was founded in 1928 by Nikola Nezlobinski, a Russian doctor who lived and worked in Struga after the October Revolution.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • "Struga Poetry Evenings - is held in the second half of August for over 40 years now. There are two rewards given, one for lifetime achievement, and one for a young poet (if you have just published your first book of poetry send it to UNESCO, as they decide who gets this award).

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Klimetica, Tel: 389-755-178.
  • T'ga Za Jug, Tel: 389-788-741.
  • Dardania, Tel: 389-785-088.
  • Sv.Nikola, Goce Delcev 88, 0038970362720. Macedonian national restaurant where you can find the most amazing national food. The location of this restaurant is very good, next to the river Drim, where you can enjoy food and relaxing music.  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

Same as in Ohrid, accommodation is easy in Struga as many people rent rooms starting from 300 denars per person per night. Here is a list of some hotels in Struga:

  • Inex Drim, Tel: 389-782-611. This is a hotel that is perfectly matching with the old architecture of this town and the old bazaar around it. It is on the bank of the Drim River. There are 50 rooms inside, a few restaurants, a night club, a casino, an automatic bowling room, indoor and outdoor pools, a congress center, and a tennis court.
  • Royal, Tel: +389-46-784-136, [3] This new hotel is one of the finest in Struga. It is located within 5 minutes walk from the town center and the town market. The hotel disposes to its guests 31 rooms (single, double and triple), equipped with everything necessary to make your stay complete, a restaurant and a summer terrace-garden.
  • Montenegro, Tel: +389 46 780 330 [4] New family-run hotel on a great location.

Get out[edit]

West coast of Ohrid Lake

  • Kalishta cave monastery
  • St. Atanasie cave church
  • Radozda village and St. Mihail cave church

Away from the lake:



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