Local stories and mysteries

365 churches for each of the 365 days of the year

The legend says that in Ohrid there are 365 churches, one for each day of the year. But, why are there so many churches? And precisely, why in Ohrid?

Is it some sort of a code, a sign that Ohrid is a holly place as Jerusalem is?  

“When God created the world”- it is written in the Talmud,” ten signs of wisdom came down to this world. Nine of them were taken in the land of Israel, and one sign was thrown in the other part of the world”.
There isn’t only one holly town, only one Jerusalem, one spiritual temple, but that there are few of them is a believe that more and more prevails, and each of these spiritual, holly places has its own characteristic signs. 365 churches for each of the 365 days of the year. It seems that is more than a sign! 

According to the legends, the 365 churches in Ohrid are placed in a shape of two crosses- one bigger and one smaller. What is the purpose of that? Is it that the enlightened people wanted to leave signs of their presence by the Ohrid Lake? 

On the east is Gorica, on the west is Lin, on the south is the hill where the monastery St. Naum is, and on the north the small monastery of St. Stefan Pacir above Gorica. According to the legend when these four churches were built on the four coasts of the lake ropes were stretched out. The ropes created a cross. The side of this imaginary cross that stretches towards west east is 14km long, and the horizontal one from Lin to Gorica, is almost half of it. The four points of this imaginary cross are the ones that should be noticed in the landscape and to be acknowledged as divine marks even from the sky. 365 churches, placed in a shape of two crosses, a bigger one and a smaller one, as a sign… But, what type of sign? And what about the other signs? For example when you make comparison of the map of Jerusalem in Palestina and the map of old Ohrid there is a great concurrence on the southern and on the eastern side of the towns.

Vivid imagination of individuals or simply pure architectural copying of the towns that is similar in configuration of the space, frequently present in the history? Who knows?

It is interesting that in the old maps, Ohrid is known under different names, says the researcher Milosh Lindro and claims that because of such mysterious connection of Ohrid and the Christianity, almost 1000 years, western spiritual and political centers sent their people of confidence in special missions in the land of the people of the lake.

The first mission of this type is the mission of bishop Giovanni da Gaeta in 1053. In Ohrid, Giovanni  found and took with him the relics of the saint Erazmus, but he also found some mysterious books. When he returned to Rome he completed his biography, and soon after that he became a pope Gelasius the second.

Here is another assumption that all the church missioners also came to Ohrid to pay obeisance to the sacral space.


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