Ohrid is a city in North Macedonia and is the seat of the Ohrid Municipality. It is the largest city on Lake Ohrid and the eighth-largest city in the country, with the municipality recording a population of over 42,000 inhabitants as of 2002. Ohrid is known for once having 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as a “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments, and tourism is predominant. It is located southwest of Skopje, west of Resen and Bitola. In 1979 and in 1980 respectively, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Ohrid is one of only 28 sites that are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage that are Cultural as well as Natural sites.
The earliest inhabitants of the widest Lake Ohrid region were the Illyrian tribes of Enchele and Dassaretii. According to a tradition the town, called Lychnidos (Ancient Greek: Λυχνιδός) in classical antiquity, was founded by the Phoenician king of Thebes, Cadmus, who, banished from Thebes, in Boeotia, fled to the Enchele to the north and founded Lychnidus on the shore of Lake Ohrid and Budva in Montenegro. Lychnidos was the capital city of the Illyrian Dassaretii.
According to recent excavations this was a town as early as of the era of king Philip II of Macedon. They conclude that Samuil’s Fortress was built on the place of an earlier fortification, dated to 4th century BC. In 210 BCE, Philip V of Macedon raided a number of southern Illyrian communities. He maintained a garrison at Lychnidus but lost control of the settlement in 208 BCE, when its commander joined local leader Aeropus and invited the Dardani in the region.
During the Roman conquests, towards the end of 3rd and the beginning of 2nd century BC, Lychnidus is mentioned as a town near or within Dassaretia. In Roman times it was located along the Via Egnatia, which connected the Adriatic port Dyrrachion (present-day Durrës) with Byzantium.Archaeological excavations (e.g., the Polyconch Basilica from 5th century) prove early adoption of Christianity in the area. Bishops from Lychnidos participated in multiple ecumenical councils.[