6 Dec




Resen is a bustling city, snug between the Prespa and Ohrid Lakes, where you begin to feel the smell of the Mediterranean and the surrounding colourful landscape. Resen, surrounded by the tranquillity of the water and the tempting succulent scent of crisp and juicy apples, tells us a story that heightens all our senses and brings us back to ourselves, to the rebirth of our spirit, to the Renaissance of the soul.

Resen is a small and charming town with significant cultural landmarks, such as the “Drаgi Tozija” Cultural House, which was built from 1905 to 1912 as the saray-palace of Ahmed Niyazi Bey, one of the leaders of the Young Turk Revolution. Today, it houses the Resen ceramic colony, home to many world-famous ceramic artists, and the permanent exhibition of the artwork of the Macedonian painter Keraca Visulcheva. The architecture of the palace is breath-taking. The locals are doing everything they can to protect the rich historic fabric and withstand the ravages of time. On your way out of the saray-palace, you cannot stop thinking how the city has an exceptionally rich heritage of historic buildings, still unknown to many, and how the locals care deeply about their little town.

Leaving Resen, you head off on a fascinating drive through a spectacular landscape conveying all the hues of nature, mesmerized by the vast reflection of clouds drifting on the glass horizon of the Prespa Lake. From here on, the beauties of nature seem to feel uplifting and nourishing for the spirit.

First stop – the village of Kurbinovo and the 12th-century church St. George (Sv. Gjorgji), renowned for its fresco of the Archangel Gabriel, commonly known as ‘the Angel of Kurbinovo.’ Traces of the influence of the artistic mastery of the 12th-century Byzantine fresco-painting, later on, can be seen in the world-famous Italian Renaissance cathedrals of Tuscany. – This is a story the locals know by heart and share proudly with visitors. Not far below the country road, we were pleasantly greeted by a goat herd that seemed strikingly curious about our camera lens. They skilfully captured our attention and very soon became the stars of our travelogue.

Next stop – the village of Ljubojno. The beautiful village charmed us even more when we learned the two legends of how it got its name. The first legend tells a Shakespearean ‘Romeo and Juliet’ love story but with a happy ending: two feuding families forbade the romance of their two children, so the boy and the girl ran away and settled in a new neighbourhood, which they called Ljubojno (literally: feeling or showing love). The second legend is about Ljuba, the first innkeeper in the village, who served excellent wine. Customers would go into her inn and loudly say: “Ljubo, vino” (Ljubo, [give us] wine). Today, Ljubojno is a village with traditional architecture and several monasteries that you can only admire, holding the Prespa Lake in the palm of its hand.

Time seems to have stopped in these places, but when travelling through them, time seems to fly. Somehow, these tranquil little places leave a lasting impression on your soul, vividly reminding you of the rich cultural heritage of our country!

As Goran Stefanovski put it:

“You can’t ask me not to feel part of the deepest and oldest world when Heraclea is my home; when Ohrid is my home; when Via Egnatia, the only motorway that existed in Europe between the 5th and 15th centuries, traversed along my grandmother’s house in Bitola. You can’t say that everything is on your side and nothing on ours.”


*The visit to the Prespa region was organised within the scope of the EU with You in Resen Project.

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