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The village of Radozhda – Struga region

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Radozhda is located at an altitude of 725m and it takes the western edge of the Ohrid Lake, ten kilometers south of Struga and two kilometers away from the border with the Republic of Albania.

The village is approximately 10 centuries old, but the written evidence from the documents of Tsar Stefan Dusan have the village listed under the name Roduzhda. Later, in the Municipality Records of the Ohrid Sanjak from 1583 it is listed Rardohodza, and in the handwriting of Branislav Nushik in 1892 it is named Radoozhda. The village was formed in the mountain meadows at the distance of a kilometer to the west. The proximity of the lake, as an important source of food, forced the villagers to move close to the shores and form the new settlement there.

Radozhda is abundant with culture and natural sights. The village has seven churches, of which the central church St. Nicolas was built in the 18th century. The other churches are: the oldest cave church St. Archangel Michael, which dates from the 14th century, and from the newer churches there are St. Petka, St. Nedela, St. Sreda, St. Illias and St. Mary. A recent sight is the 22 – meters tall cross, which is placed at the entrance of the village.

Another important sight is a preserved part of the important road Via Igatia – the winter track. It was passing through the far south regions, over Albania and Macedonia and in winter when the closer regions were covered with snow, this track was used. Almost 100m of this road have been preserved and this part was named by the villagers as cobbled pavement. From the natural sights the lake is a rarity of its own as one of the oldest lakes in the world. Another rarity is the rock over the village which is 70-80m tall and it is 300m long.

In one of the most beautiful regions on the west coast of the Ohrid Lake, over the village of Radozhda, in the natural caves placed one on top of the other, there is a cave church, dedicated to military commander of the Bodiless Army - the Archangel Michael.

The bigger part of the frescoes discovered there is dated from the 14th century, and a special attention should be paid to the only preserved composition from the 13th century, with the display “The Miracle in Hona” – painted in honor of the patron of the church. The icon painter who portrayed this character presented himself not only like a gifted craftsman, but also as an advanced creator of new unfamiliar art ideals – injecting inner suggestibility in the character.

This cave church was icon-painted again in the 14th century, when in Ohrid and the surrounding many monuments erected, accompanied with the boom of painter workshops. There is no doubt that the more recent layer of icon – painting of St. Archangel Michael in the cave church is one of the last works of the Ohrid Painters School in the 14th century.

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