With beautiful natural landscape and a plethora of ancient buildings, the south-western city of Ohrid in Macedonia hosts around a quarter of a million tourists a year. The ‘Macedonian Jerusalem’ is undergoing a renaissance, with the St Panteleimon monastery to be reconstructed and the Roman basilica having been excavated so far this century, while the local tour guide ‘Slave’ informed me that the building work happening near these buildings is for a research centre for archaeologists and historians to do more study on the city. If Macedonia gains EU membership in the coming years – and judging by significant investment across the country, it’s certainly hoping to – there will surely soon see a greater influx of EU tourists to the country, especially given that a wave of travellers are raving about the stunning lake view/historical porn/friendly people on their blogs. (Cough cough.)
My newfound friend Jane and I stumbled across some derelict buildings when we met up in Ohrid. With a lakefront view, classically inspired columns, and a rounded wall with brightly coloured glass circles embedded into it, the area was probably once home to a flashy hotel, with one of the buildings not pictured having clearly once been a restaurant (we were spooked after seeing a man in the central building – it later transpired that that part of the development is experiencing a new lease of life as a very run down cash exchange place). For whatever reason, it’s missing out on the post-Yugoslavia tourist boom.
While run-down, graffiti’d in areas, and stripped of many of its furnishings, it’s eerily untouched by urban explorers or troublemakers. I thought it was actually quite pretty in its own abandoned way, so took quite a few pictures of it. And, in case you’ve ever wanted to look at actually quite pretty in their own abandoned way Macedonian buildings, here they are. In case you haven’t, you’re probably not alone, but they’re here regardless.