From the foundation’s mortar to the heavy roof, St. Sophia Church illuminates centuries of an area ruled by Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, reflecting the diversity of religious life that people have experienced in the area for over 1,000 years. Built on the foundations of a 5th century Roman church, rulers have continually destroyed and rebuilt the structure, reusing materials from previous buildings. Byzantine influence covers the walls of the church, displayed in a muted array of fresco paintings. When the Ottoman empire moved into the region in the 15th century, they converted the building into a mosque, plastering over the frescos and constructing minarets on the north chapel. Remnants of the additions made throughout the Byzantine empire can be found in the pavement, crafted using rubble from the preexisting structure. The building’s changes over time and reuse of old materials reflect different ways of life for people living along the shores of Lake Ohrid.
Feb 28, 2019
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