Prespa lake / Golem Grad Island / Saint Gjorgi monastery / Resen museum

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Prespa Lake

The Prespa lake is second largest lake in Macedonia. The Prespa lake is settled in the south-western part of the Republic of Macedonia and lies in the Prespa valley, between the Resen field and Baba, Suva Gora and Galicica mountain. South - eastern of the lake Golem Grad is the point that connect the Macedonian - Greek - Albanian border.

The lake of Prespa covers and area of 274 sq km, of which 176,8 sq km are in Macedonia, 49,4 sq km are in Albania and 47,8 sq km are in Greece. Prespa lake lies of an attitude of 853 above the sea level.

The Prespa lake is contained from Golema Prespa and Mala Prespa and the second one Mala Prespa as a gulf, deeply enters in south-west between the Suva Gora and Galicica mountain. The length of the Prespa lake is 28,6 km and the width is 16,9 km. The approximately depth of the Prespa lake is 18,75 meters and the deepest point is at Golubino depression, 54 meters. On the bottom of the lake there are more depressions like, Nivicka, Konjska and Stenjska. The coast of the western part of the lake is fill of cliffs, while the eastern part of fill of beautiful sand beaches.

Prespa lake, as part of Galicica National Park, its rare plant and animal life that have been preserved through the centuries, are strictly protected. Boat trips may be taken around the island, and escorted land trips are available under the auspices of the park authorities. The Prespa lake, most important water sources are, Golema Reka, Brajcinska Reka and Kranska and the Malo Prespa lake, that is 3 meters above the Golemo Prespa lake. So through the place Perovo the water from the Malo Prespa lake flows, in the Golemo Prespa lake.

The water of the Prespa lake has it's highest temperature in August, 24,3 degrees, while in the winter is the coldest and sometimes may freeze. The color of the water is variable yellow-green and heavenly blue.

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Golem Grad Island

Also known as Snake Island, is an island located in Prespa Lake. It is about 18 hectares big and includes ancient ruins from Roman, Neolithic, and Hellenic times. It also includes six churches and monasteries, and much more. Apart from the preserved church of St. Peter, the attention is drawn by the medieval church dedicated to St. Demetrius, as well as the early Christian basilica from the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century, where remnants of a floor mosaic have been found. It is home to many endemic plants, rare birds, and many snakes.

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Saint Gjorgi monastery in Kurbinovo

In the Prespa region, near the picturesque village of Kurbinovo, embraced by the mountain Pelister there is the church dedicated to St, George. According to the time of its fresco-decoration, it is supposed that the church was built in the year 1191. There are still no other reliable documented data on it.

In the 19th century, the church in Kurbinovo was renovated, and in the first decades of the 20th century, a wooden ceiling and the porch were built, and the southern and the northern entrances were closed and transformed into two windows. What impresses and amazes in this church is its fresco-painting, which, coupled by the one in the church Sveti Panteleimon near Skopje, represents an original and a peak of the artistic mastery in the times of the art of Komnens in Macedonia.

On the west facade, there are visible remnants of frescoes with depictions of female and male characters in full size, vested in imperial clothes, as well as a figure of a church nobleman. It is most probably a depiction of the people who built the original small church.The fresco-painting in the interior of the church is divided into three zones. The drawing is expressive, dynamic, with accentuated slenderness, vivaciousness and movement of the painted figures. Typical is the depiction of the drapes that are vivacious in baroque style, with a great number of animated folds. The frescoes illustrate scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. In the altar apse, the composition Annunciation is painted, that has made this church exclusive and a part of the annals of the peak achievements of the Byzantine fresco-painting. The depiction of the Archangel Gabriel stands out in it. It has almost become a symbol and landmark of the church in Kurbinovo. Interesting and rare are the depictions of Jesus Christ and the patron of the church, St. George, from the north and the south wall, with a monumental size. Outstanding among the frescoes are the portraits of Ana and its daughter Mary, the Mother of God, painted in the lower zone of the south wall of the naos, as well as the portraits of the Macedonian enlighteners Cyril and Methodius, in the altar space. The depiction of St. Methodius is its oldest portrait known in the entire Slavic-Byzantine world. Opposite from them, there is the figure of St. Clement of Ohrid.

The fresco-painting in the temple St. George is a synthesis of infusible into a single entity, a junction of its pinnacle elegance and the high expressiveness.

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Resen museum

The Resen museum is settled in the Resen castle, which was built in 1908 by Ahmed Niyazi Bey. It would give you the feeling that you were in France, due to the fact that Ahmed Niyazi Bey was educated in Paris and made this castle in French style. This castle now houses the Resen Museum. The museum of Resen contains a great collection of archaeological and ethnological finds from the Resen area.

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