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Flag of Struga
Coat of arms of Struga
Coat of arms
Struga is located in Republic of Macedonia
Location within Macedonia
Country  Macedonia
Municipality Struga Municipality
 • Mayor Ziadin Sela (DPA)
 • Total 483 km2 (186 sq mi)
Elevation 693 m (2,273 ft)
Population (2002)
 • Total 16,559
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 6330
Area code(s) +389 46
Car plates
Struga car plate

Struga (Macedonian: Струга , Albanian: Strugë) is a town and popular tourist destination situated in the south-western region of the Republic of Macedonia, lying on the shore of Lake Ohrid. The town of Struga is the seat of Struga Municipality.


  • Etymology 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • History 4
  • Culture 5
  • Tourism 6
  • International relations 7
    • Twin towns – Sister cities 7.1
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The origins for the name Struga come from Old Church Slavonic language. There are three theories regarding the name, all of which are supported by the local inhabitants of the Struga region.[1]

The first theory is that the name of the town originated from the geographic location of the town. Located at the foot of an open valley and subject to a windy climate, it was suggested that the name originates from the old Macedonian term: струже ветер (it blows wind). The second theory says that the name of the city origins from the old Macedonian word straga, meaning a cross. The old name of the city is Ενχαλών Enchalon, the ancient Greek word for eel, a kind of fish that lives in the Lake Ohrid. The third theory comes from the Old Macedonian word str'g which means water branch.


Struga is located in an open valley on Lake Ohrid. The Black Drin river starts at the lake and divides the city.


As of the 2002 census, the city of Struga has 16,559 inhabitants and the ethnic composition was the following:[2]

  • Macedonians, 8,901 (53.7%)
  • Albanians, 5,293 (32.0%)
  • Turks, 907 (5.5%)
  • Vlachs, 550 (3.3%)
  • others, 908 (5.5%)

The mother tongues of the city's residents were the following:

  • Macedonian, 9,665 (58.4%)
  • Albanian, 5,615 (34.0%)
  • Turkish, 823 (5.0%)
  • Aromanian, 271 (1.6%)
  • others, 185 (1.1%)

The religious composition of the city was the following:

  • Orthodox Christians, 9,197 (55.5%)
  • Muslims, 7,075 (42.7%)
  • others, 287 (1.7%)
City of Struga population according to ethnic group 1948-2002[3]
census 1948 census 1953 census 1961 census 1971 census 1981 census 1994 census 2002
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Macedonians .. .. 2,194 43.9 3,423 49.9 6,215 54.2 8,002 55.9 9,433 58.9 8,901 53.8
Albanians .. .. 1,109 22.2 1,649 24.1 3,508 30.6 4,149 29.0 4,330 27.0 5,293 32.0
Turks .. .. 927 18.6 994 14.5 730 6.4 832 5.8 887 5.5 927 5.5
Romani .. .. 141 2.82 0 0.0 12 0.1 421 2.9 114 0.7 97 0.6
Vlachs .. .. 536 10.7 0 0.0 0 0.0 337 2.35 462 2.9 550 3.3
Serbs .. .. 42 0.9 54 0.8 106 0.9 84 0.6 91 0.6 72 0.4
Bosnians .. .. 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 16 0.1
Others/undeclared .. .. 47 1.0 737 10.8 904 7.9 500 3.5 720 4.5 723 4.4
Total 4,923 4,996 6,857 11,475 14,325 16,037 16,559


In the late 19th and early 20th century, Struga was part of the Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.

From 1929 to 1941, Struga was part of the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.


Struga is also a place of important cultural significance in the Republic of Macedonia, as it is the birthplace of the poets Konstantin and Dimitar Miladinov. The main event of the cultural life in Struga is the world's largest poetry gathering, Struga Poetry Evenings, whose laureates have included several Nobel Prize for Literature winners such as Joseph Brodsky, Eugenio Montale, Pablo Neruda, Seamus Heaney, Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca and many others since 1966.

Frescoes from the rock church in the monastery of Kalishta.

There are several cultural monuments in Struga and in its vicinity such as the Monastery of Kališta, a few kilometers away from the town center, lying on the shore of Lake Ohrid. It is believed that it dates from the 16th century, with frescoes from the 14th and the 15th centuries. Another rock church is present in the neighbouring village of Radožda with frescoes from the 13th and 14th centuries. The Church of Sveta Bogorodica (St Mary) in Vraništa, is believed to be where Tsar Samuel was crowned.

The church of basilica from the 4th century was discovered, with a mosaic. Struga's old architecture dates from the 18th and 19th centuries.


The Black Drin river flowing through the city.

Much of the town's income is through internal tourism. Struga's location on Lake Ohrid makes it a slightly quieter and more peaceful experience than the more bustling Ohrid. When visiting this quiet town of the Republic of Macedonia, there are a few other places that show the beauty and culture, like the clay chamber pots at the house of the Miladinovci Brothers, the old bazaar, the century old churches and mosques. Before the evenings you can enjoy on 3 kinds of beaches called "Male beach" (maška plaža), "Female beach" (Ženska plaža) and Galeb ("Gull Beach"), located just before the estuary of the river Crn Drim (Black Drim) in its own flow, and between the two previous beaches. Just in front of the "Male beach", at the estuary of the river Crn Drim it is located the biggest 5 star Hotel Drim in Struga. Out of the town there is another tourist place near the lake called Biser (Pearl), also a hotel. Every August the Struga Poetry Evenings (SPE) are held at the "Poetry Bridge" (Macedonian: Струшки Вечери на Поезијата) and are attended by poets, writers and artists from across the world.


International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Struga is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ Macedonia. Bradt Travel Guides. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  2. ^ Macedonian census, language and religion Censuses of population 1948 - 2002
  3. ^ Censuses of population 1948 - 2002
  4. ^ Jелена Павловска, Наташа Ниќифоровиќ и Огнен Коцевски (2011). Валентина Божиновска. уред (на македонски). „Карта на верски објекти во Македонија“. Менора - Скопје: Комисија за односи во верските заедници и религиозните групи. ISBN 978-608-65143-2-7
  5. ^ "Magosa - Twin Towns".  
  6. ^ "Waterbury and Struga Agree To Become Sister Cities, O'Leary To Visit Macedonia Next Summer". The Waterbury Observer. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 

External links

  • Struga Municipality
  • Points of interest in Struga
  • Struga travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Struga Tourism Portal

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