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st.achillios island, prespes, greece
The basilica of Saint Achilles is one of the oldest monuments in the area of Prespes. The church built in 983 or 986 by Bulgarian Tsar Samuel to house the relics of Larisa’s patron Saint Achilles that Samuel had taken when the city conquered by Bulgarians. The name of the Saint, which was given to the largest island of small Prespa lake where the church of Saint Achilles is situated, survived like its ruins through centuries of severe wars and many different conquerors.
Every August an important summer festival, called Prespeia (Πρέσπεια), takes place in the region of Prespes. The ruins of basilica are transformed to a concert stage and its amphitheatrical situation becomes a “concert hall”, where audience sits in the surrounded hills to watch famous singers’ performance. The concerts last until late at night. The dark nature scenery between the historical ruins and the lights reflected to the lake creates a magical atmosphere and an unforgettable experience.