Samuil’s fortress (Ohrid stronghold in a wider sense) was initially built in the 4th century bc. In the sources from antiquity it is mentioned for the first time in view of the events of 209 bc, by the historian livy (LIV. XXVIII,32,9).
Its present -day appearance and span, is a result of its reconstruction in the 4th and the 5th centuries ad, preventing the king of the eastern goths, theodoric the amali in his raid from Macedonia towards Epirus in 479 ad, to conquer it. At the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th century, it was the seat of the first Macedonian - slavic kingdom and of tsar Samuil. In this period, the central part (the citadel), later named Samuil’s fortress, was shaped. Throughout the medieval period it had been destroyed and rebuilt many times and towards the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, Dzeladin bey made bigger interventions on the citadel bulwarks, building a saray in its interior (southwestern part) in 1808.
From 2000 to 2002 on Samuil’s fortress and along the bulwarks of the suburbium at the complex gorna porta were performed by than the largest archaeological investigations, as well as renovation, conservation, restoration and reconstruction of these complexes of the Ohrid stronghold. In 2002, we witnessed the most significant discovery in archaeological sense, i.e. The discovery of the now already famous golden ritual mask (first half of the 5th century bc) and numerous other ceramic, golden, bronze, glass and amber finds.
Since 2002 on the citadel and along the bulwarks of the fortress at the complex gorna porta, there are continuous archaeological investigations and conservation/restoration works performed, on a smaller scale, revealing numerous archaeological artifacts in tombs from the 6th-5th century bc to the 3rd century ad.
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