Church of Saint Mary in Maligrad – Maligrad, Albania - Atlas Obscura

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Church of Saint Mary in Maligrad

Maligrad, Albania

This remote church calls a tiny island its sanctuary.  


This beautiful Byzantine chapel from the 14th-century is located on the tiny island Mali Grad in the southern end of Lake Prespa.

The only way to get to the church is by boat, which is a beautiful 10-minute trip on which you can see flocks of birds, pelicans, and the view of three countries without turning your head. On the island, there’s a small pathway leading through some fig trees up into a cave sheltering the tiny church and a wooden platform.

The place is so quiet and undisturbed with an atmosphere of calmness. Inside the chapel are a few old chalk paintings.

Know Before You Go

Next to the Church St. Atanas, there's a gangway made of blue plastic in the lake. From here, the local guide can ferry you to the island. He also carries the key to the church. There are no signs, directions, or numbers you can call. But ask around, or just go to the gangway and hope for him to spot you.

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March 28, 2022

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