Prespa is the name of two freshwater lakes in southeast Europe, shared by Albania, Greece, and the Republic of Macedonia. Of the total surface area, 176.3 km2 (68.07 sq mi) belongs to the Republic of Macedonia, 46.3 km2 (17.88 sq mi) to Albania and 36.4 km2 (14.05 sq mi) to Greece. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an altitude of 853 m (2,798 ft).

In the 10th century, the Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria built the fortress and church of St. Achillius on an island called Agios Achillios in the Small Prespa Lake, on the Greek side of the border. The biggest island in the Great Prespa Lake, on Macedonia’s side, is called Golem Grad (“Large Town”), and Snake Island (Zmiski Ostrov). The other island Mal Grad (Small Town, in Albania) is the site of a ruined 14th century monastery dedicated to St. Peter. Today, both islands are uninhabited.

“At over five million years old, Lake Prespa is amongst the most ancient freshwater lakes in the world. The beautiful but environmentally vulnerable region of the Prespa Lake Basin is home to morethan 2,000 species of fish, birds, mammals and plants.”  – United Nations Development Program
 
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