The Lake Ohrid area, including St Naum, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Macedonia.
The monastery was established in the Bulgarian Empire in 905 by St Naum of Ohrid himself. St Naum is also buried in the church.
Since the 16th century, a Greek school had functioned in the monastery. The area where the monastery of St Naum (Albanian: Shën Naum) lies belonged to Albania for a short period from 1912 until June 28, 1925, when Zog of Albania ceded it to Yugoslavia as a result of negotiations between Albania and Yugoslavia and as a gesture of goodwill.
Rebecca West devoted a chapter of Black Lamb and Grey Falcon to her visit to Sveti Naum, which occurred in 1937.