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Shiroka Laka (Architectural Reserve)

100 National Tourist Sites

It is believed that the name of Shiroka Laka comes from the Old Bulgarian word “bow”: “bend”, “curve”, “curve”. In the first days of March, one of the biggest kuker holidays in Bulgaria is held in the village, called by local residents

The reason why people once settled here was the forced Mohammedanization of the Rhodope Bulgarian population in the 17th century. Initially, these lands were owned by the Yuruks – Circassian nomadic tribes, who later moved to the White Sea. The beautiful houses transport every visitor to the Renaissance era, and it is no wonder that more than 90 sites in Shiroka Luka are cultural monuments.

Most of the houses are built in a typical architectural style called Rhodope. Covered with stone slabs, they are somewhat reminiscent of fortresses, which is no coincidence, because only in them during the Ottoman slavery did people feel relatively protected. This is the reason that in each of them there are hiding places in the walls or cellars. The most famous are the Sgurovska, Uchikovska, Bogdanova and Kalaidzhii houses. But not only them, every building in this settlement has its own look and charm. In one of them, built in 1853 and called “konak” because it was owned by an administrative official, is the ethnographic museum.

Here you can learn a lot about the lifestyle and customs of the former inhabitants of Shiroka Luka. The authentic arrangement of the rooms is shown – that of the farmers, the bride’s – of the bride and the groom, the shepherd’s, as well as the place where the sessions were held. The rich display of household utensils and tools is curious: for beating milk, storing cheese and yellow cheese, as well as an original oven for bread. On the second floor, there is an exposed loom, in front of which foreign guests linger for a long time. And more: goats, rugs, rugs and various kuker masks.

Proof that they were famous craftsmen – carpenters, are not only the houses, but also the house built in 1834 Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which, according to tradition, was erected in only 38 days. It is assumed that its iconostasis was painted by students of the brothers Dimitar and Zahari Zograf from Samokov, but it is possible that they painted the church themselves. Near the church is the old school, built in 1835. The main street of the village is named after the famous Petko Voivode /Captain Petko Kiryakov/, who lived here for two years after the Liberation of Bulgaria.

A monument and a commemorative plaque were erected to him by the appreciative residents of Shiroka Laka. In the center of the settlement is the monument to Exarch Stefan First (whose real name is Stoyan Popgeorgiev Shokov), who was born here, the first head of the restored independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church and one of the most active participants in the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews in 1943. A favorite place for taking pictures are the three exquisite stone bridges over the Shiroka Laka river, which have remained since Roman times, which give additional charm to this original settlement.

The story of Shiroka Laka would be incomplete if not mentioned that the fame of this charming village is due not only to its rich history and original architecture, but also to its music. It is not an exaggeration to say that every family is related to her. This is the reason why it is also called the “temple of music” and the “musical capital” of the Orpheus Mountain. Some of the most famous singers and pipers of Rhodope folklore were born or grew up here. The credit for this goes to the Secondary School of Music for Folk Songs and Instruments.

Work time:
Thursday – Monday: 09:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 17:00
Closed: Tuesday and Wednesday

Community center “Exarch Stefan”

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