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Shiroka laka

Shiroka laka

Category   Villages

The village of Shiroka Laka is located in the Rhodope Mountains, about 16km from Pamporovo and about 23km northwest of Smolyan. The village was founded in the XVII century and today it is famous for its authentic Rhodope houses, folk traditions and rich history. It has been declared an architectural and ethnographic reserve and is one of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.

National School of Folklore Arts
National School of Folklore Arts
The School of Folklore Arts in Shiroka Laka was opened on September 1, 1971. The students are educateed in the fields of folk dance, folk singing and folk instruments (Tambour, Bagpipe, Kaval, Gadulka).

A house where Captain Petko Voivoda lived
A house where Captain Petko Voivoda lived
Captain Petko Voivode is a famous Bulgarian haidutin, revolutionary and freedom fighter against the Ottoman Empire. In the period 1878-1879 he lived in Shiroka Laka and fought for the liberation of the Rhodope Mountains.

Church of the Holy Mother of God
Church of the Holy Mother of God
The church was built in 1834, in less than 40 days, and was consecrated on July 20, 1835. The church has an ossuary, a cell school (1835), reopened in 1980, a bell tower and a two-storey school (1988). A high stone wall encloses the buildings. The church has been registered as an architectural monument of culture since 1973.

Shiroka laka
The church is painted twice. The images from the first painting layer (1835-1839) are from an unknown self-taught icon painter who painted the eastern half of the temple and the pillars. Ten royal icons are the painted by Zahari Zograf. The second painting layer was laid in 1901-1902 by Radoslav Bulgarov and covers all wall panels, including parts of the older murals.

Exarch Stefan Community Center
Exarch Stefan Community Center
In the center of the village is located the community center Exarch Stefan, which building also houses the information center. The community center is named after an Orthodox priest and an Exarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church born in Shiroka Laka in 1878.

Rhodope houses
Rhodope houses
Shiroka Laka is famous for its beautiful Rhodope houses, built in the typical Rhodope architectural style. Most of the houses have stone roofs, small windows, two floors and small courtyards.

Photographer: BulgariaView, License: Creative Commons License