Shiroka Laka Village
Legendary Tradition, Unique Folklore, Music & Dances
Shiroka Laka is nestled in the western Rhodope Mountains just 23 km from Smolyan in route to Devin. The village has long been a top destination for tourists traveling the region. Shiroka Laka was originally settled in 17th century and has now been known for preserving its Bulgarian Revival Period of stunning authentic Rhodopean architecture throughout the village.
The common design of a Rhodopean style consists of a two story dwelling, with bay windows, large open rooms, wooden couches, interior wooden staircases and additional petite windows. Visitors to Shiroka Laka Village are welcome to view these
beautifully built structures at the following preserved locations.
1. The Grigorovska House
2. The Sgurovska House
3. The Uchikovska House
What to do in Shiroka Laka Village and neighboring villages?
• Take in the festivities here at the village. Shiroka Luka is legendary for its traditional but unique folklore music and dances. The beginning, Shiroka Luka has had a long history of music and artistry flowing through its veins. As some of Bulgaria’s most famous singers, composers, and instrumentalist have been born and raised in the Shiroka Laka district. This comes as no surprise. The National School of Folk Art was established in 1972 while being one of two top prestigious schools in Bulgaria of the music and fine arts.
• Kukerski Festival; the village plays host every first week of March to the Kukerski Festival, also known as The Pesponedelnik Festival. During this event you’ll witness folklore dancers called kukeri congregate from all over Bulgaria as they perform traditional dances and rituals to rid the evils of the world from both the human soul and the home.
• Every August join the fun in neighboring villages of Gela, Solishta and Stikul as cultural festivals are held high above Shiroka Laka. These music/cultural festivals offer variety of foods, drink, music, folklore and dance.
Additional Activities & Points of Interest:
- Church of the Assumption; amazingly this structure of religious significance was constructed in only 38 days in 1834. Built by the hands of the local population, including the support of a wealthy family and curator of the Ethnographic Museum called Zgurovski Konak.
- The Byzantine Period stone bridges of Shiroka Luka. These stunning bridges are a testament to the periods engineering and construction feats of the day and are still holding up against the test of time.
- The home and monument of Exarch Stefan I. Visit the home where Exarch Stefan was born. You’ll also find located in the town center, a monument dedicated to the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. As the leader of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church from 1945-1948, Exarch Stefan I was famous for his active role in the fight against the pro-nazi Bulgarian government in 1945 and saved many Bulgarian citizens from oppression from the Nazi party during WWII.
- Monument of Captain Petko Voyvoda; a Bulgarian revolutionist who opposed the rule of the Ottoman Empire
- Momata & Glavata; visit these geographical rock formations just outside of Shiroka Luka. Momata meaning
- ‘The Maiden’ and Glavata meaning ‘The Head’
- The chapels of Shiroka Luka Villages
1. St. Theodore Stratilates
2. St. Cyril
3. St. Methodius
4. St. Atanas
- Hike the many trails of Pereik Ridge and Chernatisa located in nearby Gela. Venture into the back country of the region and explore the hidden gems of Bulgaria’s Lednitsata Hut. Including the villages of Mulga, Trigrad and Chairite Lakes and many more wonder hidden wonders.