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Shiroka Laka

The village is built amphitheatrically in a narrow and steep valley of the Shirokolashka river
The village is built amphitheatrically in a narrow and steep valley of the Shirokolashka river

The village is built amphitheatrically in a narrow and steep valley of the Shirokolashka river. Walking along the winding narrow-pebbled streets one suddenly finds oneself taken several centuries back in the Bulgarian Renaissance period. The settlement has existed since the 17th century. Numerous houses preserving the typical Rhodopean architecture, typical speech, songs and customs of local people have given the village of Shiroka Luka the status of an architectural, ethnographic and folklore reserve.

Stockbreeding was very popular among the population in the past, and there were also many talented builders. The most impressive building is the Sgurov Konak building, which now hosts the Ethnographic Museum . The exposition shows the mode of life, during the National Revival Period and the interior of an old Rhodopean house.

A group of three vaulted bridges over the Shirokolushka River, preserved since Roman time, give the village a special atmosphere.

Also of interest, is the Ouspenie Bogorodichno Church (Holy Assumption) built in 1834 in less than 38 days, with enormous difficulties and risks. The church has an impressive external and internal architecture. Next to it stands the old school built in 1835.

There is a Folk Music High School which is one of its kind in Bulgaria.At present, Shiroka Luka has a population of 850, whose main means of livelihood is forestry, potato growing, animal breeding and – more and more recently, tourism.

In the local tourist information centre Rhodope an exhibition-bazaar of works of local craftsmanship like national costumes, bags, slippers, souvenirs etc., is representing the local household and traditions.

In the village there are several private lodgings and small hotels offering all that is needed for a delightful vacation.

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