Daily webcast

Bulgarian National Radio © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Mandritsa – the only Albanian village in Bulgaria

Photo: library

Mandritsa, a village in the Eastern Rhodopes, is located on the right bank of the river Byala Reka, 19 kilometres to the South of Ivaylovgrad, and very close to the Bulgarian-Greek border.

According to legend, the village was founded in 1636 by three brothers – Albanian Christians who were cheesemakers. They supplied the Ottoman army, so the authorities allowed them to choose land for themselves and gave them tax exemption. It is thought that the bulk of Mandritsa’s Albanian inhabitants came to live here later, or at the end of the 18th century. It is the only Albanian village in Bulgaria where people speak a bizarre kind of archaic Albanian to this very day.

Nowadays, Mandritsa is abandoned with very few permanent residents. But during the summer months there are tourists who come here for the village’s past. Mandritsa has preserved its adobe and brick three-storey houses in the National Revival style, with their wood carved ceilings, wrought iron balconies and colonnades.

Find out more about the beautiful village of Mandritsa here.

Editing by Veneta Nikolova


More from category

Bulgarian beliefs and rituals related to Saint Catherine

On November 24, Orthodox Christians honour the Holy Martyr Catherine (Ekaterina). Catherine, who lived in the 3rd century in Alexandria, went down in history as one of the most educated women of her time. Legend has it that her attempts to..

published on 11/24/21 6:15 PM

Popular beliefs about hair, beards, moustaches

The first snow falls to earth from St. Dimitar’s beard, one legend goes. But there are others too – that it is St. Nicholas or Archangel Michael that shake the first snowflakes out of their beards. Alongside hair and nails, male beards..

published on 11/13/21 7:50 AM

110 years since the birth of composer Yosif Tsankov

The very first years in the history of the popular music genre in this country, the first national basketball teams (both male and female), the first gramophone records, made in Bulgaria are all connected with one name – Yosif Tsankov. He is also..

published on 11/7/21 8:00 AM