Podcast in English

Bulgarian National Radio © 2022 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

Festive bread, daily bread…

On Christmas Eve lean dishes and ritual bread with a coin are served and on Christmas - meat dishes predominate. Even in the times of food deliveries and fast food, preparation for the holiday table remain an integral part of the festive spirit...

published on 12/24/21 8:00 AM

Fasting as a personal sacrifice in the traditional practices of Bulgarians

Christmas is drawing closer, and with it – the end of the Advent fast. There are people, even those who do not adhere to the Christian faith, who believe that purification at a physical level – by abstaining from food of animal origin – leads..

published on 12/11/21 8:00 AM

Three saint days mark the start of the December festive season

A multitude of beliefs and rituals in Bulgarian folklore tradition, are connected with the day of St. Varvara, Barbara, 4 December, marking the start of a string of feast days. According to legend, St. Varvara was born in what are today..

published on 12/4/21 9:00 AM
Подкасти от БНР