Shiroka Laka

National architectural and folklore reserve.

Shiroka Laka is a picturesque village situated in the Rhodopes Mountains in southern Bulgaria. The name means "broad curvature".

Shiroka Laka is declared a national architectural and folklore reserve. It is famous for its authentic Rhodope houses - Zgurovska, Uchikovska and Grigorovska, as well as the unique iconostasis of the church "St. Bogoroditsa".

Shiroka Laka is the song capital of the Rhodope Mountains, the mountain of the mythical Orpheus. From here come the famous Rhodope singing style with their unique songs, accompanied by the Bulgarian bagpipes /Kaba gaidi/. The most beloved Bulgarian folk singers, bagpipers and ensembles are found and created in the National School of Folk Arts - Shiroka Laka.

The modern hotel "Shiroka Laka" is situated in close proximity to this center of Bulgarian culture.

Shiroka Laka is a great place for hiking. Apart from the authentic architecture and rich musical culture, the village is known for the harmonious impact of the mountain nature.

An annual Kukeri Festival called “Pesponedelnik” is held in Shiroka laka every first Sunday of March. On this day, every guest in the village witnesses a strange sight - big monster-mummers armed with wooden swords painted in red dancing in the streets to expel every evil of the houses and people's souls. The mummers are decorated with garlic, beans, peppers. A belt covered with unique bells /chans/ is attached to their waist. Many Rhodope songs are sang this day, and people are celebrating. Besides the local ones many mummers from all over the country and abroad attend the festival.

Emblematic places to visit are the Ethnographic Museum "Zgurovski Konak", arranged as a wealthy Rhodope house from the end of the XIX century, and the Church of the Assumption, built in 1834 in 38 days by the entire population.

Other interesting sights that can be seen here are the home of Exarch Stefan I, the monument of Ekzarh Stefan I in the center of the village, the monument of Captain Petko Voyvoda (Bulgarian revolutionary who fought against the Ottoman rule) and the house that was his headquarters. Shiroka Laka is an ideal place for rural and ecological tourism. Nature, architecture, clean air, century-old pines attract many tourists. In the village there are cozy hotels and private rooms where you can stay.

In the region of Shiroka Laka can be seen the natural rock phenomena - "The Mother" and "The Head", as well as the chapels "St. Theodor Stratilat "," St. St. Cyril and Methodius "and" St. Atanas ".

In the center of the village is the "Ekzarh Stefan" Chitalishte. There is also an information center in its building where every guest of the village can get information about the sights, hotels and guest houses, as well as buy souvenirs from Shiroka Laka.