Albanian Tourism

Art and Civilisation. All Seasons Magic Voskopoja

It is situated somewhere between the mountains, many feet above sea level, nestled between the soft curve of the hills, dense forests horn of life, constantly sparking curiosity of mystery to her strange ways of being. It was born, flourished and were extinguished, leaving behind the endless questions in the minds of scholars, historians, curious of her fans, for centuries. From St. Prodhomi opens wide an amazing view from the tops of Lenie and Ostrovica, with a height of 2246 meters. From various points of the village ring the tower bells of eight remained churches and monasteries. On the streets of old town the bells use to sound cheerful and sadly in twenty five churches…

This is Voskopoja, the city which continues to encourage writers to write, to create the magical love stories, being attracted by its elegant civilization, being impressed by its erudition, being incanted of its mysticism. Its killing brightness, was the at the same time the tomb of her. It was impossible to endure such a glow in the middle of the medieval gloom, especially from an empire like Turkey one. Seems to be not so necessary an academy, or a library in the middle of total ignorance… it was a big courage to build twenty-five churches in a so small space, in the midst of the multitude of endless smothering of the cupolas and minarets…

It is supposed that was established by Vlachs, Albanians, Greeks… somewhere around early 1330. The biggest boom was in 1764 when its population reached about thirty thousand inhabitants. Pouqueville insisted that the number was sixty-thousands. In that period there were 25 churches with frescoes of the most coveted. After the demolitions, only eight ones were able to survive. This civilization almost inexplicable in the middle of nowhere, was equipped with an Academy, Library, printing house, schools, textile handicraft, which was developed and served as a bridge not only domestically but also between neighbors Greece and Turkey.

It became the coveted city of painters, who came there to pay their painting talents, became the focus of traders of the time, as the most profitable city, with a strongly developed commerce, which linked with each other rich cities of Europe. It bore the core of capitalism, with the first signs of a pre-industrial culture, leading to the Balkans at that time. Its products had burst its authentic brand value, inimitable, an eagle, whose origins can’t be confused. The civilization was built on in fourteen perfectly Corporations, which functioned better than the boroughs of the capital today. The Elite strata of the city was capitalists, crafts, trades, but also teachers of the Academy, decorative painters, authors of the frescoes enviable for all…

The administration was more than democratic. Issues use to be resolved in a way that neither the former Roman Senate had not been so much correct. Women were dressed nicely, as doesn’t happen in any other country of the empire. The city has cobbled streets, totally in contrast with the lines full of dust in the lost villages where use to pass only cattle… They speak Albanian, written in Albanian, learn Albanian…. Great courage to make such a challenge to the Sublime Headquarter of the empire…

Voskopoja was a city of the autonomous self-government seemed that there was no need for the great octopus hand of the empire. Otherwise, it was even considered a city “with tentacles”, due to the large withdrawal it use to have. David lived there, Kavaljoti, Gregory, also did, there came to live all the young people of the surrounding areas further away, it looked like the promised land.

It was too much this brightness. Impossible to be unseen, especially by the leaders of the empire, as much interested to live people in deep ignorance. It was almost a shining island in the middle of the turbulent waters of the Middle Ages, as also recently wrote, Blushi, the last writer, incanted from Voskopoja. It was a phenomenon, says Plasari. A piece of Europe in the middle of Asian obscurantism write historians…

The first crash came in 1769. The Second, after thirty years, leaving no time for the revival. The third after twenty seven years, to make sure that posterity will eventually not be able to inherit any piece of the former glory. It remained only the ruins of eight churches and here and some cobblestone street… Not so inexplicable, keeping in mind the huge loads of mystical spiritual world of God and angels…

voskopoja shen thanasi

What about today?

Today Voskopoja is a picturesque village, beautiful in every season. The nature has not changed, the road meanders between hilly performance curves. Those who live there, are trying to build another civilization, however far from the former, but equally hospitalizing. We came here last time in the early days of September, the days when Rudina Xhunga prepared her program about tourism. And she also was fascinated by the past of this former town, happy for the program among its hosts.

The Mayor of the village, Nexhipi, radiates itself a remarkable citizen who actually should not surprise anyone. He expects us as friends, as everyone expected coming in Voskopoje. Agron sees with satisfaction the preparations of staff for the show which will be held exactly in his hotel premises, which can not be called otherwise than Academy. There were more than ten years that followed he expects the tourists and friends to Voskopoje, who may not find on any old part of town, but find his civilization. New experiences have taken place in Voskopoja as Agim Bulka with his Hotel, which is on the new host facility there. Gimi comes from the family of renowned writer Nonda Bulka and maybe a little bit of this and because of twenty years of artistic experience in the Albanian Television, (art can bring only love), he has the desire to awake the values of this country, raising close to hotel an ethnographic museum. And it will collect all the remaining tracks in the way that people can learn about the three time burned civilization. He also will fond a library, where will be collected also all the books which treat the questions of Voskopoja.

The village will have a tourist information office, sais the Mayer, because it deserves to know more about it. Visitors will find everything there, even guides to lead them around the beautiful areas. Its churches and monasteries, already treated with love by Father Thomas, tend to reflect less of the former splendor.

Voskopoja has wonderful housewives, whose imagination exceeds the number of products that cook. With vegetables of the season you can enjoy the full flavor of diverse recipes. You can not the two foil pie, meat roasted or write-off donuts, if you come to Voskopoja.

The village has a ski track, so the winter can be enjoyed not only as a pleasure shared fireplace but a bustling place where the activities or the championships take place. Its forests are covered by a white veil and return to the magical labyrinths where everyone would gladly want to be lost.
Voskopoja Autumn is among the most beautiful view you may have.

Landscape takes lot of colors that become an amazing spectacle. The crystalline blue sky, mixed with the reddish color of the trees and the grass of the meadows, causing you a sense of sadness and joy at the same time, the mixture that goes almost to happiness. Everywhere you turn the head there is a postcard picture.

There are more than the above mentioned reasons, to go to visit Voskopoja…

This article is preperared for Albania News by Flora Xhemani

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