The village of Shiroka Luka lies at 1,206 m above sea level, in the central Rhodope Mountains, 20 km north-west of Smolyan. Siroka Luka is famous for its authentic Rhodopean architecture and for the kaba gaida - a local type of bagpipe used in Bulgarian folklore music.
Shiroka Luka is a mountain village created in the same manner many other mountain villages were created in Bulgaria during the Ottoman Yoke. In the middle of XVII century, people trying to escape from forced Islamization and found protection in the mountains. Shiroka Luka is now a proclaimed architectural, historical and folklore reserve.
The village is situated 1206 m above sea level and has a population of 569 people. Literally translated the name of the village means “wide meander”. Most probably it was named like that because the village is situated in the valley of the local river (Shirokolushka River). The village is the only one of its kind ethnographic and architectural reserve. The houses are neatly ordered on both banks of the river. The locals were famous for their building skills. The most famous houses are the Uchikovska and Grigorovska houses; the oldest one, the “Blue House”, “Zgurovski Konak”, etc. The architects comment that in the style of these old houses can be noticed Italian Renaissance influence. Except for the houses the architects from Shiroka Luka have built 3 bridges, which remain unchanged for 300 years now. In 1984 the church “Uspenie Bogorodichno” was built in only 38 days.
Every family in the village is somehow connected with the Bulgarian Rhodope folklore music. Many people call Shiroka Luka the “temple” of the Rhodope folklore song. In 1972 was created the famous National Music School of Folklore.
It is amazing how this small village has succeeded to preserve its authentic Rhodope Bulgarian style and spirit. A true symbol of Bulgaria and the Rhodopes, Shiroka Luka is one of Bulgaria’s most valuable historic landmarks.