Berovo Hotels

The region of East Macedonia and the Malesevo MountainsMaleshevija is also known as ‘little Switzerland’, characterized with cool summer and cold winter, and lots of sunny days throughout the year, but also extraordinary interesting ethnic structure and demographics. This area also experiences lots of rainy days, mostly in May, June and November that provide fantastic greenery and outstandingly rich vegetation. The Malesevo Mountains are located in the border area between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, with the highest peaks of Dzami Tepe or Ilov vrh peak, 1803 meters at whose foot springs the Bregalnica River, and the Cengino Kale peak, 1747 meters which is the easternmost point of Republic of North Macedonia. 11 km to the east of Delchevo is the border crossing with Bulgaria called “Arnautski Grob” /Arnaut’s grave/ through which in 34 km you can reach Blagoevgrad Gorna Dzumaja – the capital of Pirin Macedonia. Bregalnica River is the second largest river of Macedonia, which starts as a tiny spring near the mountainous city of Berovo and passes near the cities of Makedonska Kamenica, Kočani, Vinica and Štip, before joining the Vardar River on its way to the Aegean Sea. The valley of the Bregalnica river is deeply cut between the Vlaina and the Maleshevo Mountains and features numerous rapids, small cascades and waterfalls up to 10 meters high along the river bed. 7 km east of Pehcevo, at the foot of Bukovik and the Orlovec peak /1723 meters above sea level/, there is a rock formation among the people known as “Vrtena Skala”. Malesevo Mountains are rich in perfectly clean mountainous air and dense pine, beech and oak trees that provided Berovo craftsmen and long tradition of widely respected skilled wood carving crafting.

The Boji or Bojki tribe was the ancient tribe which inhabited the left side of the Vardar River. Their main cities were Radoviš, Maleševo, Kočane and Štip. The Boji or Bojki tribe used to speak clear Serbian language. All the Boji or Bojki people celebrate the slava feast, when they sing Serbian epic songs which mention Tsar Lazar, Kraljevic Marko – Prince Marko, Milan Toplica, Kosancic Ivan and Relja Vojvoda – Relja the Duke. 

The Serbs from Srem area and Belgrade who were fighting for the final remains of the Serbian medieval despotate had in the beginning of the 16th century subjugated to the Ottoman invasion. Due to the Serb disobedience and opposition to invaders, the Ottomans forcibly resettled them ‘in chains’ to Tsarigrad and the Gallipoli peninsula. In the next centuries majority of those Serbs were assimilated with the local population, but not those Serbs exiled from the Srem area who mostly lived in the Bajrachik village – Bayramli and who have managed for 400 years to preserve their national identity and Orthodox religion, hoping to return one day to their homeland. Their wish was fulfilled in 1922 when they were resettled down in Kingdom of Yugoslavia, previous South Serbia, proud to have preserved their Serb identity. After such unbelievable odyssey and tragic historical exodus, in 1922 more than 1100 Gallipoli Serbs have been re-settled in the Pehchevo village in the easternmost part of the present Macedonia, whom the communists afterwards proclaimed the Macedonians. On their tombstones were until the Second World War visible the family names ending with ‘ić’, designating them the Serbs as they were buried. After the war the tombstones had their names ending with ‘ski’, meaning the Macedonians. According to the last census, out of 73 families which settled in Pehchevo village from Gallipoli, there are 12 persons remained, declaring themselves as the Serbs. 

“As per historical sources the history of Pehchevo begins by arrival of the Turks to the Balkan Peninsula. The settlement experienced its greatest cultural and economic prosperity in the second half and the beginning of the 20th century when it became the cultural, trading and administrative center and the crossroad to many places. The Turks called it then the „Cucuk Stambol“ /Small Stambol – Istanbul/. The small town of Pehchevo had developed urban charshi /bazaar/ with numerous craft workshops and trading stores, 9 cafes and a pharmacy, a prison, madrasah, clock tower, Turkish bath, numerous mosques and an Orthodox church. In 1904 the Pehchevo town was devastated in strong earthquake. Its stagnation continued during the Balkan Wars and the First World War. (Miovski 2000, 2). Into such community of Pehchevo the administration of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes populated 73-74 Serbian families from Gallipoli – Gelibolu who moved to deserted Turkish houses from Tsarigrad after centuries where they kept their Orthodox religion and the Serb identity (Filipović 2012, 44–45). Each family was also granted 5 hectares of land.Mirjana Pavlović, Etnografski institut SANU

The Saint Archangel Michael Monastery in Berovo dates from the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century and makes the true example of the development of young civil society which invested in culture and architecture and arts of its time. Reconstruction of old shrines and construction of new religious objects was one of consequences of this social change in the territory of Macedonia that highly enhanced construction works that also happened in Berovo.  Saint Archangel Monastery in Berovo is example of sacral architecture, set at the end of town of Berovo and the Bregalnica River, constructed from 1815-1818. Large wonderfully carved wooden dormitory was completed of massive beams around 1840 and contains numerous cells for nuns.

The unpolluted Berovo environment and the surrounding mountains with dense forests secure favourable conditions for successful development of agriculture and cattle-breeding. The most famous agricultural products from the Malesevo region are the Malesevo potato /some say the best quality and most delicious potato in Macedonia/, whereas the cattle-breeders are known for their sheep cheese-production. Especially interesting is visit to the Berovo Maleshija sheep farms – bacila, high in the mountains where visitors can discover real lifestyle and customs of local shepherds while taking part in culinary-cooking classes, and can also try their uniquely tasty products /sheep cheese, pies, rakija.…/. Plum growers are also proud of the traditional, well-known main ingredient of the quality Malesevska rakija. When you are in Berovo, don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous Berovo stew and Pastrmajlija (home made bread with meat). This area is known for its pine tree forest, and the local population produces the so called “pine honey” a syrup made of young pine cones used for colds and pulmonary diseases, but is also tasty for pancake dressing and an additive for other deserts. Several old crafts exist in Berovo, but all of them now are on the verge of their extinction. The most famous crafts are weaving, blacksmith, spindling, basket-making, woodcarving and carpeting. Living Heritage Macedonia

 

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