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You are here: HomeFeatured destinationsThe village of Gela

This picturesque village is tucked in the heart of the Rhodopes mountains, and belongs to Smolyan Municipality. It is located 6 kilometers away from the ethnographic village of Shiroka Laka, and used to be part of it up until 1900.

Although there is no exact information as to when the settlement has been founded, the history of Gela dates back to Thracian times, and there is the Thracian fortress Gradishte close to the village.

There are a couple of legends about Gela.

The first one says it that Gela is the birthplace of Orpheus, who came to the nearby located cave “Devil’s throat” (Dyavolskoro garlo) to look for Evredika.

The second one takes us back to the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It says that Patriarch Evtimii has been buried in a secret place in the local monastery. However in the 17-th century it has been burned to the ground and later on, in the 20-th century, the local people decided to build a church in its place. This is when they discovered the Patriarch’s grave.

A violin festival takes place every year during the summer in Gela as well as a huge gathering (sabor) called Ilinden, takes place on the first weekend in August in the church “St. Iliya”.

It might be interesting to know that the Gela Cape in Antarctica has been named after the village of Gela.