Vithkuq is located 26 km to the southwest of the city of Korça. The mountain climate, cold in the winter and cool in the summer, is known for its curative properties.The population is nearly 1000, with 230 families.The area of the zone is approximately 195 square kilometers, with an elevation of 1230 meters.The highest point in the region is Rrungaja peak, at 1750 meters.The terrain is rugged and varied, and the village is surrounded completely by dense forest and shrubs.Here lies the source of the river Osum, which pervades the entire landscape and forms a basin that includes all the waters of the numerous resources in the country. Near the village is the artificial lake Gjancit, which has many different types of fish. Vithkuq boasts forests of beech, oak and pine, which are full of wild animals, such as: bears, wolves, foxes, deer, rabbits, the wild Balkan lynx and wild birds. This special place is also home to many medicinal plants such as juniper, wild rose, mountain tea, linden flowers, hollyhock, zhumblica, Basan flowers, elder flowers and others. There is also a public high school which bears the name of a famous Vithkuqar named Saint Veqilharxhi.
Vithkuq is an ancient Illyrian township. Although it is relatively unexplored, it dates back as an inhabited center from the Iron Period until the second century B.C. Proof of this is the towers which were erected to safeguard the region, such as that of Boshanjit, Bellovodes and Leshnjes, as well as the tombs in the old quarters of Vithkuq: Qyran and Qyrshas. In documents, Vithkuq is mentioned as a township in the Principality of Muzakajve from the 15th Century, but archaeological evidence from the first church built in Vithkuq in 1162, that of Saint Athanasius, suggests that Vithkuq has been a township from as far back as the 12th Century. Under Ottoman rule, Vithkuq was registered as the property of Mirahor Iljaz Beut from 1484-1504.
The first census registration contains data showing that Vithkuq used to be much more densely populated, with 343 Christian families registered on the 1568-1570 Census. In the 17th– 18th Centuries, it was known as a developed city and at its peak it had 24 neighborhoods with a population that ranged from 12,000-15,000 inhabitants. Aside from the first church (The Church of St. Athanasius) there were 17 other churches, 3 monasteries and a central Metropole. According to the data, there was a school equal to that of Voskopoje. In the years 1781-1819-1923, the city of Vithkuq suffered 3 major Diasporas, which reduced it to a small city with only 13 families. Around 1856, Vithkuq bounced back and appeared to have more than 150 houses and the 3 neighborhoods which remain to this day. The population of Vithkuq migrated throughout the country and abroad, forming villages filled with Vithkuqar (Mandrica in Bulgaria, Lehova in Greece, etc.)
Vithkuqar are a loving and gentle people with an ancient inherited culture, but also imported from Europe, particularly from America. Vithkuqar families live very well, because the family environment is warm, clean, beautifully ordered and the cooking is very good. The characteristic dress of men and women is very nice. Vithkuq women do very good work with fine wool which they use to make carpet and other woven materials. The hospitality, generosity and warmth of the Vithkuqar create a lovely atmosphere for guests.
It is a pleasure to have a table filled with roasted meat and dairy, which have a special taste of Vithkuq and are well-paired with the local liqueur: plum brandy (or raki).While eating, it is nice to hear traditional folk songs from which have resisted foreign influences, or see boys and girls dancing the circle dance of Dados which can only be found in Vithkuq. All of us has tasted or heard the call in the market: “Nuts from Vithkuq” which are renowned throughout the Korça region.
The main landmarks of the village are churches. The first church was built in Vithkuq in 1162. It is said that this is the church of Saint Athanasius. After this church, they built many others (18 in total). Each of these has its value, but the most sublime are: the Monastery of Saint Peter, The Monastery of Saint Nicholas, and Saint Minait and the Metrople of Saint Mill. Of these churches 8 have been maintained or renovated since the foundation: Saint Peter, Kozma Damianov or Qimitiri, Saint Constantine, Vangjelizmoi, Saint Mill, Saint George, Saint Dell, and Saint Maria or Madonna. A recently set up church is that of Saint Nicodemus. The church of Saint Peter is an important landmark of historical and religious value which was built in the 18th Century around 1764-1773. It is filled with magnificent frescoes and around 2,000 pictures, all of made with contributions from the Vithkuqar themselves and created by Vithkuqar masters who had worked in Venice, such as: Dhima Dukasi, Hari Venetiku, Dine Krekasi, Vaso Sumbulla, Kule Deti, etj. The design of the church was that of Vithkuqar Than Lena along with his son Gjike Lena. It should be mentioned that in this monastery was a famous library in which books were preserved in Printed Voskopoje, among them the “Logical Kavaljoti Treaty”. Next to Saint Peter is a church of a special nature, that of Kozma Damiano, in which the bones of the dead were laid. Also noteworthy is the church of Saint Mill of Vithkuq which, aside from its rare beauty, preserves treasured frescoes inside, painted by the Painters and Artists who painted the most churches. The most important monuments in Vithkuq are the bridges which were the majority of the roads in Vithkuq, but the most special are: The Lias Bridge (in the Lias neighborhood) and, at the entrance of Vithkuq, Zotos Bridge.In Vithkuq there are many fountains, a few of which were built with rare artistry; for example that of Nasto Kroi, Micucit, Kurtiqi, and Dry Walnuts. Vithkuq is also notable for its natural monuments: the Linden of Saint Peter and the Poplar of Saint Mill.