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Mavrovo and Rostuša (Municipality, North Macedonia)

Last modified: 2019-09-08 by ivan sache
Keywords: mavrovo and rostusa | mavrovi anovi | rostusa |
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Flag of Mavrovo and Rostuša - Image by Mello Luchtenberg, 20 February 2009

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Presentation of Mavrovo and Rostuša

The municipality of Mavrovo and Rostuša (8,618 inhabitants; 663.19 sq. km), located in the mountains of western North Macedonia, is made of the village of Rostuša and the settlements of Adžievci, Beličica, Bibaj, Bituše, Bogdevo, Boletin, Velebrdo, Volkovija, Viduše, Vrben, Vrbjani, Galičnik, Grekaj, Duf, Žirovnica, Žužnje, Janče, Kičinica, Krakornica, Leunovo, Lazaropole, Mavrovi Anovi, Mavrovo, Nivište, Nikiforovo, Nistrovo, Ničpur, Novo Selo, Orkjuše, Prisojnica, Rosoki, Ribnica, Selce, Skudrinje, Sretkovo, Sušica, Tanuše, Trebište, Tresonče and Cerovo.

Quoting the website of the Macedonian Ministry of Environment:

The National Park of Mavrovo covers an area of 73.088 ha and is the largest of all three national parks in North Macedonia. It was proclaimed in 1948. The park includes the mountains Korab, Desat, the south-western parts of Sar Planina, larger parts of Bistra and the northern parts of Krcin. The Radika River valley and basin are located in the central part of the National Park. A number of interesting morphological forms can be found in the Park: river valleys, gorges, waterfalls, karst fields, hollows, depressions, caves, circs, glacial lakes, different types of denudation shapes, etc. The community of mountain beech forest is the most represented vegetation in the Park. As a result of the great relief differentiation, the National Park Mavrovo has outstanding floristic wealth of over 1000 plant species, 38 of which are tree species, 35 bushes/shrubs, and about 60 are endemic, relict or rare species. The National Park of Mavrovo is a classical find for 7 plant species, a unique find in North Macedonia for 12 rare plant species, and within the Park borders 33 other plant species that are very rare in the other parts of Macedonia can be found. The fauna in the National Park Mavrovo is rather diverse. It consists of 140 bird species, among which: the grey hawk, imperial eagle, golden eagle, forest owl, big owl, marsh harrier, hen (pallid) harrier, as well as 11 amphibian species, 12 reptile species and 38 mammal species. Among the mammals, the bear, the lynx, the chamois and the wild cat are the most significant.

The main villages of the region of Mavrovo are Mavrovo, that gave its name to the whole area, Nikiforovo and Leunovo. The lake of Mavrovo, created in 1953, lies at an elevation of 1,220 m and covers an area of 13.3 sq. km (12 x 3 km), with a maximum depth a 48 m. The lake is well-known among fishers for its trouts and minnows.
The Zare Lazarevski Ski Centre is located in the village of Mavrovo, south of the lake. It has eleven skilifts and three chairlifts, with a total capacity of 11,000 skiers per hour. The ski tracks range from 1,255 to 1,865 m a.s.l. There are light and sound devices under the chairlifts so that skiing is possible at night, from 19 to 24 PM. All kinds of wintersports can be practiced here, as well as nature sports in summer (hiking, kayak, canyoning, paragliding etc.).

The village of Bituše is famous for the Sveti Jovan Bigorski monastery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist and made of tufa, in Macedonian, bigor. The monastery complex includes a church, an ossuary, a defense tower, the monks' mansions and the newly built guest mansions. Monarch John found an icon of St. John floating on the river Radika and ordered the building of the monastery in 1020. After a Turkish raid in the 16th century, only a small church was preserved; the icon miraculously disappeared and came back when peace was restored. The whole monastery was rebuilt in 1743 by Jermonarch Ilarion, who served as the first Igumen of the refounded Bigorski monastery. The famous icon shows St. John with three hands; the saint's additional hand is believed to be blessed and helpful for the families wanting to have a child. The legend says that in the 16th century an Albanian bey worshipped the icon and got a child the next year; he transfered all his goods to the monastery and supplied the monks with olive oil all his life long. The masterworks of the monastery is the woodcarved iconostasis made in 1829-1835 by local artists - Petre and Marko Filipov from Gari, Makrarij Frcovski from Galičnik, Avram, Filip and Vasil from Osoj.

Ivan Sache, 13 November 2006

Flag of Mavrovo and Rostuša

The flag of Mavrovo and Rostuša (municipal website) is horizontally divided white-blue with the municipal emblem in the center, 21 blue stars placed horiuzontally on top of the flag and 21 yellow stars placed horizontally in the bottom of the flag.
The 42 stars must represent the 42 settlements forming the municipality. The flag of the former municipality of Rostuša already included blue and white colours and three yellow stars. The coat of arms of the new municipality alludes to the main elements of the local landscape, mountains, rivers and lake. The two rivers might represent the two former municipalities of Mavrovo and Rostuša.

Valentin Poposki & Ivan Sache, 21 February 2009

Former municipalities

Mavrovi Anovi


Flag of Mavrovi Anovi - Image by Mello Luchtenberg & António Martins, 13 November 2006

The former municipality of Mavrovi Anovi (984 inhabitants in 2002; 484 sq. km) was incorporated into Mavrovo and Rostuša in 1994.

The flag of Mavrovi Anovi (Macedonian Ministry of Local Self-Government website, page no longer online), is light blue with a thin horizontal white stripe slightly skewed to the top of the flag and an oval emblem of the center showing three green mountains and the shield of the municipality, blue with three mountains, the left and right mountains being purple and the central mountain being green. The mountains are surmounted by a white snow flake and the name of the municipality in white letters on a purple screen. The base of the shield is blue with purple waves.
The shield is clearly a symbolic representation of the local landscape. Moreover, I suspect that the three mountains on the shield represent the M of Mavrovi and the A of Anovi.

Ivan Sache, 17 November 2006



Flag of Rostuša - Image by Mello Luchtenberg & António Martins, 17 November 2006

The former municipality of Rostuša (9,451 inhabitants in 2002; 372 sq. km) was incorporated into Mavrovo and Rostuša in 1994. The village of Rostuša is the administrative seat of the new municipality.

The flag of Rostuša is white with a blue triangle and a thin blue line in the middle. There are three yellow stars on the edge of the triangle and the municipal coat of arms is placed near the point of the triangle.
The coat of arms depicts a mountain landscape with a river and a stone bridge.
The flag is shown as vertical on the Macedonian Ministry of Local Self-Government website (first version, page no longer online), and as horizontal on the Macedonian Ministry of Local Self-Government website (second version, page no longer online, either).

Ivan Sache, 17 November 2006