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Qeparo village and the bay on the Ionian Sea
Qeparo village and the bay on the Ionian Sea
Qeparo is located in Albania
Coordinates: 40°3′9″N 19°49′45″E / 40.05250°N 19.82917°E / 40.05250; 19.82917Coordinates: 40°3′9″N 19°49′45″E / 40.05250°N 19.82917°E / 40.05250; 19.82917
Country Albania Albania
County Vlorë
Municipality Himarë
Administrative Unit Himarë
Elevation 450 m (1,480 ft)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Qeparo (Greek: Κηπαρό, Kiparo) is a seaside village on the Albanian Riviera in Vlorë County, Albania.[1] It is part of the municipality Himarë.[2] It is divided in two parts - the old and new villages.


According to 19th century topographer William Martin Leake, the original name of the village was Kiepero or Kiparos, which derives from the Greek word kipos, meaning garden.[3]


In antiquity, the area of Qeparo, like the rest of the Himara region, was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians.

In 1720, the villages of Himara, Palasa, Ilias, Vuno, Pilur and Qeparo refused to submit to the Pasha of Delvina.[4]

The village has an Orthodox Church dedicated to Saint Demetrius, dated 1760, one of the nine churches in Albania dedicated to that saint.[5] A project for the establishment of a Greek school in the village was initiated by the Greek national benefactors Evangelos and Konstantinos Zappas in 1860. In the 1898-1899 school season three Greek schools were operating in Qeparo: elementary, secondary and a girls' school with a total of 100 students.[6]

During the period of the Balkan Wars, the inhabitants of Greek-speaking villages in the region, such as Qeparo, fought against Albanian speaking-villages, who fought on the side of the Ottoman Empire.[7] At November 5, 1912, when the nearby town of Himara was controlled by the Greek forces of the local major Spyros Spyromilios, armed groups from Qeparo declared that they were prepared to assist his movement for the incorporation of the rest of the region into Greece.[8]


Old Qeparo

Qeparo is situated on the western slope of Mount Gjivlash, at about 450 metres (1,480 ft) above sea level. In ancient times, Qeparo was situated in the hill of Kasteli. Later on, its inhabitants settled a little further down, in the Gjivlash Slope, southeast of the hill of Kasteli, to be closer to their fields and to escape the cold of the winter. From 1957 onwards, Qeparo was split into the Old Village (Albanian: Fshati i vjetër, Greek: Άνω or Παλαιό Κηπαρό), and the New Village (Albanian: Fshati i ri, Greek: Κάτω or Νέο Κηπαρό).[9]

To the east, Qeparo is bounded by the village of Borsh, to the northeast by Çorraj, to the north with Kudhës, to the northwest by Piluri, to the west with the town of Himara and to the south and southwest by the Ionian sea. The Porto Palermo Castle, built by Ali Pasha to guard against the Himariotes is part of the territory of Qeparo.[10]

The village is composed of the following neighbourhoods or brotherhoods (Albanian: vëllazëri): Ballëguras, Bragjint' e Poshçërë, Bragjint' e Sipërmë, Dhimëgjonas, Gjikëbitaj, Mërtokaj, Ndregjin, Peçolat, Pogdan and Rushat. Every brotherhood had its own patron saint.[11]

Qeparo has cultivated olives for centuries, as mentioned in the early 19th century in the work of François Pouqueville, Napoleon Bonaparte's general consul at the court of Ali Pasha in Ioannina.[12][full citation needed]: testimony to this, are some centennial olive trees still existing in the village.


The village is inhabited by both ethnic Albanians and Greeks.[13] Today the inhabitants of Qeparo are bilingual in Greek and Albanian,[14] although in the day-to-day language, mainly Albanian is used,[15] with the exception of Old Qeparo, where Greek speech is dominant.[16] The Albanian local dialects, are part of southern Tosk, and more precisely, of the Labërisht sub-group.[17] Labërisht itself is composed of non-unical language groups.[18][19]


Qeparo is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Albania. Two hotels and a few guesthouses serve the tourists' enjoyment of the small beaches.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Location of Qeparo". Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  2. ^ Law nr. 115/2014
  3. ^ Gregorič, Nataša. "Contested Spaces and Negotiated Identities in Dhermi/Drimades of Himare/Himara area, Southern Albania" (PDF). University of Nova Gorica. p. 46. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  4. ^ Etnografia shqiptare. 15. Akademia e Shkencave e RPSH, Instituti i Historisë, Sektori i Etnografisë. 1987. p. 199. 
  5. ^ Elsie, Robert (December 2000). A dictionary of Albanian religion, mythology, and folk culture. New York University Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-8147-2214-8. 
  6. ^ Koltsida, Athina. Η Εκπαίδευση στη Βόρεια Ήπειρο κατά την Ύστερη Περίοδο της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας (PDF) (in Greek). University of Thessaloniki. p. 174. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Pettifer James, Poulton Hugh. The Southern Balkans. Minority Rights Group, 1994. ISBN 978-1-897693-75-9, p. 51: "During this period, some Albanian-speaking villages in Epirus fought for the Turks against the Greek-speaking villages (eg Kudhes against Qeparo)"
  8. ^ Kaphetzopoulos Ioannis; Flokas Charalambos; Dima-Dimitriou Angeliki (2000). The struggle for Northern Epirus (1.udg. ed.). Athens: Hellenic Army General Staff, Army History Directorate. ISBN 9789607897404. Retrieved 27 December 2014. As soon as news of the capture of Cheimarra by Greek troops spread, armed Christian inhabitants of the villages Drymades, Palasa, Vouno, Keparo, Kudhesi, appeared and declared to Major Spyromelios that they were prepared to assist in the liberation... 
  9. ^ Bashki e Himares. p. 5, 12.
  10. ^ Ndarurinze, Renate (2008). Albanien entdecken: Auf den Spuren Skanderbegs (in German). Berlin: Trescher Verlag. p. 243. ISBN 3-89794-125-2. 
  11. ^ Ulqini, K. "Phénomènes de l'ancienne organisation sociale à Himara et à Suli". Ethnographie albanaise (in French). Tirana. XV (1987): 201. 
  12. ^ "I see that this place is full of olive groves"... in: Pouqueville, F.C.H.L., Voyage en Morée, à Constantinople, en Albanie et dans plusieurs autres parties de l'Empire Ottoman pendant les années 1798, 1799, 1800 et 1801. Paris Chez Gabon 1805. [1]
  13. ^ Reed Fred A.. Salonica Terminus: travels into the Balkan nightmare. Talonbooks, 1996 ISBN 978-0-88922-368-4, p. 102: "a mixed Greek-Albanian village called Qeparo nestled in a narrow valley."
  14. ^ Hammond Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière. Epirus: the geography, the ancient remains, the history and topography of Epirus and adjacent areas. Clarendon P., 1967, p. 122: ""to the Greek-speaking village of Qeparo."
  15. ^ Gregorič, Nataša. "Contested Spaces and Negotiated Identities in Dhermi/Drimades of Himare/Himara area, Southern Albania" (PDF). University of Nova Gorica. p. 63. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2010-08-15. In their day-to-day conversations locals of Dhermi, Palase, and Himara mainly use a Greek dialect and partly a southern Albanian (Tosk) dialect, while the locals of Ilias, Vuno, Qeparo, Kudhes, and Pilur mainly speak the Albanian tosk dialect 
  16. ^ Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010). On the border : transborder mobility, ethnic groups and boundaries along the Albanian-Greek frontier. Berlin: Lit. p. 99. ISBN 9783643107930. 
  17. ^ Gjinari, Jorgji (1989). Dialektet e gjuhës shqipe (in Albanian). Academy of Sciences of Albania, Institute of Linguistics. p. 57. 
  18. ^ Totoni, M (1971). Dialektologjia shqiptare I, Vëzhgime rreth të folmeve të Kurveleshit (English: Albanian dialectology I, Observations on the Language of Kurvelesh) (in Albanian). p. 85. 
  19. ^ Sotiri, Natasha (2001). E folmja dhe toponimia e Qeparoit (in Albanian). Academy of Sciences of Albania. p. 13. ISBN 99927-759-0-4. OL 3756700M. Kështu, banorët e Qeparoit janë njëgjuhësh, shqipfolës, megjithëse janë fare pranë me qytetin e Himarës, banorët e së cilës janë dygjuhësh (shqip dhe greqishtfolës). Në krahun tjetër të Himarës vjen fshati Vuno, i cili edhe ai është shqipfolës; pas Vunoit vjen Dhërmiu, që është shqip dhe greqishtfolës. (in English: Thus the inhabitants of Qeparo are monolingual, Albanian speaking, although we are very near to the town of Himara, whose inhabitants are bilingual (Albanian and Greek speaking). On the other side of Himara is the village of Vuno, which also is Albanian speaking, after Vuno comes Dhermi, which is Albanian and Greek speaking) 

Further reading[edit]

  • Widmann, Carlo Aurelio; Paladini, Filippo Maria (ed.): Dispacci da Corfù - 1794 - 1797. Venice, La Malcontenta, 1997.
  • İnalcık, Halil: Hicrî 835 Tarihli: Sûret-i Defter-i Sancak-i Arvanid [Copy of the Fiscal Survey for the Province of Arvanid (Albania), Year 1431 A.D.]. Metni bir Giriş ile Neşreden Halil İnalcik. Metin dışında H. 991 tarihli Avlonya Kanunnâmesi ile 1 harita, 29 tıpkı-basım vardır. (Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınlarından XIV. Seri – No. 1. Tahrir defterleri.) Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi – Ankara. 1954, p. 27 - 28.
  • Region of Himara: Official municipality website. [2]