The Church of St Nicholas in Vrav
|• Mayor||Sofroni Nikov|
|Elevation||42 m (138 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Vrav (Bulgarian: Връв [ˈvrəf]; also Vrǎv or Vruv; Romanian: Vârf) is a village in northwestern Bulgaria, part of Bregovo municipality, Vidin Province. Located on the right bank of the Danube at the place where the Timok River empties into it, Vrav is the northernmost populated place in Bulgaria and the first Bulgarian port along the Danube's course. The village has a Romanian population and lies 30 kilometres from the provincial capital Vidin and 12 kilometres from Bregovo.
Vrav lies opposite the Romanian village Gârla Mare in Mehedinţi County, to which the residents of Vrav are related through kinship ties. The area is known for its characteristic horo dance. The locals are part of the ethnographic group of the "wet Vlachs" (мокри власи, mokri vlasi), known as such because they live at the confluence of the Timok and the Danube, to contrast them with the "bushy Vlachs" (рунтави власи, runtavi vlasi) of the mountains to the southwest along the Serbian border. The population is Eastern Orthodox and speaks an old Romanian dialect or "Vlach language" alongside Bulgarian. According to some researchers, the Vlachs came to those areas in the 18th century. They declare themselves to be Bulgarians, however, as the 2001 census recorded only 155 Vlachs and 16 Romanians in the entire Vidin Province.
There are some Ancient Roman ruins near the village, presumably part of the Danubian limes: to the west was the Roman post of Dorticum and to the east was what the locals call chetate (cetate, "fortress"). Vrav already existed in the early 18th century, as it was marked on Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli's map of the area of 1711. According to semi-legendary evidence, the village was founded by seven refugee families from the Banat, with the remainder of the population coming from the surrounding Vlach villages in Serbia and Romania. Its old name was Kosheritse, but as the locals moved it to a hilltop, they changed the name accordingly. In 1900, the village had a population of 1,974 and in 1926: 2,178.
- Romanian (Vlach) name according to Timocul însângerat: 132 de ani de la rãscoala timoceanã. In Bulgarian, the name is identical to the word for "string" or "twine", while in Romanian, vârf means "peak".
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