Andrea Gropa

Andrea Gropa (Serbian: Андрија Гропа, Andrija Gropa) was a county lord (župan) of Ohrid, first as a minor vassal to Serbian King Vukašin Mrnjavčević (r. 1365–1371), then as an Ottoman vassal after the Battle of Maritsa. He hailed from the Albanian noble family Gropa.

Andrea Gropa
Lord of Ohrid[1]
Titles and styles
megas zupanos (prefect[2])
Noble familyGropa
SpouseAnne (Kyranna) Muzaka [3]


Andrea was a member of the Albanian Gropa family. His ancestor Paul Gropa was acknowledged by Charles I of Naples in 1273: "nobili viro sevasto Paulo Gropa »casalia Radicis maioris et Radicis minons, пeс non Cobocheste, Zuadigorica, Sirclani et Craye, Zessizan sitam in valle de Ebu".[4] During the Serbian expansion in Macedonia, the Gropa also moved towards the south, becoming neighbours with Arianiti and Spata.[5]

After Emperor Dušan's death (1355), Gropa was a local ruler in the district of Ohrid.[6] Prior to the Battle of Maritsa, Gropa was a vassal to the Mrnjavčević family;[7] The King of Serbia Vukašin Mrnjavčević (r. 1365 – died 1371), held Western Macedonia as a co-ruler to Emperor Stephen Uroš V of Serbia (r. 1355 – died 1371).

After the death of King Vukašin and his brother Jovan Uglješa at the Battle of Maritsa against the Ottomans in 1371, and the subsequent death of the Emperor, there was a crisis in appointing the successor of the throne. Vukašin's son, Marko, did not have the power to unite his lords, and only retained nominal rule over the area from his base at Prilep.

After Maritsa, the Dejanovići became Ottoman vassals.[8] By 1377, Vuk Branković extended his rule over Skopje, and Gropa is mentioned as lord of Ohrid.[9][10] Bogdan, Gropa and Marko, and the rest of the rulers in Western Macedonia became vassals to Murad I.[11] The vassals had to pay tribute to the Ottoman sultan and supply troops in case of war.[11]

Lesser Saint Clement Church - Gropa is mentioned in its ktetor inscription.

Gropa is mentioned as megas zupanos (župan veliki) in a Greek stone inscription dating to 1378.[5] He set himself up as Grand Župan of Ohrid, in southwest Macedonia.[2] In 1379, he became a ktitor for a church in Ohrid dedicated to St. Clement.[12] Gropa was mentioned as "župan Gropa" in the funeral inscription of his son-in-law Ostoja Rajaković (1380).[13]

According to the Muzaka chronicles, Gropa joined Andrea II Muzaka and the Balšić family against Marko; He gained Kostur and Debar, and became semi-independent from Marko.

Gropa also minted coins,[14] findings dating to c. 1377 – c. 1385,[15] inscribed in Old Serbian with his title as župan and gospodar, with his signature as "Po milosti Božijoj župan Gropa".[12] He was the last Christian ruler of Ohrid before the Ottoman conquest.[16] His signature is found in the scriptorium of the Church of St. Sofia in Ohrid.[17]

The date of his death is unknown, the Muzaka chronicles says there were no descendants and that his lands were assigned to the Muzaka family after his death, however, the most probable is that they were given to Marko.


Gropa married Anne (Kyranna), the daughter of Andrea II Muzaka.[6] His brother-in-law was Balša II Balšić.[18] Gropa's son-in-law was Ostoja Rajaković, a lord in Ohrid and relative to Marko.[19]


Gropa is, like the other provincial lords of the fall of the Serbian Empire, enumerated in the Serb epic poetry.


  1. ^ Altimari;Stanič 1984, p. 31: "Andrea Gropa, gospodar Ohrida"
  2. ^ a b Parry;Yapp 1975, p. 167: "In southwest Macedonia, the Albanian Andrea Gropa (Cropa) set himself up as the 'Grand Zupan' (Prefect) of Ohrid."
  3. ^ Soulis, p. 142
  4. ^ Sufflay, p. 126
  5. ^ a b Sufflay 2000, p. 145: "U vrijeme srpskog prodiranja u Makedoniju pomiču se i Grope prema jugu, postaju susjedi Arianita i Spata, a po smrti kralja Vukašina, Andrija Gropa, koji se na grčkom kamenom natpisu (1378.) naziva megas zupanos (župan velji)"
  6. ^ a b Soulis 1984, p. 142
  7. ^ Srejović, Gavrilović, Ćirković 1982, p. 24
  8. ^ Soulis, p. 100
  9. ^ Fine 1994, p. 380: "By 1377 Vuk Brankovic had Skopje and an Albanian named Andrew Gropa had Ohrid"
  10. ^ Mihaljčić, p. 170: "Негде у исто време када је Вук Бранковић запосео Скопље, арбанашки властелин Андрија Гропа јавља се као господар Охрида."
  11. ^ a b Soulis 1984, p. 100
  12. ^ a b Stanojevic 1925, p. 213
  13. ^ Mandić, p. 85: Само са презименом поме- нут је, на пример, и жупан Андрија Гропа, 1380. године, у посмртном натпису Остоје Рајаковића V цркви Богородице Перивлепте у Охриду („зет жупана Гропе")
  14. ^ American Numismatic Society 1964, p. 293
  15. ^ Dimitrijević 1997, p. 103: "47. Dinar issued by Zhupan Andrija Gropa (c. 1377 – c. 1385)"
  16. ^ Sufflay 1925, p. 126
  17. ^ Slovanský ústav, p. 208: "Signatures of Andrea Gropa, Tsar Uros, Marko Kralevich and a concept for letter to the archbishop from the scriptorium of St. Sofia Church in Ohrid"
  18. ^ "Андрија Гропа - ИСТОРИЈСКА БИБЛИОТЕКА". Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  19. ^ Stanojević 1915, Delo, Volume 72, A.M. Stanojević, p. 270


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Prince Marko
Lord of Ohrid
fl. 1377–1385
Succeeded by
Prince Marko