Bukovo (Macedonian: Буково, pronounced [ˈbukɔvɔ]) is a village in the Bitola municipality approximately three kilometers distance from the city of Bitola in North Macedonia.


Bukovo panorama
Bukovo panorama
Bukovo is located in Republic of North Macedonia
Location within North Macedonia
Coordinates: 40°58′59″N 21°19′59″E / 40.98306°N 21.33306°E / 40.98306; 21.33306Coordinates: 40°58′59″N 21°19′59″E / 40.98306°N 21.33306°E / 40.98306; 21.33306
Country North Macedonia
RegionLogo of Pelagonia Region.svg Pelagonia
MunicipalityCoat of arms of Bitola Municipality.svg Bitola
821 m (2,694 ft)
 • Total3,494[1]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+389 047
Car platesBT

Not unlike most other larger villages in the country, locals typically distinguish an "upper" (горна) and "lower" (долна) quarter (маала). Historically, the latter developed from the expansion of the former. The neighborhood Bukovski Livadi (Буковски Ливади, "Bukovo Meadows") comprises ten residential streets and is located at the entrance to the village; often considered a part of Bukovo, it is actually a suburb of the City of Bitola.

The village collectively celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration as its local holiday — referred to as "the Day" (Денот) — after the village's eponymous monastery. The celebration of Lazarus Saturday is also upheld devotedly, a tradition which has very nearly died out in the rest of the country.

The village is famous for its crushed red pepper or chilli flakes which it is credited with inventing. [2] The local variety of chili pepper is known as "буковец" (bukovec).[3] The name of the village—or a derivative of it—is now used as a name for crushed red pepper in general in a number of Southeast European languages: "буковка" (bukovka, Macedonian), "bukovka" (Serbian, Croatian and Slovene) and "μπούκοβο" (búkovo, Greek).


Local legend has it that the first families to settle in Bukovo had come from a much older village called Neoljani (Неолјани) which was completed destroyed in a firestorm. The discovery of the ruins of a church—attested in statistical documents—at the base of nearby mountains are usually cited as proof of this.

Similarly, it is widely claimed that the upper maala ("quarter") of the village was settled by people from the now long abandoned village of Magarevo (Магарево) and the lower maala by people from the abandoned village of Selište (Селиште). In both cases, the ruins of houses can be found in adjacent areas. Others, however, believe that the original settlers were the fleeing residents of the ancient city of Heraclea following its devastating earthquake.

During its most prosperous period, the village had approximately 5,000 residents and over 600 students enrolled in its grammar school.[citation needed] As a municipality in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Bukovo was twice visited by King Alexander I as the "most orderly" village in all of Yugoslavia.

Throughout the 20th century, many residents left for Australia, the United States, Canada and areas of Western Europe in search of work. There are approximately 2,000 natives of Bukovo in the ethnic Macedonian diaspora, more than 800 of whom live in Rochester, New York, affectionately referred to as "Bukovo City" by Macedonians who live there. A large number of people from Bukovo have also settled in Richmond, Australia.

The Bukovo Monastery (officially the "Monastery of the Feast of the Transfiguration") was once an important cultural center where monks would translate and copy sacred texts into the local vernacular. Time had deteriorated the monastery building leading residents to renovate it during the 2000s (decade).


19th-century geographers write that Bukovo was once a completely Orthodox Christian village with a school run by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[4] According to Geographers Dimitri Mishev and D. M. Brancoff, the town had a total population of 2.400 people in 1905, all Patriarchist Bulgarians.[1]

According to the 2002 census,[5] the village had a total population of 3,494 people: 3,456 ethnic Macedonians, 11 Albanians, 14 Turks, 1 Aromanian, 6 Serbs and 6 declared as "other".


  1. ^ Dimitri Mishev and D. M. Brancoff, La Macédoine et sa Population Chrétienne, p. 166
  1. ^ Шопов, А. Из живота и положението на българите във вилаетите, Пловдив, Търговска печатница, 1893, стр. 269 - 270.
  2. ^ Министерство за Локална Самоуправа. База на општински урбанистички планови
  3. ^ D.M.Brancoff. "La Macedoine et sa Population Chretienne". Paris, 1905, р. 166-167.
  4. ^ Produttori di paprika bukovka
  5. ^ Macedonian Census (2002), Book 5 - Total population according to the Ethnic Affiliation, Mother Tongue and Religion, The State Statistical Office, Skopje, 2002, p. 70.