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Leskovik is a town and a former municipality in the Korçë County, southeastern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Kolonjë.[1] It is located right at the Greek-Albanian border. The population at the 2011 census was 1,525.[2]

The city of Leskovik and the Melesini Mountain
The city of Leskovik and the Melesini Mountain
Leskovik is located in Albania
Coordinates: 40°9′N 20°36′E / 40.150°N 20.600°E / 40.150; 20.600Coordinates: 40°9′N 20°36′E / 40.150°N 20.600°E / 40.150; 20.600
Country Albania
913 m (2,995 ft)
 • Municipal unit
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal Code
Area Code(0)871



The toponym Leskovik is formed from the Slavic word ljeska meaning ‘hazel, corylus avellana’ or ‘hazel river' along with the suffix ik(ë).[3] The name of the town has been written as Lexovico in a map (1821) by Pouqueville and as Leskovik in an Ottoman document (1851).[3]

Ottoman periodEdit

The area came under Ottoman rule in the 15th century and became part of the Sanjak of Ioannina.[4][5] Leskovik was recognized as a town in the early 1800s. It was conceived as a relaxing and retreat center for the Ottoman administration. Leskovik subsequently was elevated from kaza into a sanjak.[4]

Leskovik and the nearby mountain Melesin was the site of a battle in 1831.[6] Greek education was present in Leskovik at the 1898-1899 school year with one boys' and one girls' school and a total of 100 pupils attending them.[7]

Edith Durham, who traveled the area during the last Ottoman period,[when?] would give a description of the town in her book "The Burden of the Balkans" as: "Leskovik is a quiet small place, solid and stony, built much like a North Wales village, but clean and tidy, the population mostly Bektashite Moslems. Some of the Christian women had a small cross tattooed between their eyebrows. There is small church, and a Greek school..."[8] It was a kaza centre in Yanya sanjak of Yanya Vilayet till 1912.

During the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) Ottoman rule came to an end and Leskovik briefly came under the control of the Greek forces. Shortly after the town was visited by an international commission who was responsible to draw the precise borders between the Kingdom of Greece and the newly established Principality of Albania.[9] The town was inhabited by a mixed population, both Albanian and Greek.[10] Leskovik was finally ceded to Albania under the terms of the Protocol of Florence (17 December 1913). In March, 5 [O.S. February, 20] 1914 the town officially joined the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus.[11]

World War IIEdit

At 21 November 1940, during the Greco-Italian War, units of the II Army Corps of the advancing Greek forces entered Leskovik after breaching the Italian defences.[12] Latter, the town showed a strong support to communist partisans during the Italian and German World War II occupation.[citation needed]

Cold WarEdit

The People's Socialist Republic of Albania, being an ally of the Soviet Union, was involved in the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) by supporting the communist led Greek Democratic Army. Leskovic became for a period its headquarters. The town also hosted a training, a supply center, as well as medical facilities for the communist guerrillas, who mounted several invasions from Albanian soil into the Greek region of Grammos and fled back to Albania once an operation was completed.[13]


The population has decreased after the 1990s, due to emigration. The population's religion is distributed between Islam (Bektashis, Halvetis in nearby Gline and some Sunnis) and Christianity(mostly Orthodoxy with a few converts to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, as well as some irreligious people. Historically, the population of Leskovik was mostly Bektashi.[8][14]


Leskovik is located 0.7 miles from Melesin mountain,[15] inside Ersekë-Konitsa-Çarshovë triangle.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ Law nr. 115/2014 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ 2011 census results Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Elsie, Robert (1994). Hydronymica Albanica. A survey of river names in Albania (PDF) (30(1) ed.). Zeitschrift für Balkanologie. p. 22. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b H. Karpat, Kemal (1985). Ottoman population, 1830-1914: demographic and social characteristics. p. 146. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  5. ^ Motika, Raoul (1995). Türkische Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte (1071-1920). p. 297. Retrieved 22 September 2011. Sancaks Yanya (Kazas: Yanya, Aydonat (Paramythia), Filat (Philiates), Meçova (Metsovo), Leskovik (war kurzzeitig Sancak) und Koniçe (Konitsa)
  6. ^ Portrait of Albania, "8 Nëntori" Publishing House, 1982, p. 50, The battles in the Melesin Mountain (Leskovik) in 1831 and in Shkodra in 1835,...
  7. ^ *Koltsida, Athina. Η Εκπαίδευση στη Βόρεια Ήπειρο κατά την Ύστερη Περίοδο της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας (PDF) (in Greek). University of Thessaloniki. pp. 227–228. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  8. ^ a b Mary Edith Durham (1905). "Chapter X: Monastir to Tepelen". The Burden of the Balkans. London: EDWARD ARNOLD. p. 217. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  9. ^ Stickney, Edith Pierpont (1926). Southern Albania or Northern Epirus in European International Affairs, 1912–1923. Stanford University Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-0-8047-6171-0.
  10. ^ Nitsiakos, Basilēs G.; Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010). On the Border: Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries Along the Albanian-Greek Frontier. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 40. ISBN 9783643107930. The ethnic and cultural mosaic of the wider area was so composite, it was impossible to mark down the border in a way that would yield a clear distinction between Albanians and Greeks... The difficulty, as is well known, was not created only by the fact that populations were mixed even within the same areas and villages (i.e. Konitsa and Leskovik)
  11. ^ Kaphetzopoulos, Ioannis; Flokas, Charalambos; Dima-Dimitriou, Angeliki (2000). The struggle for Northern Epirus. Hellenic Army General Staff, Army History Directorate. p. 153. ISBN 9789607897404. In the area of Leskovik and Kolonia, following the proclamation of autonomy in Leskovik on 20 February 1914 by Konstantinos Melas
  12. ^ Eisenhower, [author, Ivor Matanle] ; foreword by Viscount Montgomery, Manfred Rommel, John S.D. (1998). World War II. New York: Smithmark. p. 82. ISBN 9780765192653. 21st saw the Greek 2nd Corps under Genera Papadopoulos cross the Albanian frontier to take Erseke and Leskovik.
  13. ^ Shrader, Charles R. (1999). The withered vine : logistics and the communist insurgency in Greece, 1945-1949 ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Westport, Conn.: Praeger. pp. 188–192. ISBN 9780275965440.
  14. ^ Hasluck, F. W. (1917). Geographical Distribution of the Bektashi. Page 118: " Liaskovik.-The population of this (till the war) thriving hill-town is largely Bektashi. The tekke just outside it, on a hill above the Kolonia road, is said to have been about thirty-five years old; it contained the grave of Abeddin Baba, and housed seven or eight dervishes. It is now entirely destroyed"
  15. ^ "1", Local Environmental Action Plan (PDF) (in Albanian), Leskovik Municipality, 2007, p. 13, retrieved 22 September 2013,

    Qyteti i Leskovikut është i vendosur në një lartësi mesatare 920 mmbi nivelin e detit dhe shtrihet rrëzë malit të Melesinit dhe kodrave përreth tij. Leskoviku është i rrethuar nga një sërë kodrash dhe malesh.

    Në krahinën e Leskovikut bëjnë pjesë, përveç qytetit, një mori fshatrash të përmendura jo vetëm në traditat historike e kulturore, por edhe aktualitetin agro-blegtoral të tyre. Këtu përmenden fshatrat Postenan, Lashovë, Cërckë, Gërmenj, Podë, Radat, Glinë, Vrepckë, Radanj, Pobickë. Në lindje, qyteti kufizohet me malin e Vashës dhe në perëndim me malin e Melesinit. [Leskovik is located at an average height of 920 meters above sea level and lies at the foot of the Melesin Mountain and hills around him. Leskovik is surrounded by a range of mountains and hills. In Leskovik province, in addition to the town, there are a number of villages referring not only to the historical and cultural traditions, but also the relevance of their agro-livestock. We can mention here the villages of Postenan, Lashovë, Cerckë, Germenj, pode, Radati, Glina, Verpcka, Radanje, Pobickë. To the east, the city is bordered by Vasha Mountain and to the west by Melesin Mountain.]

  16. ^ Late Ottoman society: the intellectual legacy By Elisabeth Özdalga Page 311 [1]
  17. ^ Late Ottoman society: the intellectual legacy By Elisabeth Özdalga page 319 [2]
  18. ^ Dalip Greca (7 August 2013), Enigma e Hymnit të Federatës "VATRA" [Enigma of the "Vatra" Federation Hymn] (in Albanian), New York, NY: "Dielli" online, retrieved 17 September 2013

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