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Malki Tsalim

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Malki Tsalim


Malki Tsalim is a village in Southwestern Bulgaria, located in the municipality of Sandanski, Blagoevgrad region. It is situated in a beautiful mountainous area, the distance from Sofia to the village is 171 km.

There are many centuries-old trees in the village. Its first name was Malki Tsalim - it is related to the name of the smallest son of a Turk, who ruled these lands in the 17th-18th century. The village is surrounded by two other villages - Golyam Tsalim and Bozhdovo. There are many old and new houses in it, but not all of them are inhabited. The residential buildings are of “Rhodope house” . In architectural aspect, Rhodope Revival House is multi-hearthed and closed. The better houses of this type have a symmetrical main facade, which is not always a result of symmetrical planning concept. The impression of massiveness of this type of houses is compounded by the lack of windows on the ground floor and the small number and size of windows in the stone floor walls (their height is as much as the distance between two adjacent girders). The significance of the floor is highlighted by the large number of large windows grouped by two, three or more on the whitened, framed unsolid walls. The wood framing of walls has aesthetic and functional purpose - it covers the wall columns and beams which can hardly hold coating.

In the second half of the 19th century there was built the church "St. Dimitar", declared a monument of culture. Architecturally, it is a low, long, three-nave pseudobasilica with a weakly protruding apse and a vestibule on the south side. The three naves in the interior are separated by two rows of four wooden columns. The female church is relatively large with curved railing. The iconostasis is tabular and painted. There are plinth boards, royal order, board over the icons and apostolic order, vine and crucifixion. The interiors are crafted by artists from the Melnik Art Center - part of the royal icons were painted in 1862 by Lazar Argirov, the apostles icons - by his assistant Kostadin and the rest are painted by an unknown master.

Lazar Argirov is a Bulgarian icon-painter, one of the most prominent representatives of the Melnik Art Center in the 19th century.

Near the village there is a cave-church "St. Yoan of Rila". The legend says that the saint lived there before being expelled by the local people who considered him a magician. Before leaving, Saint John of Rila cursed them with the words: "You are now three hundred, remain thirty!". Every year on 18th of August, in this place, the villages of Golyam and Malak Tsalim make a sacrificial rite, where there are many songs, dances and family meetings.