Vithkuq Landscape, Korca, Albania

Vithkuq is a village and a former municipality in the Korçë County, southeastern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Korçë. The population at the 2011 census was 1,519. The municipal unit consists of the villages Vithkuq, Leshnje, Gjanc, Lubonjë, Rehovë, Roshanj, Trebickë, Grabockë, Treskë, Stratobërdh, Panarit, Shtyllë and Cemericë.

The town’s history started in the post-Byzantine period. During the 17th-18th centuries Vithkuq became a local center of culture and trade, being on a strategic location on the Berat-Korçë road. In 1724 the residents of Vithkuq sponsored the foundation of the first Greek school in Korçë.[need quotation to verify] In the eighteenth century, Vithkuq was inhabited by Orthodox Albanians and by smaller numbers of Vlachs. From the end of 18th century, various factors turned Vithkuq into a small mountain village. By the late eighteenth century socio-political and economic crises alongside nominal Ottoman government control resulted in local banditry and Muslim Albanian bands raided Greek, Vlach and Orthodox Albanian settlements located today within and outside contemporary Albania. Vithkuq, mainly an Orthodox Albanian centre that had Greek literary, educational and religious culture was destroyed in addition to other settlements in the region. Those events pushed some Orthodox Albanians and Vlachs from Vithkuq to migrate afar to places such as Macedonia, Thrace and so on. In 1792, Vithkuq was composed of the following neighborhoods: Borisha, Tataçi, Llas, Qyrsa, Syrbashi, Krekasi, Palasi, Kolaqerkasi, Kovaçasi, Saraçi, Rusasi and Dukasi. Vithkuq hosts several churches and monasteries that were built during its period of prosperity.