Smilevo village – historic, revolutionary, natural, healing

Smilevo village also known for Smilevo Congress and Ilinden Uprising is the birthplace of the Macedonian national hero Damjan (Dame) Gruev – one of the founders and leaders of IMRO (Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization).

During the Smilevo Congress which took place from May 2 – 7 1903, the decision was made to start the Ilinden Uprising on the morning of August 2, 1903.

Smilevo village at the beginning of XX century
Smilevo village at the beginning of XX century


Smilevo was devastated during the Ilinden uprising and оn the occasion of 100 years from the uprising in 2003, a memorial museum was built, consisting of the several thematic entities.



Read More: Smilevo Museum…

On the hill above the village, there is a memorial park dedicated to Dame Gruev.


The population in Smilevo has a rich architectural tradition, with many impressive buildings in Macedonia and abroad. Bitola city, as the largest administrative center near this village, has a number of objects built by masons from Smilevo during the Ottoman rule.

While in 1961 the village had 1,158 inhabitants, today due to the migration of the population, less than 400 people live in this village. The main source of income of the local population is the production of charcoal, agriculture, and forestry.

Near village Smilevo is the monastery dedicated to St. Peter and Paul (Свети Петар и Павле), which celebrates St. Peter day (Macedonian – Петровден – July 12) – the most important day for village Smilevo.

„The Smilevo folk costume is one of the most distinctive in the Republic of Macedonia with rich colors and beautiful ornaments.”


Smilevo is a great location for nature lovers. Quiet and serene, the long idyllic moments of silence are occasionally disrupted by the bells of the cattle passing through the village streets. Near the village, there are several marked mountain tracks, which offer excellent hiking experience.

“The population is Smilevo is especially proud of its water. According to some the “magical healing water” cleans the kidneys and dissolves the kidney stones.”

Explore Smilevo – What to visit:

Nature in Smilevo

How to get to village Smilevo

Smilevo is located in the southernmost part of the municipality of Demir Hisar, on the foothills of Bigla mountain, on an elevation of 925 m above sea level. Distant 15 km from Demir Hisar, and 34 km from Bitola, up to the village leads an asphalt road.