In the southern part of Macedonia, between the churning waters of the Vardar and Bosavica Rivers, nestled within the pristine wilderness that echoes with birdsong, where these same rivers have carved a path through the mountains that form the Demir Kapija gorge lies the town of Demir Kapija.
Historical sources date the town's beginning to no earlier than the 13th century. The Anjevin clerk registers certify the town's existence in 1273, with the name of its first feudal lord: Guglielmo D'Anglona. The Latin place name given the original name is Collis Tortus, although a Colla Forte appears in historical books wich would refer to the strategic position it occupied. The conviction that the town was founded after a large earthquake that destroyed the hamlets including that of Laureto, where today we find the Chapel of Santa Maria di Loreto is still a strong one, although no evidence has been found. The original "Campo dei Fiori" centre was developed around the church, the tower and the castle following the the typical medieval fan-shaped layout, characterised by narrow, winding lanes that were so narrow that people could only just get past.
The parish church named after San Giovanni Battista, the town's Patron saint was built in 1730. The only part left of the ancient building is the bell tower that makes up the entrance, creating a rather special facade. Inside, worthy of note, there is a wooden painting portraying the Madonna della Purita, which dates around 1700, restored by the Molise Cultural and Environmnetal Heritage Office, an altarpiece by Paolo Gamba from 1751 that represents the Holy Family and two precious wooden statues portraying San Giovanni Battista and San Giuseppe works by Giacomo Colombo, and artist from the Neapolitan school, end of 1600s. The tower, of Anjevin origin, is about 35 metres high, which stands over and defines the medieval centre. It was built on top of a pre-existent Norman plan, during the reign of Giovanna I of Anjou (1343-1382) at a strategic observation point in order to defend whole area from enemy attack. The remains of the ancient Castle surround the building, where the eighteenth-century Marquis palace belonging to the Rota family was then built. The "Monastery" comprises the church named after Sant'Alfonso dei Liguori built in 1730 ad the annexed convent. Inside the church, with its nave, two aisles and altars, there are two precious Baroque works of art: the organ, that was, recently restored, full of relief work, with cherubs, acanthus leaves and coats of arms and the choir pews portraying scenes from the Bible. The multicoloured marble higher altar is also artistically significant. Three paintings by Plaudo Flascis showing San Francesco in the presence of God, San Michele Arcangelo and the Assunzione can be seen on the vaults, though difficult to see clearly due to their deterioration. In the convent refectory, it is possible to admire a series of frescoes by Paolo Brunetti from 1737 that are convivial scenes.
On 17 January, in honour of Sant'Antonio Abate, the tradition Sant'Antonio fires are lit, that signal the start of carnival. Carnival is greeted by Colletorto when it ends too, with the traditional "mascherata", a parade of fancy dress carts. The whole summer is filled with festivals linked to the religious dates; from 10 and 11 June with the festival in honour of San Teodoro and Sant'Antonio to 29 August, the day dedicated to San Giovanni Battista, the town's Patron saint up to September with San Matteo, on 21st, and San Michele, on the 29th. The Colletorto summer festival continues throughout August with a series of song, sport, gastronomic events that manage to meet the most varied tastes, and attracting several tourists and immigrants. One event to remember, in addiction to the several festival for religious celebrations in June, August and September, is the one the Colletorto people celebrate on Easter Monday on a hill about 3 km from the town, where the Chapel of Santa Maria di Loreto stands alone. For one day a year, the hill is filled with people who come to honour the Loreto Madonna so that she will watch over the surrounding countryside of the church, built in 1638. Not far from the town, the Occhito lake, an artifical creation popular with fishing enthusiasts must be noted. Colletorto boasts the production of a rare, precious extra virgin olive oil, thanks to the presence of a local variety, the "Gentile nera di Colletorto", that gives chemical and organoleptic properties to the famous oil.
Pelplin city and its area has been a treasure of culture and art for many generations. Visiting us you will find quite a lot of answers to many sacral and art questions.
Pelplin as the Episcopal city and a capital of diocese is very valuable to the whole region of Pomerania. It is worth mentioning, that the biggest highlight of our tourist region is the Cistercian group of antique buildings the heart of which is the Cathedral (one of the most prominent works of the gothic architecture).
Many poets wrote about the beauty of our land, as they perceived some kind of magnificence in the picturesque landscape of Kociewie. The characteristic feature of Pelplin land is a peculiar nostalgic atmosphere favorable for roams, quiet walks and unforgettable holidays,on which we would like to, invite you warmly.
Association of Pelplin`s Heritage:
Association of Pelplin's Heritage came into existence in the begining of 2004. Main aims are developing culture, increasing local level of education, equalising differences between society, improving economic and social situation of a town – Pelplin. The Association is an organizer of the events in our town and often is helping our municipality to finanse a part of them. In organize events and other activities association get involved youths to take share in it. By this they are teaching youths to be more coopertive and youths acquires knowledge about society, history and heritage of our region. The association also organize international exchanges and other projects, camps and similar happenings.
Ix-Xgħajra (English SH’AYRA) is a small village in Malta on the coast, about halfway between Valletta Citta Umilissima and Marsaskala. It is a small seaside village on the outskirts of Ħaz-Zabbar Citta Hompesch. Ix-Xgħajra means a small open plan. The population of ix-Xgħajra is 1,600 people population density 1,287/km (Nov 2008). Borders Ħaż-Żabbar Citta' Hokpesch and Smart City (Il-Kalkara). The inhabitants are called Ix-Xgħajrin. In Summer the population increases from 1.600 to 3000. Landmarks Sea Side Promenade and Della Grazie Battery.
Inside of Delle Grazie Battery there was a tower (Santa Maria Delle Grazie Tower it was built by the Knights of Malta in 1620 and demolished by the British in 1888. The British government built Delle Grazie Battery the people working there started living round the battery and thus a small hamlet was formed, which eventually evolved into a small town. The battery now in care of Ix-Xgħajra Council and is being restored to form the focal point for a public space, Battery Park.
Ix-Xgħajra having no inlet has been important up to the 2nd Word War to Malta’s defense thus remaining a quite summer resort especially for amateur fishermen.
In 1620, Grand Master Wignacourt built a tower under the name of Tal-Grazzja (Our Lady of Grace) which used also to be known as Il-Blata Bajda Tower. This tower was unfortunately demolished by the Colonial Services to make place for a larger Battery. The Battery, also named tal-Grazzja, still stand today. Ix-Xgħajra, because of its characteristics different from nearby towns has been recognized as a separate locality since the inception of Local Councils in Malta i.e. 1993.
Since then the Ix-Xgħajra Local Council continued to enhance the locality as a Coastal zone incorporating both permanent and summer residences.