top of page

Boulej's Wells where the truth extinguishes myths and legends

Where truth extinguishes myths and legends

Even though the entire Kraja lies on the shores of Lake Shkoder, Wells have been and continue to be a source of life for the residents of the Kraja. This only happens in Kraja, this only happens to Albanians. I often ask myself if Fan Noli was in Kraja when he wrote "Anës Lumenjev"


Arratisur, syrgjynosur, 

rraskapitur dhe katosur 

po vajtonj pa funt, pa shpresë,

anës elbë-s, anës spree-së.

ku e lam’ e ku na mbeti, 

vaj-vatani e mjer mileti, 

anës detit i palarë, 

anës dritës i paparë, 

pranë sofrës i pangrënë, 

pranë dijes i panxënë, 

lakuriq dhe i dregosur, 

trup e shpirt i sakatosur. 

I quoted a part of this epic poem of Noli written in 1928 only for the fact that after 89 years it still reflects the Albanian reality!

In the village of Ostros i Madhë in Kraja, right in the neighborhood of Boulejve, there are 12 wells built by local residents.

These wells have been and continue to be the only source of water for the surrounding residents.

The neighborhood of Boulej Curej Berjashej and even more have been existentially connected to these sources.

The villages of Arbnesh, Skjes and other villages of Ostros have been frequent visitors of the road leading to the Midha mill on the side of the mountain. This direction became primary especially after the annexation of Kraja by Montenegro, after the Congress of Berlin (1878)

This road passed by the Boulej wells and served as a place for some rest and refreshment. This continued for almost 100 years until the opening of the highway that connected Kraja with towns around Podgorica, Ulcinj and Tivar.

In the following, I am bringing you, in detail, the true history of these wellss.

When were they built and by whom?

Ahmet Smajli- Boulej

Interviewed by A. "Kraja"



We don't have the exact years when they were built, maybe they were built in different time intervals, but it is possible that decades have passed since the construction of any of these Wells, such as the last case of the construction of one of them which dates, according to the living witness of our days, with whom the Association "Kraja" has interviewed (Date: 6.03.2017), built in 1920, where the witness in question remembers it with nostalgia.

In the following, we will describe the true history of the construction of these Wells, according to the living witness, who gives us enough data to prove that "history is more alive" than with myths and legends made up according to the "appetites" of others. The interviewed witness tells us, among other things, as follows:

"The plot (land) where the Boulej wells were built was the plot (land) of the neighborhood with the same name (Boulej), but it was divided based on the tribes that existed in this neighborhood, where any rich man from his own tribe has built one or more wells for charity (Herjat) on his land. In this neighborhood, a total of 12 wells and one Lera (a large pit of water where cattle drink in times of drought) have been built in this neighborhood-ASHSH-IGJL-Albanian Dictionary of today, p. 663.).However, here of the 12 wells, two of them do not hold water, maybe they were drilled as the people of this area say, so the water has found its own flow. These two wells that do not hold water are of the Tafaj tribe, worked (built) by Kasem Beqa-Maxhuri, while one of them was built for the herjat (charity) of Haxhi Vuçku's friend. So, these two wells were also built for the herjat (charity). all these wells in the Boulej neighborhood, which are called Boulej's wells, were divided into the following tribes:

1.-Boulej Tribe,

2.-Cobej Tribe and

3.-Tafaj Tribe

However, residents of the Curaj and Berjashej neighborhoods also have the right to receive water from these wells.

Here, inside this land where the Boulej wells are built, there are also two wells that were built by the residents of the Curej and Berjashej neighborhoods, whose residents have requested permission to be given as much land (land) as is needed for the construction of these two wells, because the plot (land) used to belong to the Boulej neighborhood. Thus, by agreement, the trualli (land) was released and the residents of the Curej and Berjashej neighborhoods built their own wells, but also these wells built for charity (herjat), where the residents of these two neighborhoods are allowed to take water for anything necessary. One of these Ubla was built, approximately around 1920, and it bears the name of Veli Vuçku's wife (Mejreme), a well which was built for herjat (charity) in her name. This well was built by Tahir Avdyli and Caf Avdyli. These wells, according to the charitable individual, also bear their own names, maybe they are not marked with names, but according to the witness with whom we did the interview, we are obliged to mark them as the living witnesses managed to remember them with nostalgia , in this particular case our interviewee, who is the third generation that has been passed down by word of mouth, until our days. These wells bear the following names:

1.-The well of the wife of Veli Vuçku (Mejreme) of the Vuçkej tribe.

2.-Met Bouli well of Boulej tribe (Rexhep Hysi, Hasan Hysi, Hysen Kraja and Valdet Bouli).

3.-The well of Beqir of the Çobej tribe (of the house of Smalj Beqir), where the residents of the Nilaj tribe of the Berjashej neighborhood also have the right (share) to be supplied with water.

4.-The well of Tahir Bouli of the Boulej tribe, this well has very fresh and very good water for drinking. This was a rich man of the time where he also built this well for charity (herjat) in addition to other charities.

5.-The Beqir Hajdarit well of the Çobej tribe, where the residents of the Paçamurej tribe from the Cukej neighborhood have the right (share) to be supplied with water.

6.-The well of Gjana of the Çobej tribe.

7.- The well of Berjashej, where the residents of the Boulej neighborhood have the right (share) to be supplied with water. Sometime later, around the 50s of the last century (20th century), the district (Gryka) was built by Imer Brahja (former Hoxha of the village)

8.-The well of Selim Hys of the Boulej tribe or otherwise this Ubël is also called Ubla Brahas

9.-The well of Halil Beqir of the Boulej tribe.

10.-The Curej well where the residents of the Boulej neighborhood have the right (hise) to be supplied with water.

11.-The well of the wife of Reshit Boulit (Zylit) from the Boulej tribe, which well does not hold water.

12.- The well of Haxhi Vuçkut's wife from the Vuçkej tribe, which does not hold water.

In this land (land) where the 12 wells of Boulejve were built, Lera e Boulejve was also built, where its traces are still found today. At the same time, this Lera was also the first water collector in this area, which served for the needs of the time as well as for drinking water for cattle in times of drought. With the construction of 12 wells in the Boulej neighborhood, Lera almost lost the name of that land, "Te Lera e Boulejve" and got a new name since those wells were built until our days and hopefully for generations. and next, it was called, is called and will be called "to the wells of Boulejve", that is, the wells of Boulejve.

In these wells, the female gender (women-females) of the Boulej, Curej and Berjashej neighborhoods have also washed their clothes (clothes) using the water of these wells. Stone slabs for washing clothes (clothes) were also built, as well as stone troughs to fill them with water for washing and rinsing clothes (clothes). These spoons were also used by the shepherds of the surrounding neighborhoods, who filled them with water and gave them to the cattle to drink.

The construction of these wells is no longer known exactly, maybe a hundred and seventy years ago, so this is a living tradition of our days, passed down three generations (grandfather, father and son) until our days." (Ahmet Smajl Bouli, 85 years old. Interviewed by "Kraja" Association, Date: March 3, 2017, Howard Beach, New York).

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page