The locals in the past were mainly involved in agriculture and animal husbandry, as the natural and climatic conditions are favorable for grazing cattle and herds of small livestock. Wheat and corn
has been cultivated and continues to be cultivated, as well as fruit trees such as figs, apples, pears, and grapes.
Local residents of Vranisht consider themselves to be indigenous, with roots dating back many centuries. The roman historian Titus Livy (64 or 59 BC – AD 17) in his book “The Illyrians and Illyria”, ancient authors, vol.1, pg.131 states mentions “Horreas”, that is presumed to be the current Hore-Vranisht. Yet, the first document written (known with certainty) about this settlement is the Ottoman Cadastral Register of early the fifteenth century. More specifically, the Ottoman Cadastre in 1413 in Vranista (as was called Vranisht at the time) evidences only sixteen families registered—large, medieval, patriarchal families. Loom weaving is a well-known tradition of the village, especially woolen handicrafts. Historically, local people have been noted for their military aptitude and contributions in uprisings for freedom and independence—including the Norman and Azhuine invasions, as well as in the resistance and in anti- Ottoman wars.
The etymology of the name Vranisht seems to be associated with the ancient Illyrian word vrane, or overcast sky (urana), and with a god of the ancient Illyrians, who was the god of the sky, of the weather, of the overcast. In a document from 1274, the settlement is mentioned by the name Uranishta. In antiquity this settlement was included within the territories of Kaonia. Not far from the present-day village, sit the ruins of an ancient settlement called Hora of Vranisht. Hora is the abbreviation of the name Horea, meaning inhabited settlement, village, town. The linguistic root of the word Horea is of ancient origin (pellazge) and means “beautiful, impressive, magnificent place”. The ruins include preserved fragments of surrounding walls, the remnants of a ruined aqueduct that furnished the city with water in the Lake of Hora, Liqeni i Horës. At 700 m height of the mountainside is found a rocky limestone conglomerate massif known as “Urban Stone,” Guri i Qytetit. (differently known as the divine stone). Hora of Vranisht on the flat field and the Urban Stone up in the mountain, present a magnificent historical settlement symbiosis.
Hora of Vranisht on the flat field and the Urban (divine) Stone up in the mountain, present a magnificent historical symbiosis. According to the legend, when the castle of Horea down in the field was surrounded and besieged by the enemies, the people would make use of an underground tunnel that offered exit on the edge of Kauri Valley (by a stone mill) and would find shelter and protection up in the Urban (Divine) Stone.
Nowadays Vranisht is located in the southwest region of Vlora. To the east it is bordered by Kallarat; to the south, over the mountain range, is the village of Vuno. On the west side it is bordered by the village of Tërbaç and on the north side by the village of Bolena. The territory where the residents of Vranisht live is located in the river valley of Shushica, mostly on the left side of its flow.
The houses of this mountainous village preserve the building characteristics of the area. The dwellings are built with domestic stones and roofs are mostly covered with stone slabs and with roof tiles as well. Hospitality and generosity have been and are still well-known characteristics of the inhabitants of this village.
There is a giant stone at the top of the mountain of Mesimeri, which weighs many tons, and is set horizontally and stands on two other stones set vertically in shape of the Greek letter π. Natives refer to it as the “Stone in Heaven,” and researchers estimate it to be a dolmen—early prehistoric, and related in form to Stonehenge and other sites throughout Europe. It has been a cult object of worship for the ancient inhabitants of these areas.