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Home 11 April 2021
Culture Traditional forms of Art - Professions made of stone Epirus Konitsa

View of bridge of Klidoniavista, Konitsa.
View of bridge of Klidoniavista, Konitsa.
View of bridge of Klidoniavista, Konitsa.
View of bridge of Klidoniavista, Konitsa.
View of bridge of Mavropetra, Pournia Konitsa.
View of bridge of Mavropetra, Pournia Konitsa.
View of bridge of Mavropetra, Pournia Konitsa.
Koimisis Theotokou Monastery, Molyvdoskepasto, Konitsa:Inside the Monastery
Koimisis Theotokou Monastery, Molyvdoskepasto, Konitsa:View of the Monastery
Koimisis Theotokou Monastery, Molyvdoskepasto, Konitsa:View of the Monastery from afar
Koimisis Theotokou Monastery, Molyvdoskepasto:Monastery wall
Koimisis Theotokou Monastery, Molyvdoskepasto:Steeple.
Konitsa Bridge:View of the bridge
Konitsa Bridge:View of the bridge
Saint Nikolaos Church, Konitsa:Steeple
Saint Nikolaos Church, Konitsa:Monastery entrance
Saint Nikolaos Church, Konitsa:View of the Monastery
View of Klidonias bridge
View of Konitsa bridge
View of the Mosque of Sultan Suleiman in Konitsa
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Topics
made of stone
textliles
Silver work
Wood sculpture
Hagiography - Painting
LOCATION
Epirus
Zagori
Ioannina
Konitsa
Krapsi
Lakka Souli
Pyrsogianni
Tzoumerka
Tsepelovo
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04/09/2007
The works they build (churches, bridges, manors etc.).

comitech

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Throughout the centuries the Ipirite masons have built great works. Manors and simple humble homes, churches large and small with towering steeples, monasteries, schools, mills, olive presses, water presses, inns, fountains and others.
Bridges with one arch or many arches, smaller or larger, built primarily in the 18th and 19th century, these works of renowned Ipirite masons are magnificent architectural monuments, examples of a rich traditional heritage in the area of the art of stonework. Perfect construction, symmetrical, harmoniously tied to the environment, stable and standing the test of time and the difficult weather conditionsEven when the builders increased in numbers, they still knew their craft perfectly, because they learned the work from a young age and from the beginning. The promotion to each grade was gradual and under the watchful eye of the head mason. Aside from this, because they worked in pairs, the outside man (the best) had to care how the inside man was building, because they both built the wall together.
The skill of the mason was also tested in the construction and more in taller houses. Even the simplest wall needed skill in order to be built well, especially in the junction of the inner and outer stones: the “batikes” stones that reach quite deeply inside the wall cover each other in the successive layers, as if forming a pillar, a support. These “binding” pillars, in a job well done, were every 1 m. Other difficult points were the “columns” (the narrow pillars between the windows), when the wall was “verga” (namely it was not tied with others vertical to it), the last “dema” or “kourso”, namely the high point of the wall (because the stones were lifted by hand one by one by the masons on the same ladder), the defining of the angle of the roof for masons who were illiterate and the “tsivikoma” on the tiling of the roof. Many illiterate masons were unable to calculate the angle of the roof, while for the head mason the “tsati” was easy work. Many of the houses, according to the desire of the owner, were decorated with various stone carvings. They are found on the south wall, on the “façade”, right and left of the arched lintel of the front door. Their purpose was not only to decorate the home or to accentuate a certain element, but another, primarily symbolic. Relief forms of oval male faces, angels with open wings, crosses, birds with open wings. The face is the guardian angel of the home. The cross is clearly a symbolic element, to ward off evil and protect. The bird is the dove, a symbol of good spirit, a symbol of peace. The partly destroyed bridge of Mavropetra at the entrance to the village Pournia in the region of Konitsa at a tributary of the river Sarantaporos, built in 1835, with a fresco of Taxiarchi accompanying it protectively at a point of the rock. The span of the vertical arch is 20.2 m. and its height is 15 m., while the width of the deck that is covered with cobbled stone and has a parapet of vertical stones, is 3 m.The stone bridge of Klidoniavista on the river Voidomati, that connects Konitsa with Zagori, was built in 1853 by a woman (Balkiz Xanoum of Malik Pasha). It was named after the almost deserted mountain village of Klidoniavista (presently Ano Klidonia). It is a single arch bridge, the span of which is 20 m. and has a height of 9.15 m. Its deck is covered with cobbled stone, has a low protective parapet made of asymmetrical stones, while the icon of the patron saint was right of the wall in a small square niche.
In Konitsa, at the Aoo gorge, there is the homonymous single arch bridge, the tallest in Greece, which was built in 1870 by the Pyrsogiannite head mason Zioga-Frontzo, with the participation of a work crew of 80 people and for the times was considered to be a true miracle. The deck is comprised of landings with cobbled stone, while its span is approximately 36 m. and its height is over 20 m. The small bell that notified of times of danger as well as the humble niche with the patron saint is still salvaged.
It is true that at least in the area of Konitsa the number of masons slowly increased. In these poor and barren areas that were inappropriate for agriculture almost all the men became masons, as the most profitable recourse in order to make a living. Initially they must have studied with Vourbianites and Pyrsogiannites. Perhaps there the Tzoumerkiotes also studied, since all Ipirite masons consider these villages to be the oldest mason-villages. Many masons even today accept the initiative of these two villages and their study there, while in Kerasovo some say that their teachers were the Zoupaniotes, who built the church in their village in 1812. The fact that the masons were also active in farming is presented to us in present day narratives: “in the olden times the farms were worked by the men”, and they left in the fall to build. In a church in Louzetsi Kastanoxorion, is salvaged a plaque: “the year 1800 January 8”, which means that the building of the walls was completed in the heart of winter, since the plaques were placed up high, just below the eaves.Their fame followed them everywhere. Some names of masons are known, primarily from working on manors, a fact that reveals it was an honor to the owner for the famous mason to work on his home. In a manor in Siatista and a glass-framed window we read the inscription: “If you ask the lords, which mason built it, Nakos is his name from Konitsa”. This reveals that the masons themselves were conscious of the value and perfection of their works with which they had decorated the entire Greek region and the entire Balkan peninsula. Ion Dragoumis spoke a great truth: “For one in the future to create modern Greek architecture, let him ask the masons, let him consult with them first, who give their designs to the villages and build homes, let him ask them how they build and then let him try to perfect their craftsmanship”.