IOANNINA/ CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS
A. Religious Monuments
St. Athanasios Cathedral
11 years following the disaster of 1820, three working class artisans from Vurbiani: Nicholaos Liolis Pantazis and the brothers Dimitrios and Georgios Giosis built in the place of the burned down Cathedral an impressive church of hewn white stone: a three isle basilica with two upper floors covered by arches with a black slate roof. Decorated in 1835 by the hagiographers Theodosios and Constantinos, the church of St. Athanasios was painted in fresco not with the best results a further two times, in 1901 and in 1940. Restoration work has already uncovered a large part of the original hagiography. In the western side of the church, near the gallery of the womens area, a depiction of the commissioner of the building of the church Bishop of Ioannina Ioakeim. A splendid baroque wood carved iconostasis with carved representations of the plant kingdom and animal kingdom and scenes of the New Testament. It is a work of the Skalistis family (Anastasios Skalistis and his sons Constantinos, Yiannis and Dimitrios) of Tournovo, Gorgopotamos, an artisans village of Konitsa. The imposing propylum of the main entrance was built in 1846. In the northwestern side of the Cathedral is the chapel with the grave of the Martyr of late Christianity St. George.
*architecture, church, hagiography,
The Home of St. George
Following the martyrdom of St. George on 17 January 1838, the pious made his residence a place of pilgrimage. One of the rooms was made a small chapel enabling the pious to hold liturgies there. It is located at Makriyianni Street 64.
Facing the Zosimea Lyceum, at Valaoritou street, a small picturesque alley leads to a stone arch supporting an impressive belfry of 1936, a work of the architect Aristotelis Zahos. It is the belfry of the Assumption of the Virgin Monastery of Archimandrio which following 1911 has functioned as the parish church of the neighbourhood of the same name.
The Archimandrio Monastery is first mentioned in literary sources in 1386, when the abbot of the monastery Gavril became Bishop of Ioannina. The area of the congregation was renovated extensively three times, in 1611, 1672 and 1852. The great earthquake of 1967 caused serious damage, which was repaired according to the original design by the engineers Dimitrios Matsis and Stathis Papavranousis saving it from demolition. The large three isle basilica is the work of the artisans of the G. Giosis family of Vourbiani. The wooden prostyle of the main entrance (1905) has a Byzantine style crossed vault on the roof and a renaissance style
door lintel. The renaissance style marble iconostasis was produced at the same time.
In the interior of the church is the chapel of St. Charalambos. Among the relics of the church is a tombstone made in 1773 and a noteworthy icon of the Assumption of the Virgin, possibly made in the same period. Twelve codexes originated in the old monastery, dated from the 12th to the 18th centuries.
In the yard of the church are the graves of historical researcher Panos Aravantinos and the director of the Zosimea gymnasium Spyridon Manaris and the chapel of St. Fanourios.
St. Ekaterini Church
At the crossroads of Valaoritou Street and Archimandriou Street, a discreet gate belfry leads to the three isle basilica of St. Ekaterini, a dependency of the Sinai Monastery. Founded in 1771, it survived the great fire of 1820 and was restored from the foundation up in 1872 with the financial support of the benefactor Angeliki Papazoglou for the atonement of the sins of her husband Alexios. It is a three isle basilica with a wooden roof. In the prothesis and the diaconicon the representations of the Birth and the Descent of Christ from the Cross have been preserved, works of the painter of Ipiros Alexandros Damiris. This church is today the dependency of the Monastery of the same name at Mount Sinai. The tomb of the donor and her husband were produced by the sculptor Georgios Vroutos (1843-1908).
St. Marina Church
In 1852 Nicholaos Zosimas provided the funds for the construction of the St. Marina church at the location of another church which was destroyed in 1820. It is a three isle basilica with a wooden roof with an arched peristyle. It was decorated by the painters of Ioannina Constantinos and Theodosios combining the influences of western art and post-Byzantine tradition. The great representation of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on the model of the corresponding painting of Raphael, is a work of the painters of Hionaditi Christodoulos and Thomas. South of the church is the chapel of the Martyr of late Christianity Ioannis of Ioannina. The three storey belfry of 1949 is impressive. The church had three hypostases. The southern sanctuary is dedicated to the Martyr of early Christianity Stephanos, the central sanctuary is dedicated to St. Marina and the northern sanctuary is dedicated to St. George the Tropaiophoros. In the womens area is a chapel of the Assumption of the Virgin. It is the only church among the seven historical churches of Ioannina which has a narthex.
*architecture, church, hagiographers.
St. Nicholaos Church of Agora
Built in 1837 at the location of the old church that was burned down in 1820, St. Nicholaos church, is first mentioned in sources in 1628. It is a three isle basilica with a wooden roof. The donors were the Zosimas brothers and Georgios Hadjikostas who sent from Moscow the Archbishopric icons and a number of liturgic vessels. There is a clear influence of local middle class architecture in the series of arches made of stone, and arched axial entrance stairway in the womens area. The belfry (1910) recalls the belfry of St. Ekaterini church.
*architecture, church, icons
St. Nicholaos Church of Kopanon
St. Nicholaos church of Kopanon, on the road leading from Ioannina to Perama, was built with the funds of Nousias Hrysos, the master artisan of the guild of the Takiantsides (meaning the people who embroidered waistcoats and fezes with a black silk thread). It is a three isle basilica with a wooden roof. The right hand of Grigorios Theologos, which was silver-plated by the well-known jeweller Nicholaos Pontikis, is kept there. It is believed that Ali Pasha imprisoned Mrs Frosyni and the 17 women here, before executing them, throwing them in the lake. Notis Botsaris had his headquarters, when he allied himself with the sultans army against Ali Pasha, were here.
* architecture, church, relics, history, Ali Pasha, Mrs Frosyni, Notis Botsaris
Assumption of the Virgin Church of Perivleptos
The history of the monument dates back to 1647, when Epiphanios of Ioannina, a merchant based in Venice, built the monastery dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin in the area called Perivleptos. In 1648 he founded Epiphanios School in Ioannina which functioned until 1759. The Epiphanios School is linked with important representatives of the Greek enlightenment. The contemporary church, a large three isle basilica with a slated roof, was built in 1839 in a markedly lay style. The donor was Nicholaos Zosimas who while in distant Russia helped rebuild churches destroyed in the great fire of 1820.
* architecture, monastery, church
The Evangelist Church
An elegant church made of skillfully worked stone, in a vegetated corner of Samouil Street, is the place of worship of the faithful of the Evangelist Church of Ioannina. It was built in 1935.