IOANNINA/ SECULAR ARCHITECTURE
All modern visitors are impressed by the local architecture, whether it be middle class or working class, traditional or neoclassical. As in many towns of Greece, present day architecture has to a large extent replaced past architecture, the ill understood practical spirit has replaced good taste, short term interests have replaced long term interests. However, Ioannina has many listed buildings which have been well preserved and house public services, artistic and educational activities, schools, libraries, museums, art galleries, collections, even cafes, bars and restaurants. Whole roads have well preserved with lively old houses, bakeries, and shops. From the picturesque buildings of Soutsou Street whose narrow facades are cramped one next to the other, differing from one another in colour, or ornament, to the stately mansions with countless rooms and impressive entrances at Kountouriotou Street, where once the wealthy Israelis of Ioannina lived. In the extension of Kountouriotou Street, Joseph Eligia Street, which in the present day is the heart of the small Israeli community, lower-middle class houses bear the stamp of the local traditional architecture with the characteristic railings in the windows, lively colours, perfect proportions, wise symetry. Anexartisias Street, with its inns, its famous archades, lively works of art evoking memories, the bronze workshops, where bells are still made, the tiny shops with a Liliputian residence on the roof. Buildings that have something to say, that tell a story, prophecy, mark the future. Already one of the most beautiful archades of Anexartisias Street has been transformed into a space housing artistic activities and meetings with exceptional success and good taste. What makes the town unique is its Castle which has never ceased to be inhabited since its foundation, and which is interesting from an architectural point of view. The Castle is the place where the three cultures, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, of course mainly the latter, left their indelible marks (see the map). The modern town has many interesting buildings, the most important among them being the Archeological Museum, built in the 1960s by one of the most important Greek architects of the inter-war period, Aris Konstantinidis. The combination of stone and concrete and iron, traditional and modern styles, characteristic of the personal style of the artist, was incorporated wholly in the architectural and natural landscape of the city. You cannot say the same about the incorporation of exhibits in the interior, which according to experts posed important problems, which it seems the reorganisation of the Museum is about to solve. For the time being it remains closed, due to the reorganisation work.