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Home 13 November 2019
Culture Architecture Epirus Tzoumerka

A view of the bridge in Plaka
(Photo: Nikos Desillas, Epirus an Aesthetic Wander Through a Greek Region, Synolo Publications, 1998, Athens)
A drawing of the Bridge of Plaka
(Photo: Nitsa Siniki- Papakosta, “Stone Bridges,” Prefectural Administration of Ioannina, Ioannina 2002)
A fountain in Kallarites
(Photo: Kallarites, photographs by Nikos Apostolidis)

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11/02/2008
THE TZOUMERKA REGION/ARCHITECTURE

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BRIDGES:

- The Politsas Bridge:
Very near the modern bridge connecting Ambelochori with Fortosi Katsanahorion, the Politsas Bridge connected the Kastanochoria with Tzoumerka until recently. Underneath it, the Arachthos makes a triumphant entry into its renowned gorge. The well rounded stones, solid braces and strong foundations set into the rocks are proof of the knowledge and skill of the craftsmen of Ambelochori who built it. Though the date it was built is unknown, we do know that it was restored with funds from I. Loulis in 1874.
*architecture, bridge, Tzoumerka craftsmen

- The Plakas Bridge:
One of the most beautiful Greek bridges which is very closely connected to the region’s economic and political history as well as the fortune of the newly formed Hellenic State. Its destiny is similar, though less tragic, to that of the Bridge of Arta. This is due to the unruly Arachthos which, just as the Tzoumercans, is violently opposed to any attempt to chain it. In 1860 the bridge collapsed as the waters of the Arachthos moved the rock supporting it. The crew of master George of Konitsa undertook the rebuilding with I. Loulis as a sponsor in 1863. On the day it was inaugurated, the bridge collapsed like a paper tower as the builders and residents were celebrating. Undaunted, they raised money and once again with the participation of I. Loulis, they assigned the building of the new bridge to a craftsman from Pramanta, Kostas Bekas. From July 1866, the crew worked feverishly. In September the bridge was built: single arched and 19.7 meters high, imposingly beautiful and quite wide at 40 meters, it seemed to have finally tamed the rebellious elements of nature. However, early rains began to shake the confidence of the workers. They quickly took down their scaffolds. The bridge inclined to one side very slightly, without this affecting its stability. The Tzoumercans were not to enjoy it for long. In 1881 the area west of Arachthos was annexed to Greece. The bridge was right on the border between Greece and Turkey. Customs houses and barracks made the free movement of goods and people cumbersome. Toumerka was once again cut off until 1913, when it became a part of Greece. The ELAS and EDES groups (guerilla groups that were active against the German army during the German occupation) signed a peace treaty on this bridge in 1944. The terms were not adhered to. And this is how the civil war began in 1946 and lasted until 1949.
* architecture, bridge, history, crew of craftsmen from Tzoumerka, Kostas Bekas.

- The Filou Bridge:
Finally a bridge named after its constructor: Filos from Agnanta. Built in 1908, it stretched over Chrousia, a tributary of the Kallaritikos Its foundations are the rocks underneath it and its simple arch, created with respect and skill, is highlighted against a natural background.
This bridge is located at the 78th kilometer of the Ioannina-Kalarites road and accessible to all who wish to see it.
*architecture, bridge, craftsman Filos

- The Kouiasa Bridge:
Set on the rocks, this single arched bridge was built in the 19th century with funds donated by the residents of Kallarites. It was used by caravans coming from and going to Ioannina. Destroyed by avalanches, it was replaced by the Filos bridge which is located a bit further down, in a safer location.
*architecture, bridge

THRESHING FIELDS:

- Threshing fields at the Tabaki and Milo locations (Ambelochori).
- Threshing fields at the Tsora location in Kallarites.
- Threshing fields in the Maria region and V. Vasiliou domain in Kedro.
- Several threshing fields in Michalitsi.
- Threshing fields – Aghios Pandeleimonas, Bouniza, Agridi, Aghios Georgios and Aghia Paraskevi in Palaiochori Sirrakou.
- The threshing field of the central square and that of Papagoula in Petrovouni.
- The Mitrou Vasili threshing field in Potistika.
- The Spiros Molonis, Gorizias Krapsiti and Grigoris Pappas in Pramanta.
- The Dimoka and Papavasiliou threshing fields outside the Prosilio settlement.
- Threshing fields at the Plakas settlement next to the Mouchoustiou Monastery.
- Threshing fields at the Peri location in Sirrako.
- Threshing fields at the Tsagari, Siouli, Tsiftrelou, Malamou, Massala locations in Chouliarades.

FOUNTAINS:

- The innumerable stone fountains inside and outside the communities, are renowned for their beauty and the differing qualities of their water: digestive, heavy, good to boil pulses in, etc.

- A stone fountain 200 meters outside Ambelochori (1930).

- Two stone fountains in Vaptisti.

- The Paraschi fountain 1768, with a dome, next to the listed home of Kasaria Fasoula. This was built by the family bearing the same name, which traded in Ioannina, Venice and Livorno. (Kalarites).

- The Gouras, Nessi, Bazaki, Tsoras fountains (at the intersection of Kipina and Thessalia streets), at the Keli, Boufou, Fitrou and other locations in Kalarrites.

- The Parousa fountain in Elaiodaso and Kalouta at the entrance to the village in Fasoni, near Aghia Paraskevi (Matsouki).
The fountain at the Church of All Saints at the Gap location in Michalitsi.

- The fountains in the central square of the Trikka neighborhood in Ai Giorgi and Argyri in Agridi (Palaiochori Sirrakou).

- The stone fountain of Petrovounio and that of Miligopolis.

- Vaggelis’ stone fountain in Potistika (1935).

- The Arapi, Skalas, Rogozios, Malamatenia and Aghia Paraskevi fountains as well as 5 fountains near the square of Pramanta.

- The Matara. Tsitena, Tzimi, Markou, Soyia and Gregiza fountains in Prosilio.

- The Milokonio and Langadioti fountains (Palaiomouchoustiou neighborhood) in Raftanaioi.

- The fountains of Chouliarades: central square, Diakou, Lemonias, Raga.


WATERMILLS:

- Kitsos watermill in Ambelochori (abandoned).

- A watermill at the Moutsiara location (Vaptisti). It continues to be in operation.

- Raftani watermill (in operation) within the Kallarites settlement.

- Watermill at the Kouiasa location with looms (for soft clothes and heavy clothes).

- The Chroussa watermill (ruins) with a stone bridge (Kallarites).

- The Boutsouras watermill in Tsimovo, next to the Arachthos (Kedros).
- Watermill next to the square of the Matsoukiou settlement,

- A well kept watermill in Michalitsi.

- The Koutroumba watermill in Palaiochori Sirrakou.

- A watermill near Miligoupoli in Petrovouni.

- 4 watermills at the Kasimi location in Potistika.

- A renovated watermill is in operation in the central square of .

- The Gatselou watermill in Christous.

- The Mitrou I. Tsaktiras watermill and the Mitrou K. Tsaktiras watermill (Pramanta)

- Ruins of a watermill in Thiaki in Goura Raftanaioi.

- A watermill at the entrance to Sirrako.


WELLS:

There are many wells in Vaptisti, Kedros, Michalitsi (mainly in the Makricampos neighborhood), Petrovouni, G. Antoni in Christous, B. Margari and G. Pappa in Pramanta, Sonti’s well, E. Kalogiannis’ well and An. Kalogiannis’ well in Chouliarades.