THE REGION OF ZAGORI/CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS
- Monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa [the Virgin of the Cave]:
The most photographed monastery of Epirus. Close to the bridge of Voidomatis, on the road that connects Aristi with Papigo, the monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa, built on the steep bank of the river, emerges through thick plane-trees, surrounded by rich vegetation. Its constructors were the monks Ioakim and Sofronios (1665) and its hagiographers were the priest monk Parthenios and Ioannis, Demetrios and Georgios (1673). A painter from the village Hionadites decorated its abbey with illustrations of plants in 1874. Together with the residents of Aristi, he owned the entire area from the Voidomatis to the borders with Pogdoriani (todays Parakalamos). With its revenue it supported the schools of 4 villages (Aristi, Aghios Minas, Messovounio, Klidoniavista), sent money to the School of Chalki and paid the spahis to protect the monastery. Its church, small single aisle basilica with dome, bears a cross-roofed narthex. Cells and supporting rooms at the northern and southern side of a dark corridor, are arranged in levels with stairs and trap-doors leading to crypts. One of these leads to a hidden exit towards the river.
Devoted to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, it celebrates on Zoodochos Pigi (Life Giving Source) (the Friday after Easter). It is a listed monument.
*architecture, monastery, hagiography, natural beauty,
- Monastery of Panaghia Vikou [Monastery of the Vikou Virgin]:
Beneath the village of Vikos, a wide cobblestone road carved along a steep rock, descends into the gorge of Vikos. There, on a plateau next to the largest spring of the Voidomatis, Panaghia Vikou, built in 1738 and decorated in 1773 by the priest Giannis and his sons (from Ano Pedina), modestly lies among the miracles of nature.
*architecture, monastery, hagiography, natural beauty,
- Monastery of Evaggelistria in Ano Pedina:
At the entrance of the village, a wall constructed in 1783-6 surrounds the monastery of Evaggelistria. The monastery was built in 1793 and decorated in 1809. The interior of the church, a three aisled basilica with a small dome, is decorated with the portrait of its constructor Christodoulos Marinos from Kapessovo, the portraits of the ancient wise men Solon, Plato, Thucydides, Aristotle and Plutarch and an illustration of Sibyl. Here, Neofytos Doukas, a writer and priest, took the monastic vows. The monastery celebrates on the Annunciation Day (25 March). It is a listed monument.
*monastery, architecture, hagiography, wise men, history
- Monastery of St. Paraskevi in Ano Pedina:
half an hour from the central square of Ano Pedina, above the village, lies the monastery of St. Paraskevi (1559). Its church remains. It is a cross-roofed temple with a 16-sided dome and its interior is painted by Vassilis Filis, a painter from the village of Hionadites, in 1925.
*architecture, monastery, hagiography, painters from the village Hionadites
- Monastery of the Prophet Elijah in Vitsa:
On the left side of the road from Vitsa to Monodendri, a monastery complex dominates the area. It dates back to the 15th century. The current building was constructed in 1632 and has been subject to repeated repairs and restorations from 1792 to 1974. Its church bears frescoes throughout and its narthex dates back to 1668. Here, national heroes such as Markos Botsaris and teachers of the nation such as Georgios Gennadios held their meetings as did the heads of the autonomous confederacy of Zagori during the Turkish occupation. It is a listed monument.
1793 Μαΐου 22 έπεσε χιών, ημέρα Κυριακή έρριξε χιών έως μίαν πιθαμήν εις τα βουνά. Εις τα χωρία του Ζαγορίου μία παλάμα (On Sunday, 22 May 1793, snow covered the mountains of Zagori ).
A remembrance found at the Monastery of Prophet Elijah in Vitsa.
* architecture, monastery, hagiography, history
- St. Nicholas of Vitsa:
A church constructed in 1612 with well-preserved hagiographies dating back to 1616. A single aisle basilica with an exceptional wall painting featuring goats in the narthex.
*architecture, church, hagiography
- St. Minas of Monodendri:
On the right side of the villages entrance, the interior of the cross-roofed basilica of the church of St. Minas, the narthex of which is covered by a blind dome with an eight-sided base, contains art by painters of the 17th century born in the village Linotopi. (1620 the frescoes of the main church) and Anastassios and Alexios of the 18th century. (1734 narthex). A wood carved chancel screen from1782. It is a listed monument.
* architecture, church, painters from the village of Linotopi
- St. Paraskevi of Monodendri:
From the central square of the village, a wide and well-made cobblestone road leads to a small plateau where the view over the gorge of Vikos is exciting at any time of the year. Full moon nights are magnificent. There, under the threatening rocks, above a 400 m deep gorge , Michael Voevodas built the monastery of St. Paraskevi in 1412. The caves above the monastery hosted hermits back in the 13th century. The abbey built in 1849, the church containing the portraits of the founder and his family, the cells, supporting rooms and the balcony (with the trap-door and its hidden exit to the gorge) constitute, with their small dimensions, a bright example of the exploitation of the space. Here is a jewel hidden in an eagles nest. Its scarce hagiographies constitute a rare token of the work of painters from Prespes and Achrida, since in Ioannina, where they mainly operated during that period, nothing was saved due to the fire that broke out in 1820.
The monastery celebrates on 26 July. It is a listed monument.
*monastery, architecture, hagiographies, natural beauty, view point
- Monastery of Rogovos:
Founded, according to tradition, by Pulcheria, sister of the emperor of Byzantium Romanos the 3rd of Argiros (1028-1034), the monastery of St. Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist) in Rogovos (at a distance of 2 km from Tsepelovo), was restored in 1749 and decorated in 1765 by Georgios, Anastassios and Ioannis from the village of Kapessovo. Cells, storehouses, supporting space, a library and rooms for vigil worshippers make up this historical monastery, where the residents of Zagori decided to house a University. St. John the Baptist is commemorated with a vigil and a religious celebration on 29 August and is celebrated with a festival on 24 June. A listed monument.
*architecture, monastery, hagiography, painters from Kapessovo, history
- The Monastery of Voutsa:
On a forest slope above the east bank of Vardas, the monastery of Voutsa, built, according to tradition, by Constantine Pogonatos, followed the fate of the place hosting it: In 1413 it was destroyed by Ottomans; it was restored in 1680, burned down by the forces of the occupation in 1943 and rebuilt in 1950. Its nave, cross-roofed with an internal dome, has been painted by the priest monks
*architecture, monastery, hagiography
- Church of St. Vlassios in Papigo:
With its five-zone, six-sided bell tower and the large basilica with its penthouse and verandah, the church of St. Vlassios is located in the beautiful, traditional settlement of Papigo. It celebrates on 11 February.
- Church of St. Dimitrios Klimatias:
Burned down along with the village during the German occupation (1943), it is decorated with exceptional frescoes. The destruction of the color from the fire has revealed the skill of the hagiographers. A listed monument.
* architecture, church, hagiography, history