ANO KALAMAS / CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS
At a strategic location that controls all passages, at a short distance from the entrance of Ano Parakalamos, a two-kilometer dirt road full of turns and surprises leads us to the monastery of Sossinou, which is hidden among thick vegetation. The view over the quiet valley of Kalamas and the successive mountain chains in the background are a stunning sight. The nave has been saved, the reservoir has been restored with a four-layer roof, the hospice has been preserved and the external wall of the ruined cells has been repaired. The presence of fortresses is prevalent in the area. The monastery was a shelter for nearby farmers in times of danger. It also hosted refugees from Ioannina after a big fire in 1820. The nave, built in 1598 according to the tradition of Athos, with a dome and sidelong choruses, is strongly reminiscent of the nave of the Pateron Monastery.
The frescoes are by painters Demetrios and Christodoulos and date back to 1832 (beneath them is an initial layer created in 1602). Underground spaces and hiding places allow our imagination to run free. The slates of the naves roof have been replaced with Byzantine tiles.
A listed monument. It celebrates on 25 March with a festival and musical bands from Parakalamos. It is open to visitors and the keys are held by the church commissioners of Parakalamos.
* architecture, monastery, festival, view, hagiography
Paleochristian location of Aghios Georgios Dolianon
In the location (N)opaghia of Aghios Georgios Dolianon, the 8th Committee of Byzantine Monuments has discovered, a few meters away from the banks of the Kalamas, a paleochristian royal church dated in the 5th 6th century with mosaic floors of exceptional artistry.
Monastery of Vella
2 km away from Kalpaki, on the road to Chrissorahi and Vrontismeni, the monastery of Vellas emerges through rich vegetation. The date it was founded is unknown; but experts estimate it to be between the 11th and 12th century, based on certain architectural elements of its nave. The wall paintings dating back to 1745 are exceptional works of art by the painters Anastassios and Ioannis. The presence of the ancient Greek wise men on its narthex is noteworthy. The hagiography of goats with monsters and the zodiac circle on the dome of the narthex is impressive. A religious and spiritual center of the area, it experienced great prosperity by the middle of the 19th century and reached its peak in 1911, when the eparch of Vella and Konitsa, who later became the Archbishop of Athens and Greece, Spyridon, founded the famous seminary, which operated until 1977. An Ecclesiastical College and single lyceum are currently operating in the area.
The monastery is a listed monument. Open to visitors. It celebrates on the 8 September although it is devoted to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. Its green hills constitute a shelter for animals of prey.
300 m. to the northwest is an old royal residence that hosts the shepherds of the monasterys farm. At a distance of 1 hour on foot above the monastery are located the ruins of the Byzantine Vella.
*architecture, monastery, festival, Byzantine town, seminary, hagiographies, ancient place, wise men, zodiac circles, goats
Monastery of Makrialexi
A one hour walk along the dirt road from the village Aghia Marina will take you to the Monastery of Makrialexi in Kato Lavdani. It can also be accessed by a four-wheel drive vehicle from Kato Lavdani, through a dirt road. It is said that in 1605 the monastery funded the construction of Zalogogefiro bridge, above the tributary river of Kalamas, Zalogitiko, on the Ioannina-Paramithia-Igoumenitsa road . The monastery has also funded the construction of the bridge of Vrossina. A part of the cells is preserved in the northwestern side and the nave, built in 1585, possibly constructed over an older church constructed in the 11th century, which was founded according to tradition - by the priest monk Dionysius. The internal space of the church has been painted by the hagiographers Nikolaos and Michael from the village of Inotopi in Kastoria. The narthex was decorated in the 19th century by the painter Vassilios from Barbouri. The bema [raised platform]-door of the church and two icons dated 1593 (Jesus enthroned and Virgin Mary holding the enthroned infant Jesus) are exhibited in the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina. The monastery celebrates on 15 August. Monastery of the Prophet Elijah in Paedonia
Above the settlement of Paedonia in Ano Parakalamos following a difficult, steep 20-minute uphill walk and with the church Metamorphosis of the Savior as a starting point, visitors encounter the monastery of Prophet Elijah with its unique hagiographies.
* architecture, monastery, hagiography Monastery of St. Athanasius of Pogdoriani (Ano Parakalamos)
At a short distance from Ano Parakalamos on the right. Dirt road. By foot.
Watermill Monuments Mill of Ieromnimi: The unique mill that performs three activities: that of a flourmill, electricity generator and water mill. Thanks to this watermill, Ieromnimi was the first village of the area to be supplied with electricity. The mill, the water friction and the looms of Ieromnimi are listed monuments.
Mill of Sitaria: The largest mill of the region located in a beautiful forest outside the village.
Mill of Kouklioi: it is located in the village and was in operation until the 1970s. The irrigation channels of the area are also interesting.
*traditional architecture, economy