Church/Monastery in Epirus (Northwest Greece)


All but dangling on the edge of the Vikos Gorge lays the monastery of Agia Paraskevi in the village of Monodendri.
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Located just south of the village of Kastrosikias, this 17th century monastery lies in a pleasant setting on a hillside. It was first built sometime during the 17th century and was renovated twice after.
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In the area of Stefani within the Louros district, lies this church which was founded in 1937. It was built on top of the ruins of a Byzantine church which dated back to either the 10th or 11th century.
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This church dating back to 1780 is a prime example of the Ionian architecture that characterises a myriad of churches throughout the area.
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In the village of Negades, this church stands out for its remarkable frescoes and unique bell tower in the shape of a hexagon.
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The temple of Agios Haralambos is one of the city’s most impressive churches. It was first built during the 18th century on top of an older church. It can be characterised as a single space basilica.
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Also found on Nisaki island is this monastery in which the famed ruler Ali Pasha met his fate in 1822. He was beheaded in the lower level of the monastery as he awaited the sultan’s pardon in vain.
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This small charming church sits on the eponymous island adjacent to Parga and Krioneri Beach.
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Another example of an early church is the Church of Taxiarches outside the village of Kostaniani.
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Within the Fortress of Its Kale stands this impressive mosque. Its current structure was commissioned by Ali Pasha in 1795 to replace the older version built 1430 on top of the ruins of an old Byzantine Church.
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If there were one church throughout all of Ioannina which should be on every traveller’s itinerary, this would be it.
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This church was first founded during the 11th century, though today’s structure dates back to the 18th century.
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Just east of the Zalongo Monument lies this former monastery which is now a church.
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One of the most well-known churches throughout the region is the Lekatsa Monastery. It was built during the 17th century on a hilltop within the Lekatsa forest.
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Dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, this monastery features some impressive wall frescoes and paintings throughout.
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The Molyvdoskepastos Monastery lies within mere metres of Greece’s northern border with Albania. It’s one of the oldest churches throughout the region, dating back to the mid-5th century.
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This unassuming monastery is noteworthy not for any of its physical characteristics or collections, but for one of its monks who attended the monastery during the end of the 16th century.
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One of the oldest churches throughout the Ioannina region is this large monastery outside the village of Romanos, first built in 1113.
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Within the village of Chrysovitsa, this intriguing monastery has been the focus of an interesting legend.
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Dating back to 1156, this church dedicated to the birth of the Virgin Mary is impressive not only for its age or large stone temple, but of the beautiful area that it’s found in.
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As many churches in Greece named after the prophet Elijah, this monastery is built on the highest point of the region of Zitsa in the northwest part of the prefecture.
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This monastery once lay in ruins but has been renovated and now serves as one of Parga’s emblems. Its most noteworthy features include a 15 meter tall bell tower with its nine bells.
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This mosque, also known as the Mosque of Ali Pasha, was built in 1618, almost 200 years before its namesake came to power in the region.
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Built during the 17th century, this monastery dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary contains both stone and wooden structures such as a school, a precinct and cells.
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One of the largest and most important churches in the area is this monastery built in 1714 in the village of Achladea.
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The tumultuous history of this monastery and the invaluable role it played during both the Turkish and German occupations is one of the reasons why so many visitors are drawn to this church each year.
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This monastery was first commissioned by the sister of the then Byzantine emperor, Romanos III, during the mid 11th century.
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Built in 1665 by monks Sophronios and Joakim, this monastery seems to emerge from the steep cliffs that it has virtually been built into.
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Standing proud in the centre of the village square is the church of Agia Paraskevi. It was constructed sometime during the 16th century and acts as the unofficial emblem church of Metsovo.
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The sole remaining church within the castle walls, this small chapel is located behind the vault of Ali Pasha.
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Within the village of Stefanis in the district of Louros, you’ll find the temple of Agios Athanasios.
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This temple can be found in the village of Oropo and was built during the 18th century.
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The large three –aisled church of Agios Dimitrios in Krania boasts some of the finest architecture of the region which speaks of its importance during the 19th and 20th centuries. It was built in 1869 by Christodoulos and Sotiris of the town of Konitsa in Ioannina.
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Located on the small island of “Nisaki” just across the lake from the city of Ioannina, this monastery features some interesting wall frescoes of various saints but also includes paintings of a few ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.
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This impressive church was built in 1912 after being commissioned by Vasilis Georgakis of Ioannina. The large bell tower built in the Ionian style is its most well-known characteristic.
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Built by the emperor of the time Micheal Angelo, (not to be confused with the famous painter) this Byzantine Monastery has been kept in remarkable condition for over 300 years. It can be found just outside the village of Kypseli along the northern border of the prefecture.
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The Church of St. Athanasios is located at the central beach of Krioneri in Parga. It stands across from the small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary on the small island across the beach.
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Agios Nikolaos is the patron saint of Parga and this impressive church found in the centre of the town is the largest in Parga.
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At the bottom of the cliff and just above the Beach of Agios Sostis lies this small church bearing the same name.
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This small church dedicated to St. Spyridon is located in a small harbor along Valtos beach just outside Parga.
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Extraordinary examples of wall paintings and gold can be found in the Church of the birth of the Virgin Mary. According to experts, the church was built during the 18th century and the art found within it is impressive.
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The Church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary is located in the village of Polistafilo within the district of Thesprotikos.
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This church of the Twelve Apostles or Dodeka Apostoli is found next to the Ecclesiastic Museum in the center of Parga. It is the most well-known church in Parga and sees a frequent flow of faithful followers and curious visitors.
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In the village of Nea Kerasounta, visitors can find the Church of Elias. It was built in 1720 and its interior consists of three aisles and a domed roof. Due to damages to the original church, it was renovated in 1852 by the abbot Dionisis I.
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Located near the village of Ano Kotsanopoulo is the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin. An older temple once stood in the same location and in 1850, the Monk Kyprianos began building the church that visitors can see today, which features three aisles and a domed roof.
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This church stands in the village of Vrisoulas in the Louros district.
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This Byzantine monastery was built in the 17th century and is located in the village of Kozilis, just under the hill of Zalongou. It was here that the Bishop of Kozilis was founded following the desertion of the settlement of Nikopolis just before the year 1020.
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This monastery was founded during the late 18th century by the abbot Dionysios close to the ancient site of Kassopi. Today the Zalongo Monument also stands near it.
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Dedicated to St. Nicolas, this church can be found at the southern edge of town in Metsovo. It’s a large monastery that was considerably wealthy at one time and today still has an impressive amount of land surrounding it which is used for vineyards.
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Also known as “Tsouka Rossa” in the local Vlach dialect, both names mean “red stone” and its interior filled with beautiful frescoes is certain to impress visitors. While the actual founding date remains unknown, the paintings date back to the mid-18th century.
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This beautiful old church is located in the foothills of the village Pappadates in the region of Thesprotikos.
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The impressive paintings of saints within this long-standing church are what draw visitors to this church located in the area of Kastri.
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Also located near the village of Achladea is this small single-spaced church was where a strange ceremony took place involving shepherds bringing their sheep and goats through the church and back out again. Each of the two arched entranceways was designated for humans and animals.
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This church dates back to 1114, when it was founded by the then Prince Micheal. It underwent a massive renovation in 1787 and was later filled with beautiful paintings and frescoes crafted by iconographers from the famed villages of Kapesovo and Tsepelovo.
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The Church of the Prophet of Elijah is found on the top of the hill of Trikastro where the remains of an ancient acropolis lie.
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Another church with impressive views is the Sosinou Holy Monastery just outside the village of Ano Parakalamos, which looks over the Kalamos River valley atop Sosinou Hill. The hill is also home to traces of a fortress dating back to the 4th century BC, though little else is known.
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Another monastery with ties to an emperor is the Votsas Monastery just west of the village of Doliani. The current building dates back to 1680, though it was first founded in the 7th century by emperor Konstantinos Pogonatos.
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Inside the women’s Monastery of Agia Paraskevi lies the tomb of the saint along with the rock on which she was martyred. The two cracks in the rock are said to have been left by her hands. The monastery lies in the village of Bouda near Kanalaki.
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The Women’s Monastery of Agios Dimitrios is located under Mt. Zalongo just like the men’s monastery bearing the same name.
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