Landmarks in Ioannina

 

With a tumultuous past filled with glorious prosperity, foreign conquerors and bloody revolutions, Ioannina’s surviving castles, mosques, bridges and historical buildings tell the region’s story better than any book could.  


Throughout the Louros River Valley in the southern area of the region, there are several preserved inns dating back to when the area was frequently travelled through by caravans and horse-drawn carriages.
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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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Ali Pasha’s body is buried in front of the Fetiye Mosque and his grave is located within an intricate iron cage.
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Ioannina’s small island sits peacefully across the water and adds to the unique and picturesque charm of the city.
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Just outside the castle walls is what is today known as the Jewish quarter. Here a handful of elderly Jewish residents live in apartments.
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This bridge crosses the junction of the Varda and Zagoritikou Rivers just outside the village of Miliotades in Eastern Zagori.
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This unique three-arched bridge is located just outside the village of Kipi is also known as Plakida Bridge.
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One of the older bridges throughout the region is this beautiful stone bridge built in part by Gregoris Kokoris.
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One of the finest examples of stone bridges throughout the region as well as the recognisable emblem of Konitsa is this bridge which bears the village’s name.
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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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One of the three surviving mosques throughout Ioannina and the only which stands outside the castle walls.
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One of the most unique bridges throughout the region is the Bridge of Mylou which crosses the Bagiotiko River just outside the village of Kipi.
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The Kahal Kadosh Yashan synagogue known as the “old synagogue” can be found within the castle’s walls along Justinian Street. Its foundation is believed to date back to the Byzantine period.
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A short distance from the castle lies the Promahona Litharitsia, which roughly translates into “rock fortress.”
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This impressive building is located in the eastern section of the castle. It was built in 1818 and was used as Ali Pasha’s cavalry school.
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Throughout the city there are several stoes (long alleyways inside buildings) that have changed little over the centuries from when they were first built.
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Below the Tower of Voihmoundou lies the infamous vault of Ali Pasha. The ruler’s fortune was said to be incomparable to any of its time and has yet to be found.
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Braving the heights of Mount Grammos, the traditional village of Aetomilitsa literally sits at the pinnacle of Ioannina prefecture.
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This building was originally designed by Pericles Melirritos, the architect who designed the city’s clock tower. It originally housed the city’s baths which operated here until the 1960s.
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The Acropolis of Its Kale makes up a large section of the castle and within it lay the Fetiye Mosque, the graves of Ali Pasha and his family as well as several former residences within the castle. The remains of the buildings which housed the castle guards and army advisors still exist here.
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The former residences of Pasha Kalou can be found along the northern side of the castle. This is where the Aslan dynasty lived out over a century of drama before ceding power to Ali Pasha’s family. The views over the lake and island are most impressive here.
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Next to the Mosque of Aslan Pasha are the remains of the castle’s kitchens, where Ali Pasha’s decadent meals were once prepared. They were built towards the end of the 18th century and today a small cafe operates from this space.
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The remains of the only church that operated within the castle walls during Ottoman rule lie behind the vault of Ali Pasha.
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At the central gate of the castle you’ll find the impressive clock tower built by local architect Pericles Melirritos during the rule of Osman Pasha from 1897 - 1905. It was constructed to celebrate the anniversary of rule under the Sultan Abdoul Hamit Han and contains inscriptions from the Koran.
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Along the road from Dolo to Pogoniani, trekkers will encounter this simple, single-arched bridge which crosses the Kouvaras ravine.
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A few kilometres south of the village of Kato Meropi lays this single-arched bridge which spans a small ravine and sits above a small waterfall. It was built in 1830 and is located near the watermill of Palaiopirgos.
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Ironically, next to the church of Agios Anargiros are the remains of the infamous harem of Ali Pasha. It has been said that here, Ali the womaniser had 300 women coming from all parts of the Ottoman Empire.
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This large bridge outside the village of Kalouta features three stone arches and spans 51 metres in length. It was built in 1812 and stands next to a water mill.
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Located at the end of the Vikos Gorge, this elegant, high-arched bridge is in fine condition, despite the fact that it was built in 1853. It sits just outside the village of Kleidonias and bridges the Voidomatis River, explaining why this bridge is sometimes referred to as “Voidomatis Bridge”.
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Featuring two arches of differing sizes, this large bridge crosses the stream of Livadakia just outside the village of Agios Nikolaos.
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Another older bridge is that of Misiou, found along the stairs of Skala Vitsas which connects the villages of Vitsa and Koukouli. It was built in 1748 by Alexis Misios and offers its explorers fantastic views of the Vikos Gorge.
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This bridge takes its name from the elderly woman who paid for its reconstruction. Originally a wooden bridge, it was replaced in 1908 by the stone version that exists today. It crosses at the beginning of the Kouvaras Gorge just north of Dolo village.
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One of the most well-known and recognisable bridges throughout the region is the bridge of Plaka located within the Tzoumerka region. Its elegant, single arch crosses the Arachthos River and has an overall length of 61 metres.
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This simple, single-arched bridge crosses the Potamaki Stream and lies outside the villages of Seniko and Kerasea.
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Meaning “new bridge” in the Vlach dialect, this bridge was built around 1800 just outside the entrance of the village of Syrakko. Its single arch crosses the Arachthos and Kalaritikos Rivers.
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Meaning “old bridge” in the Vlach dialect, this bridge lies close to the entrance of Syrakko and just a few kilometres from Poudia Nouaou or “new bridge”.
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In the southern area of Konitsa, the well-preserved Soulaeiman Mosque was built to honour the Sultan Soulaeiman in 1536. Though it has needed several renovations, it’s unique due to the fact that its minaret is still intact. It stands in a picturesque location on the side of a hill.
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Its name means “Bridge made from God” and this natural bridge is the result of the rapid moving waters of the Kalamas River cutting through the rock over millennia. This rare geological phenomenon is a beautiful sight along the path running next to the river and shouldn’t be missed.
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This impressive tower dominates the skyline over Ioannina’s castle. It stands on top of the Acropolis of Its Kale.
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This double-arched bridge stands over the Tyria River just north of the village of Agios Nikolaos.
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Along the road from Plagias to Drosopigi lies this double-arched bridge. Though the date of its original building is unknown, it was renovated at least twice, in 1870 and 1927.
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