Visit - Greece

3-4 April 2013
Zagori Municipality - Zagori National Park

Pindus Region of Northern Greece 


Zagori

Zagori is a region and a municipality in the Pindus mountains in Epirus, in northwestern Greece.It has an area of some 1,000 square kilometres and contains 45 villages known as Zagoria. Villages are built around a central square, also called mesochori (village centre) with a large church, a plane tree and a public fountain. Cobbled streets and footpaths interconnect the rest of the village. The provincial capital is the town of Ioannina. The population of the area is about 3,700, which gives a population density of 4 inhabitants per square kilometre, compared to an average of 73.8 for Greece as a whole.

Zagori is an area of great natural beauty, with striking geology and two national parks. The 45 or so villages of Zagori were interconnected by mountain roads and traditional arched stone bridges until modern roads were opened in the 1950s. The stone arched bridges were built by benefactions from expatriate merchants in the 18th century and replaced older wooden bridges.

 

 

The Meeting

The project meeting on the first day of the visit focused on the design and content of templates to standardise the presentation of information in key project areas such as an Inventory of Non-material and Cultural Heritage for each partner, and for Good Practice Sheets. Also a  plan was produced for all the tasks which had to be carried out with time limits for their production. The first day concluded with a traditional meal offered by the municipality of Zagori with traditional music and dance, which gave a real flavour of the local culture.


Visits

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to memory visits to several traditional villages within the Zagori municipality.  These visits included a visit to the information centre of the Pindus National Park, where the group learnt about the strong cultural and religious heritage of the area. this was particularly relevant for us as we come from an area rich in nature reserves and other designations.  The group went on to visit Monodendri. Here there was a visit to the Rizarios Exhibition Centre which specialises in photographic exhibitions of the Zagorian heritage, and to an adjoining school supported by the same foundation where young people learn traditional crafts of weaving, embroidery and carpet making. Nearby is the Monastery of Saint Paraskevi, an abandoned monastery on the edge of Vikos Gorge near the village of Monodendri. It was founded in 1413–1414, and consists of a small stone-built chapel, the oldest preserved in Zagori. In the afternoon the group visited the Lazardis cultural centre and the village of Kapessovo where they discovered a variety of local products.


Useful Links

The Rizarios Centre: Exhibition Centre and Craft School:  http://www.rizarios.eu/en/

The Zagori National Park: http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/home/zagorohoria
and http://naturallyzagori.gr/vikos-aoos-geo-park-epirus/

 

Gallery

 


The National Park building.


Exhibition in the National Park Centre


Traditional dancers.

 


The group at the Rizarios Exhibition Centre


A student working on the loom at the craft school.


Work on a loom.


Traditional workmanship from the craft school, available in the shop.


The track to the Monastery of Saint Paraskevi


The monastery is perched on the edge of the gorge.


Inside the church.


The Lazardis Cultural Centre.


Local produce and crafts in the village of Kapessovo.


A traditional Zagori village.


Regional houses.


A former school in Kepassovo


Traditional decoration in a village house.


A typical stone bridge of the region.

 


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