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Konitsa

The region of Konitsa is found in the embrace of mountainous volume of Northern Pindos, in the north department of the Prefecture of the city of Ioannina. It is extended by the river Grammos up to the mountain Timfi and the Smolikas. It borders in the East with the west Macedonia (with the municipalities of Kastoria and Grevena) and on Albania westwards. The intense geographic bas-relief and the rivers Aoos, Voidomatis and Sarantaporou determines the historical and cultural course of the place while the human activity is encouraged by the existence of forests, meadows in the plates, flat extents, continuous flow of water, rich vegetation and also rich fauna. A city with the name Konitsais not answered in the ancient and Byzantine sources up to the dues of 14th century. The very little elements that show human activity in the place Palaiogoritsa at the Roman and the ancient Christian period, decrease the probabilities of the existence of life in the place of the current city-at least at the ancient Christian period - even if is not excluded the use of the Castle already from the Roman period. New elements however resulted for the history of Konitsa afterwards the important revelation in the settlement, when at the duration of the excavations were found two graves in a shape of a box, two cupreous arms and a vessel. These discoveries are dated by the Inland Revenue of Pre-historic and Classic Antiquities of the city of Ioannina in the Precocious season of Iron (1100-900 before Crist) and are related with the important discoveries of a cemetery of Liatovouniou. It is the first time where come in the light so much important antiquities in the city of Konitsa, make that changes up to now data on the past of the city, which is transferred, with elements henceforth, a lot of centuries behind. For the first time the Konitsa is reported with her current name in the Chronicle of the city of Ioannina. The report is related with the fortification of the Castle in the 1380 from the "Despot of" the city of Ioannina Thomas Preloumpo that strengthens it in order to faces the raids of the apostate toparch Isaim from the Leskoviki. The period after the Byzantine Empire in the Konitsa exist at least two settlements, the one in the place Laqa under the Castle and the second more tally in the place Palaiochori, where today is found the shops and the central square. Even if it is not delivered immediately by the sources, it is certainly known that the first occupation of the city from the Turkr became in the dues of the 14th century, while the final of the city with the city of Ioannina became in the 1430 or even little earlier. The Ottomans appreciating the strategic geographic place create the Vilaeti of Konitsa that included the entire wider region, depending in the Santzaki of the city of Ioannina.The abandonment of the near settlements, as the Servina and the Old Goritsa, afterwards the conquest by the Turks, encourages the growth of Konitsa, which assembles the rural population of the around region and begins to develop in agricultural veterinarian and commercial centre. The cession of privileges in the rich families of the city was consequence of their adhesion in the Islam. The 16th century they are founded in Konitsa two big panes. The pane of "Housein Siah" (which was demolished in the decade of 1920), that was built according to the tradition in the 1500 from the Sultan Vagiazit the second and the pane of "Soultan Souleiman", that is saved devastated in the place Laqa. Founder is considered the Sultan Souleiman the Great (in 1494-1566). The 17th century propagates in the region, via the Albanians that believed in Islam, the sect of Mpektasidon that found in the Muslim of Konitsa the right moment to growth. They are founded enough churches, that was Moslem monasteries of dervisides and in their group was included tourmpedes (mausoleum), spaces of ceremonies and jails. In the village Konitsa are saved today only four tourmpedes that is mausoleums that were built above graves of important forms and eminent clergymen. The second half of the 17th century residents of Dipalitsas (Molivdoskepasti) and Ostanitsa (Aidonochori), turned away from Albanian sexes, install themselves in the safety Konitsa, which continues to acme after the dues of 17th century and it had vice governor (Mouselimi) and ‘Priest judge’ (Cadi).The intense presence and supremacy of Greek element in the city declare the operation of Greek school at least from the beginning of 18th century and the frequent presence of Bishop Vellas. The sovereignty of Ali Tepelenli Pasha of the city of Ioannina, in the dues of 18th century and in the beginning of 19th century imposes calm in the region and encourages the further growth of Konitsa. Contradictory personality the Ali Pashas protected the letters, the arts, and the trade and realised big building work. In the Upper Konitsa is saved devastated the mansion, where was given birth and grows the mother of Hamko, girl of zeinel-Bey. The same period are built big mansions from the eminent local technical experts and the builders according to the frugal architectural tradition of the place, with lightly differentiated characteristically concerning those of the region Zagori. The temple of the Saints-apostle in the Laqa and the Metropolitan temple of Saint-Nikolaos are the only one that saved inside the settlement by the period of Ottoman domination. The first rebuilt in the 1791, in his interior however is saved by older phases two layers of murals and portable pictures that date the monument at least two centuries earlier. The Metropolitan temple built in the 1842 in the press three vaulted Royal. The enough portable pictures of the Temple and in the remainder temple are works of Hionaditon of painters from the second half of the 19th century. Many of them are made "via subscription and expenses of Priest Hrisanthos Laenas.

 

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