The "Stories of Epirus People" or "Ἀπειρωτᾶν" was created with an intention to offer young adults a space for sharing cultural heritage stories about Ioannina and the region of Epirus. The stories come from local people who are in connection with our communities for many years and like to share with us about the culture, history and little secrets of our region. Below you will find stories, galleries and videos created by our volunteers.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE REGION OF EPIRUS
The local style in Epirus of the houses of towns and villages are constructed according to the traditional architecture style. This style follows the natural landscape, a characteristic of this region, with arched bridges connecting the villages and impressive churches and mosques. At that time, they used the raw materials available on hand, like stone and wood.
Master craftsmen and builders constructed houses with stone walls, slate roofs of rock and mist. These houses, today, are well-maintained in many areas around Epirus.
Each house is usually rectangular build, with one or two levels and is enclosed by a tall stone yard wall with a wooden gate. Which offered protection, in earlier times, against raiders and the harsh weather conditions.
ARCHITECTURE OF IOANNINA
Ioannina is an interesting architecture where the Orient meets the neoclassical style. It is a crossroads of cultures and religions combined in a traditional architecture of Epirus.
From 1913 until the end of XVIIIe, the city was in the hands of the Ottomans. This domination gave rise to an interesting mix of cultures and merged into a combination of the Ottoman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.
Today, it hosts a museum about the technology of silversmithing during the preindustrial period.
Τουρκική Βιβλιοθήκη - The Turkish Library
The Turkish library is a religious educational complex, named library because of many handwriting books which are not anymore here. It is probably connected to the home and the medrese (a Sacred School) of Aslan pasha.
The building is composed of an open porch formed by columns with arches. It has staircase structured with two contoured arcs, one of which located under the landing forms, a vaulted entrance to the ground floor and the adjacent areas of the building.
The building has on the first floor, one reading room and two small rooms on either side of the entrance with a narrow-vaulted corridor between them. The latter is formed on the facade of the building on the floor with a colonnaded arch, where a stone staircase ends.
The face of the staircase is structured with two unequal arches, from which the one under the wide staircase is formed into an arched entrance to the ground floor auxiliary spaces of the building. The corridor between them leads north to a large square vaulted room, the reading room. The face of the staircase is structured with two unequal arches, from which the one under the wide staircase is formed into an arched entrance to the ground floor auxiliary spaces of the building. The corridor between them leads north to a large square vaulted room, the reading room.
In the outer the dome of the rooms and the corridor carry a roof which formed a conical dome, and the porch is covered by an independent wooden roof. As well, the building is illuminated by several windows on each side of it. Today this library is no longer used, and the manuscripts and printed books present in the building at the time, are no longer there.
Σουφαρί Σαράϊ -The school Soufari Saraï
The megaron of soufarids (which means horsemen) is today a large historical building. It was built in the same period with the wall of the castle between the year 1815 and 1820 by Aslan pasha. It is the most important military building of the period, it housed Ali and the Ottoman’s cavalry school. The architecture is composed of a two-storey, stone-built, rectangle in plan. The ground floor is formed in four elongated spaces, separated from each other by pillars, arches. Extensive fixing and restoration works have been carried out in the building. This building was restored and today it is used as a school and it houses the general archives of the state.
Καπλάνειος Σχολή - Kaplanios School
This Neoclassical building is one of the examples of the neo-Byzantine style. Built in 1926 by Pericles Melirritos, an engineer, this school is a large, stone imposing and heavy building, named after the national benefactor Zoi Kaplanis.
It was built to house the Kaplanio school for boys and the Elizabethan school for girls. Inaugurated in March 1926 under the patronage of metropolitan Spyridon and in the presence of mayor V. Pyrsinella, the consuls of Italy, France, Romania and Albania and many other officials.
In the school, during the period 1941-1943, the Italian military administration established the headquarters of the Italian Carabinieri. A school room was turned into a torture room… After the war, the building continued to function as a school complex, but the separation of males and girls was abolished. Today it is a protected historical monument and housed primary schools and kindergartens.
Το Λουτρό των Ιωαννίνων - The Ottoman Bath
The Ottoman bath is one of the earliest surviving Ottoman monuments in Ioannina. The building consists of a large square room to the west, an intermediate vaulted area, the main bathroom, the vaulted tank and the ovens for heating water.
The bath is constructed of masonry composed of limestone mixed with brick and small flat stones, with brick domes and pointed arches over openings and niches.
The frigidarium is a hall with a dome. There are niches in the walls, one of which is a mihrab-type niche decorated with stalactites.
There is a fountain at the center of the hall, and channel running the length of the east and north walls.
The tepidarium is a long and narrow vaulted room with hypocausts (an underfloor heating system used in Roman times throughout the Empire, particularly by the Gallo-Romans in Roman baths). In two more small rooms are found in one, hypocausts and one that served as a lavatory.
The caldarium is the main hall of the bath. It is a cross-in-square plan with a perforated dome over the central part and vaulted eastern, western, and southern arms. In the corners are four small private rooms, each with a dome and hypocausts. The north walls is decorated with stalactites in a cascading arrangement.
The boiler-room is a narrow-vaulted room on the south side of the building. There is a closed, vaulted reservoir at the west end of the room.
This architecture is preserved in a semi-ruined condition despite the occasional interventions.
Ιερός Ναός Αγίου Γεωργίου - Saint George Orthodox Church
This church is a cruciform basilica with a dome and occupies an area of 250 square meters. The construction of the building start on the august 7th, 1960, foundation from the Metropolitan priest of Ioannina of this time, Serafim.
It was inaugurated on 25th of october 1970 by the Patriarch of Alexandria, Nicholas VI. Until 1996 it functioned as a chapel of the First Metropolitan Church of Agios Athanasios and since then until today it functions as a Pilgrimage Church.
Παπαζόγλειος Υφαντική Σχολή - School of Engineering Department of Architecture
This school was built in a Neoclassical style. It is the work of Pericles Melirritos and it is perhaps the first since its establishment in Ioannina. This building is one of the three buildings with the Pyrsinella Mansion and the Kaplanis School, that constitute a special architectural triangle. Each of these buildings comes from a different period.
Today this mansion is designated as a protected historical monument.
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