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Ioannina: cultural points of interest

Epirus ● Ioannina ● 23 April 2018
 

Ioannina is one of the prettiest towns in western Greece, in the region of Epirus. Traditional architecture, wealth of history, cultural riches and astonishing natural attractions make this city an ideal spring destination. Ioannina offers a great variety of historical sites and museums that will turn your holidays into amazing cultural vacation.

The Castle of Ioannina is built on a small, rocky promontory in Lake Pamvotida and contains a charming residential district with old houses, narrow streets and the atmosphere of past decades. Some of the most famous monuments of the city are located within its walls. The Aslan Pasha Mosque is home to the Municipal Ethnographic Museum, which showcases the local costumes, jewellery, blankets and woodcarvings of the Greek, Muslim and Jewish communities that lived there. The stunning Silversmithing Museum is devoted to Epirus's silversmithing tradition, and it has a beautifully presented collection of heirlooms, weapons, coins and icons. The Byzantine Museum comprises finds from local excavations as well as icons and frescoes from the wider area.


The islet in Lake Pamvotida is one of the few inhabited lake islands in Europe. There are seven Byzantine monasteries there, making the island the third biggest monastic community after Mt. Athos and Meteora. These monasteries stand out for their marvellous icons. The islet is also home to the Museum of Ali Pasha, whose collection comprises objects from the Ottoman ruler and the Greek War of Independence in 1821.

The Archaeological Museum of Ioannina is situated in a building designed by the famous modern architect Aris Konstantinidis, and it shows finds from the Dodona Sanctuary. Dodona, located 22 km from Ioannina Town, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. It was home to the country's most ancient oracle and one of the biggest theatres in antiquity. Among the structures uncovered during the excavation are the theatre and the stadium of the 3rd century B.C., the Acropolis, the Prytaneion and the Temple of Zeus, all from the 4th century B.C.


The Centre of Traditional Industry of Ioannina showcases Epirus' long and distinguished tradition in silversmithing through 25 workshops and interactive exhibits that enable visitors to watch and participate in the process of traditional casting as well as in making filigree.

Perama Cave consists of a long succession of chambers bedecked with stalactites and stalagmites, while the Museum of Greek History in the village of Bizani boasts 150 wax effigies representing various historical themes inspired by important chapters of Epirus' history.


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