#225 Church of Saint Paraskevi (Metsovo)


It is perhaps the most noteworthy temple of Metsovo, located in the center of the village.


Construction Data

The temple presents a real gem of the village center. It is built in a three-aisled basilica style, while inside the church we discern the beautiful wooden carved templon, the throne, the pulpit, the shrine, and the unique wooden carved ceiling. Its wood carved templon is dated back to 1730 and is the work Metsovite craftsmen. In the upper zone of ??the templon is situated the icon of St. Nicholas of Metsovo, work of Metsovite painter Stergios Papagiannis (1755) while the other 10 are dated to the first half of the 18th century and are positioned in the lower zone. 9 of them date back to the period 1820-1834 and were contributions of wealthy Metsovites permanently residing in Russia, while one of them, the image of Agia Paraskevi, dates back to 1753.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the church has two pulpits, from which the largest and tallest is the work of Metsovite (taliadoro) woodcarver Stergios Petris , who also carved the magnificent pulpit of the church of St. Dimitrios in Metsovo.

In the courtyard we see the imposing 25-meter high stone belfry, built in the 1880s with the funds of Georgios Averof, who also renovated it after a decade. In the courtyard we also locate the war memorial, the bust of Metsovite archmandrite Modestos Pertsalis and the commemorative column the Nation's apostle, Kosmas the Aetolian (1714-1779).

Historical Data

Although the erection date of the temple is not known, some renovations occurred in 1511, 1705, 1759 and in 1894 at the expense of Georgios Averof, as well as the Foundation Tositsa 1959 and 1991-4.

Up to 1659, Metsovo and specifically St. Paraskevi church, was subjected to the Diocese Stagon. From 1659-1924 the temple of St-limit became exarchic, which meant that it was the main temple of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Metsovo, a historic institution that was established in 1659 and gained legal and state status by a royal decree issued by Sultan Mehmet IV. Subjected to the Patriarchal Exarchate Metsovo, besides the town of Metsovo, were also Milia, Anilio, Malakassi, Koutsoufliani, Votonosi and Dervendista (present day Anthohori). From 1924 until 1928, the temple of St. Paraskevi became Metropolitan, after the promotion of the Exarchate to a Metropolis, in which Timotheos Lamnis was named Bishop. .Bishop Timotheos was one of the excellent Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

In the yard of the church, during the celebration day for St. Paraskevi and after the end of the litany, at the location "koultouki", a women's dance takes place. The women are dressed with their formal, colorful local costumes.

In the church are kept several relics, such as silver goblets and silver crosses, the gold plated Russian made Gospel, as well as silver ware, benefits from Georgios Averof.

The church of St. Paraskevi in Metsovo has a historic importance and is the central axis of the religious, national and cultural life of the residents. According to Giorgos Plataris, the commissioners of St. Paraskevi were always the notables of Metsovo, since its vault contained all the documents and confessions of Metsovo, its properties, and every document concerning Metsovo's administrative issues.

As mentioned by M. Tritou, another glorious page of the temple of St. Paraskevi of Metsovo is its choir tradition. The byzantine music was introduced to the temple by first chanter Dionisios from Ioannina, who was taught in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The temple of St. Paraskevi also had a great contribution in the field of education. The famous Greek school of Metsovo was initially housed in its cells, and later was In cells of the originally housed the famous Ellinoscholeio Metsovo, which became one of the major national strongholds of Epirus, a highly valued educational center, in which scholars and some of the most proud teachers of the era used to teach.

In 1759 the High Porte provided permission for the repair of the temple of St. Paraskevi, and the Metsovites took advantage of the opportunity to increase the halls of the Greek School. The famous Greek School was housed and operated within the well suited cells of the temple until 1817. After 1817 the Greek School was housed in a regular schooling facility that was built at the expense of pachalniko Dim. Zamanis, who was a powerful official in the Sultan's court. After the Greek School's destruction, by fire, that occurred on the 13th of April 1840 and destroyed the library, which numbered 4.000 books and several manuscripts, the Greek School started operating again within the cells of St. Paraskevi. The temple of St. Paraskevi, besides its spiritual and devotional character, is also a brilliant cultural monument that never ceases to impress those who visit it.

Additional information of historical, cultural and tourism interest

The square of Metsovo is filled with shops selling handicrafts, ornate woodwork utilitarian objects, drums, traditional textiles, dairy products and the famous wines "Katogi" that are produced in Metsovo. The wine is produced from French vines of the area Bordeaux, which grow in the areas "Ginietsi" and "Boianou" of Metsovo. Their vinification, maturation and bottling are assigned to the newly built specialized winery, which is the exclusive property of Evangelos Averof - Tositsas.

Opposite of Metsovo is Anilio, built at an altitude of 1050 m. below the top of Peristeri Oksia (alt. 1635 m.). Above the village is the new ski resort of Metsovo.

At the entrance of the village is the information center for the National Park of Pindos - Valia Kalda, where are housed exhibits about the nature and culture of the region.

Under the old castle of Metsovo, in the main square, is the Gallery of the Foundation Evangelos Averof - Tositsa.

The area of Metsovo is rich in religious monuments. Monasteries and churches flood the surrounding region and invite the visitor to explore them.

In the surrounding area can be found three regions, which are part of the Natura 2000 network and these are the Pindos National Park (Valia Calda) (GR1310003), the Area of Metsovo (Anilio - Katara) (GR2130006) and the Mountain Lakmos.

Many events take place in Metsovo in July, such as the "Pichtia", cultural and artistic events that are held annually on the last weekend of July. On July 20th a festival takes place near the church of Prophet Elias, at an altitude of 1400 m. On July 26th, the day of Agia Paraskevi, takes place a religious feast, where women of the village, with traditional costumes, dance and sing Vlach songs. On August 15th, at the Monastery of Panagia, takes place a festival with traditional events involving dance groups.

Within Anthochori are the folklore museum and the Water Power Museum, which consists of a mill, a fulling mill and mantania that are driven by water power from the stream Rona. It's an example of exploitation of water power and a monument, essentially, of the technology used by people during the pre-industrial period to meet the food and clothing needs. Of interest is also the church of St. Theodoron.

In Votonosi archaeologists discovered a citadel of the classical period, now known under the name Lachanokastro. From previous research in Votonosi have been found at the foot of the citadel several inscribed tombstones, which were built in the retaining walls of the fields in Tria Hania. Bronze vases and pottery were found elsewhere, demonstrating the importance of the region that is located in the old road Ioannina - Metsovo - Kalambaka and was the ancient crossing of Pindos. Notable are the church of the Transfiguration, with ornate wooden templon and the settlement Myli, where there are ruins of old mills. The houses in the area are built following the standard Metsovian form of a three-room house with closed wooden balcony (kepegki), which is usually made of wood.

Remarkable cultural monuments of Milia are the church of St. Nicholas that was built in the 16th century, the one of St. Athanasios and the one of Panagia. Of interest are the fulling mill at the village entrance, the derelict watermills and the information kiosk for the Nature and Culture, from where you can retrieve information about the Pindos National Park - Valia Kalda, the paths and the nature of the area.