#135 Monastery of Prophet Ilias (Parakalamos)


Over the Paidonia traditional settlement, near the village of Parakalamos, on a rocky hillside lies the monastery of Paidonia.

Construction Data

From the monastery complex of 1732, only the nave survived, as well as ruins of the older infrastructure. The main temple is a small, single-aisled basilica, comprising of the nave and the Sanctuary The interior does not impress, as since the initial hagiography, only a few are preserved in good condition, while the temple has received later additions, such as the eikonostasis.

Historical Data

The present, ruined monastery is nothing reminiscent of its prosperous past, as according to tradition had major real estate lands in possession, and numerous lambs and goats.

According to Aravantinos (Description of Epirus, Part 1, pp. 161,1866), it was founded in 1732, and in 1874 was annexed to the Monastery of Sosinos:

"The small monastery of prophet Ilia, close to Pogdoriani and under the jurisdiction of Sozinos, a building of the past century, raised in the year 1732."

The Monastery of Prophet Elias was a wealthy monastery, with large real estate (60 fields-meadows-vineyards, 727 acres in total) and many goats and sheep, which "in the summer milked on the mountain of Psilotera -above the monastery- and from there the milk was transferred to the monastery by pipes (sougialo)".

Additional information of historical, cultural and tourism interest

Almost every village has surprises that challenge/cause the visitor to explore them.

Kefalovryso, the old big village of the area develops intense economic activity even today, because, apart from the livestock activities, it hosts the machining factory, the well-known "Metallurgical Industry", in which euro coins have been manufactured.

Dolo is one of the most beautiful villages in the region. Since 1978 it is a featured traditional settlement, due to its significant architectural features, which were stockpile.

Apart from people's works, Dolo is also endowed by nature, which gave it a unique landscape that is formed around Kouvaras' ravine.

Palaiopyrgos village has also a strong archaeological interest, as on the banks of Gormos river, in Plasi and Palioura location, the archaeological excavations brought to light two settlements of the early iron age.

Delvinaki has been the historical centre of Pogoni for years.

A village which stands out both for its rare beauty and its architectural heritage is Visani.

In Oreokastro village there are the sources of Glava, from which Gormos River is formed.

One of the most important economic and administrative centres of the region and the headquarters of the municipality of Ano Kalamas is Parakalamos which is located at an altitude of 400 m. and is 45km. away from Ioannina.

A unique natural gem of the area is Zaravina Lake. The Lake is included in the area of the Natura 2000 network, under the name "Mount Douskon, Oraiokastro, Meropi forest, Gormos plain, Lake of Delvinaki (GR 2130010)" band indeed is one of the main reasons for the integration of the region in the European network of protected areas.

In an area of rich vegetation and fascinating nature, there are the ravine and the waterfalls of Kalamas.

One of the most beautiful villages of the region, Pogoniani, stands out both for its natural environment and its cultural contribution.

Built amphitheatrically, near Greek-Albanian borders, lies Staurodromi village. Amongst its buildings, St Ioannis' the Baptist church stands out, which was built in 1183 and is one of the oldest monasteries in Epirus.

Near to the frontier station and to the custom of Kakavia, there is Ktismata village. In the region the stain of the ancient greek culture is evident, because evaluatively, in Ktismata are kept the most important discoveries of Pogoni. There we meet findings of the ancient city "Kastri", which is the second oldest city of Epirus.