#17 Taxiarches (Kato Pedina)

Location

Kato Pedina is a Municipal District of Central Zagori and in the census of 2001 had 87 inhabitants. The village is built on the west side of the plateau at an altitude of 940 meters, between the mountains Mitsikeli and Stouro, in a sunless slope of the first bearing the name "Bafarachi" and in view of the crest of the second.

The Church of the Archangels is just outside Kato Pedina, just beside the main road.

Construction Data

The Church of the Archangels was built in the 17th century and decorated almost a century later by the famous painter Kapesovo native Anastasios. It is a small, well-preserved church that goes beyond the usual style of the area. The yard is enclosed by a low stone fence and is paved with grass while the plane trees are the perfect resting point for travelers.

It was built in 1613 and was painted about a century later (1749) by the famous painter Kapesovo native Anastasios. The church is registered in the "Catalogue of the declared sites and monuments of Greece" as an ancient post-Byzantine monument (protective organization 8th EBA). The rate differs from that of other churches in the area and we could say that resembles Athonite monastery.

Historical Data

Kato Pedina is one of the villages of West Zagori located in the prefecture of Ioannina in Epirus. The previous name of Kato Pedina was "Soudena", a name that comes from the Slavic root probably meaning "cold place" and still referred to by Zagori. At positions "Gortzis" and "Lakka Spanou" plateau, have been found ancient tombs with grave goods, some of which date from the late 2nd millennium BC As a settlement Kato Pedina is known from the Byzantine period (the earliest written mention of the name is found in the golden bull of Andronikos II Palaiologos, 1321 with the villages Papigo Elafotopo and Ano Pedina) making it one of the oldest villages of Zagori.

Additional information of historical, cultural and tourism interest

Famous for their spectacular natural beauty, their unique architecture, but also for their long history, Zagorochoria have become in recent years a popular tourist attraction throughout the year.

Extreme sports fans will find in Zagorochoria their earthly heaven, as the region is offered for a plethora of activities. Kayak - Rafting, mountain bike, Climbing, Parapente and hiking are some of the sports one can enjoy when he visits Zagorochoria.

The festivals organized in the villages, especially during the summer, honoring the village patron saint give the visitor the opportunity, not only to have fun with the wonderful traditional music, but also to know the culture of Zagori.

Vikos or Vitsiko owes its name to the homonym gorge. There, also imposing is the church of Saint Tryfonas (1871). The village constitutes a starting point for climbing routes towards Vikos gorge. Near the banks of Voidomaris we meet the monastery of Panagia of Vikos, which is built in 1738.

In the Megalo Papingo we find the temple of Saint Vlasios, built in 1852 on the site of an older temple built in 912. In Mikro Papingo there is "The information center for the nature and civilization in Zagori", while Vitsa has picturesque cobbled roads and beautiful mansions from the 19th century that take you back to the glorious times of the region. Those of Veloyiannis, Vasdekis and Skevi stand out.

In the square of Monodendri Saint Athanasios (1804) is located, a three-aisled basilica with wood-carved chancel and icons painted by Russian hagiographers. The villages has many cobbled roads, stone built houses and mansions.

In the Ano Pedina, it is worth visiting the churches of St. Demetrius (1793), St. Georges and the Assumption, as well as the Lambradios School (1934), in which they teach weaver lessons. We mustn't neglect to mention the fact that here lived as monk the known cleric and scholar from Ano Pedina Neophytos Doukas. Its charitable work is also important, as it funded many projects and contributed to the creation of the Hellenic school (gymnasium) in the settlement. In the location "Kastro" northwest of the settlement of Elafotopos, ruins are saved from the walled settlement of Molossoi, from the Classic era (4th - 3rd century BC). The visitor can wander the beautiful, graphic cobbled roads of the village and admire the stone fountains and the unique mansions.

Dilofo Square prevails the imposing building of Anagnostopoulios School, founded in 1855 by Ioannis and Demetrius Anagnostopoulos but also the four-storey mansion in the village entrance, a 13,5m tall building built with white carved stone. It is worth visiting the temple of the Assumption (1857).

Kipoi have also been characterized as the village of bridges due to the plethora of stone bridges located in the area, some of which are among the most impressive in Epirus, while Negades Village is known for the dark houses and its tall mansions and the church of St. George that stands out.

Dikorfo is one of the most graphic villages of Zagori, with exceptional architecture, large stone houses, churches and elaborate works of painters from Chioniades.

One of the jewels of Zagori, the village Koukouli is crossed by two main cobbled roads ending in the location Aloni. It is worth visiting the temple of the Assumption, one if the most beautiful churches in the area.

A feature of the village Kapesovo is the scarce plantation and the dominance of the rocky scenery. Vradeto is the highest village of the region, that's why it is called "the balcony of Zagori". The Ladder of Vradeto forms 39 "kagkelia" (turns) and it comprises of 1100 stairs.

Tsepelovo is a special, great chapter in the history and civilization of Zagori. It has unique stone-built roads and mansions, of which stand out the Center Papazoglou, Vazima and Tsavalia. The temple of St. Nicolaos (8th century) is a typical sample of the architecture of Zagori.

If you visit the village you will enjoy unique sceneries and large forests with the presence of the bear always felt just a breath away from the village. You have the opportunity to hike many trails in the heart of the National Forest but also enjoy unique routes in the nature.

On the south side of the village there are ruins of an ancient wall of the Hellenistic period, while in the area there has been found an altar with sculptured busts of Ares, Apollo and Hera, while Greveniti, one of the vlachochoria in the region of Zagori offers a majestic view, surrounded by dense forest and streaming waters.

The National Forest Vikos - Aoos is one of the regions included in the network Natura 2000 and since 2005 in the National Park of North Pindus. The Forest is divided in the Municipalities of Konitsa, Central Zagori and Tymfi, as well as the community of Papingo. The total area reaches 13.000 acres and includes the Aoos gorge on the north, the gorges of Vikos and Voidomatis on the south, as well as a big part of the mountain range of Tymfi.

The Forest includes locations of rare natural beauty, wide variety of ecosystems and kinds of flora and wild fauna. At lower altitudes are included ecosystems of Mediterranean type, while in between grow ecosystems of oak, as well as forests of black pine and fir, while interesting are the perennial clusters of Bosnian pine. Also impressive are the small alpine lakes, like Drakolimni of Tymfi 2050m.

As a result of the union of the National Forests of Vikos-Aoos and Pindus (Valia Kalnta), in 2005 the National Park of North Pindus is established. The main purpose for its creation is the maintenance and the proper management of the ecosystems, the rare habitats and the species of flora and fauna, as well as the insurance of the harmonic coexistence of human and nature in the context of sustainable development.

Besides the two National Forests, the National Park of North Pindus includes in its boundaries eleven regions that belong in the Paneuropean Network of Protected Areas "Natura 2000". It includes almost the whole area of Zagori, a section of Konitsa and Metsovo and the western part of the Grevena Prefecture. The National Park of North Pindus is one of the largest land Protected Regions in our country with an area reaching 1.969.741 acres. The unique combination of natural scenery and human environment makes it one of the most important regions in a national and European level.

Other places that can be visited by nature lovers are the so called varathra that were created around Papingo and especially in mountains Gkamila and Astraka. Varathra were formed by the combined action of water and ice.

"Provatina" is one of the largest varathra in the world, with 408 m depth. Another varathro is the "Chasm of Epos". It's a scalar varathro, 451m deep, which functions as a cesspit and drains the water The "Trypa tis Nymfis" has a total depth of 340m. This cave functions as a cesspit like the Epos, since it collects the waters of the area. Finally "Gkailotrypa" has 200 m depth. Recently, a new varathro was discovered, the so called "Trypa toy Orniou", 610 m. deep.