#35 Rogkovou Monastery

Location

This is one of the oldest monasteries in Epirus. We find it in a wooded hillside in location Rogovos, about 2 km before Tsepelovo. The monastery is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

The area is surrounded by dense vegetation, while in the location that the monastery is built, both sides of the ravine of Vikos are very close to each other.


Construction Data

Today the monastery is not operating, but is kept as a historical monument, from which are preserved the nave (Byzantine style with dome) and two building complexes with cells, storerooms and other auxiliary spaces.

 

Historical Data

According to the tradition, it was built in 1028-1034 by Pulheria, sister of the Byzantine Emperor Romanos III Argiros and was destroyed during the Serb occupation. The monastery was built again in 1749 by Kontodimos brothers from Vradeto, and by the Abbot Nicodemus.

In the past, it was one of the richest monasteries, with many fields, pastures and livestock. This fact has prompted many wealthy residents of Zagori to promote the creation of an independent Zagori hegemony, based on the monastery of Rogovos. However, this idea has never been fulfilled.


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.