#109 Lithino Settlement

Location

Lithino belongs to the municipality of Zitsa of the Regional Unit of Ioannina that is located in the Region of Epirus, according to the administrative division of Greece, how it was formed with the program "Kallikratis". The formal name is "To Lithinon". Capital center of the Municipality is Eleousa and belongs to the geographical district of Epirus.


Construction Data

The village Lithino, with its traditional stone houses and the picturesque streets is a special traditional settlement, where there are notable stone structures, beautiful manors, stone houses, kalderimia (cobbled paths) and squares.

The Pateron Monastery together with the Theogefyro (God's Bridge), are the main basic monuments of the area and of course the most interesting ones.

The Pateron Monastery is built opposite of the village Lithino, in a plateau of a low hill, at an altitude of 400 meters from the surface of sea, built in a forest with age long oak trees, which unfortunately today doesn't exist. It was in its long history, one of the richest monasteries of Epirus and together with it the one of Prophet Elias, one of the biggest. The historians even note that the Pateron monastery was richer and bigger than that of Prophet Elias in Zitsa.

Theogefyro (God's Bridge) is one of the most important sights if the area, for which wrote famous and unknown historians. To these people we owe so much of the knowledge of our local history. Among them are Panagiotis Aravantinos, Lord Byron, the already several times notes Ioannis Lambridis, Pouqueville and so many others.

The Achilles' Watermill: In the surrounding area there are two operating fulling mills and mantania. It is a system, which was used to smooth the wool of the known "heavy blankets", such as flokates (a woolen throw). It consists of a fteroti (mechanic part), an axis and four mallets. Fteroti with the water power rotates the axis, which raises and frees in succession the mallets. These mallets in their fall, they hit the blanket, which is placed on an even (horizontal) wooden beam.

 

Historical Data

It is still unknown to us, scientifically, when Lithino was inhabited for the first time, because no one was ever involved with the history of the village. The tradition says that Lithino becomes a settlement after the destruction of the village Grammenii, which was located in the area "Kavallari", above the communal road that connects the villages of Lithino and Sakellariko.

In this area there are still today some ruins that reveal us the existence of an older settlement. But the when and why, was the village of Grammenii destroyed, isn't scientifically documented today. For its destruction are set three versions, which are recorded by tradition and for which don't exist sufficient historical testimonies.

The one version, and the most known, says that the village was affected by Plague. It's a sickness that often appears in this era and causes important damages in human and animal population. The history notes the appearance of Plague even in the city of Ioannina, especially after 1822, a year that the siege of the castle ends with the beheading of Ali Pasha.

Therefore, for that to have happened in this era wasn't something strange or unreal. So it could have happened in the village Grammenii. According to this version, the villagers, in decimation, are obliged to leave. Other go to Koutroulades (Sakellariko), other to Grammenochoria and others create a new settlement opposite of Kalama, the one of Lithino. The tradition, which the older people believe in and believe it's true, says that from the relocation of the families to Grammenochoria, the village took its name, a name that comes from the village of Grammenii.


Additional information of historical, cultural and tourism interest

The area of Zitsa consists of two counties with various environmental and cultural characteristics which makes it interesting as a whole. Beautiful villages exist in almost all the territory of the municipality, which are impressive both for their architecture and urban organization, and also for the activity they have shown throughout the course of their history.

Zitsa has linked its name with its winery and its production of famous wines with a Protected Designation of Origin. Famous wineries, but smaller producers, members of the local cooperative, supplying almost all of the world's with their renowned wines.

In Zitsa the "Vadokeios Library" can be found, which houses over 3,000 books. Moreover in Zitsa we encounter another culture birthplace, the gallery prints, while near the church of St. Nicholas Folklore a museum is open with exhibits that reveal the lifestyle of residents and artistic subtlety of local artists.

South of Zitsa, the village Karitsa exists with an elevation of 580 m. The village is 24 km. from Ioannina. This is one of the most historic villages.

At Lithinos one of the two natural stone bridges of Kalamas exist, the Theogefyro, derived from erosion of rock. Opposite Lithinos is the monastery of Fathers, founded in 1590 and is dedicated to the Assumption.

Within the are of Protopapas the central church, St. Nicholas stands, built in 1808 with the financial support of the villagers and Mukhtar, son of Ali Pasha.

The village Rajko was the historic passage of Kalamas, known for its old bridge, which fell in 1902 Today, some remnants of the Turkish outpost of the bridge exist.

The historic village of Klimatia with origins from ancient times and lead of the municipality of Evrimenon refers to Chrisovoulo (1321) by Andronikos Palaiologos. Near the church of the Virgin Mary, between the river, the village and the pit skinny, there are traces of an ancient castle, at the "Greek Litharia." On top of a small hill northwest of the village is the old monastery of the Transformation of the Savior Veltsistas.

In Paliouri, an old bridge is saved, which dates from 1835 and is located on the River Smolitsa. Also of interest are the churches of Agia Paraskevi, Agios Nikolaos, Agios Panteleimon and St. George. Below the village we find the historic Paliouri monastery, dedicated to the Nativity of the Theotokos and known for its big festival, which takes place on September 8th.

Kourenta is built on the back of St George over Korakolakkos in a magnificent location, which previously was overgrown by vines.

At an altitude of 770m. In the west of the peak Kasidiari is the village Aetopetra or "Kosoliani" as it is known to the eldest. A passage of great archaeological interest, since the discovery of tombs, ancient coins with the inscription "Apeirotan 'and pottery.

The Vlachatano has four beautiful churches, the town of St. George, St. John, Prophet Elijah and St. Paraskevi, built in 1628 and historiated in 1706.

East of the village Rodotopi, at the foot of the Castri Gardikiou hill, there is one of the most important archaeological sites in the region of Epirus, the Temple of Zeus, which dates from the 4th century BC. The temple was an official sanctuary of the Molossians.

At the western end of Eleousas is the old church of the monastery of St. George, which dates from 1778.