#111 Monastery of Prophet Ilias (Despotiko)

Location

The monastery is located on a wooded hill between the villages Ekklisochori Despotiko.

 

Construction Data

It is a small monastery from which today only survives katholikon and the bell. The monastery is a basilica and includes apart from the main temple, the sanctuary.

Inside there is a preserved part of the old hagiography, and among the relics of the monastery stands a reliquary with the left hand of the St. Trifona.


Historical Data

The old monastery of Prophet Elias dates from 962.

 

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.