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Administrative Region : Epirus
Regional unit : Thesprotia

Filiates (Greek: Φιλιάτες ) is a town and a municipality in Thesprotia, Greece. It is located in the northernmost part of the prefecture, bordering western Ioannina Prefecture and southern Albania.


Division of the former municipality

The present municipality Filiates was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became municipal units :[2]


Filiates is located in a largely mountainous area. The Mourgana mountains lie to the north, on the border with Albania.

The municipal unit Filiates has a land area of 495.727 km² and a population of 8,288 (2001 census). The population of the town Filiates, one of the biggest towns in the area, was 2,246 and the community population was 2,344. The largest other communities in the municipal unit are Keramítsa (pop. 309), Palaiochóri (291), Vrysélla (277), Leptokaryá (276), Trikóryfon (245), Ampeló (222), Kerasochóri (211), and Kokkiniá (205). The municipal unit has a total of 42 communities.


Because of its high altitude (~850m) location on a west-facing slope, Filiates has one of the wettest climates in Greece.


Filiates is located southwest of Konitsa, west-southest of Kozani and Thessaloniki, west of Ioannina, northwest of Athens, north of Preveza and east of Igoumenitsa.

Filiates is connected with the GR-6 (Larissa - Metsovo - Ioannina - Igoumenitsa) and is now the old road. It has a few interchanges with the Egnatia Odos (Alexandroupoli - Thessaloniki - Igoumenisa) and several had just opened. It is connected with the GR-19 that goes down to Paramythia and Preveza.


Ancient History
Epirus in antiquity

In antiquity, the area of Filiates was inhabited by the Epirot Greek tribe of the Chaonians. In antiquity the city was known as Cestrine (or Kestrine), separated from Thesprotia by the River Thyamis.[3] In the past, the city was also known as Cammania, Cestria, Filiates, Ilion, Epirus, Troy, Epirus and Troia, Epirus.[3] According to Pausanias (Description of Greece), Cestrine took its name from Cestrinus, the son of Helenus, having previously borne the appellation of Cammania.

Modern History
Albanian school of Filiates in 1942-44.[verification needed]

In 15th century Filiates came under Ottoman rule and became part of Sanjak of Ioannina.[4][5] During 17th and 18th century Ottoman rule a significant part of the town's population converted to Islam. In 1911 during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, Albanians of Filiates formed çetes, armed guerilla groups fighting for autonomy from the Ottoman empire.[6] On the other hand, the local Greek population displayed tolerance towards actions by the Albanians that didn't reveal chauvinist inclinations.[7]

During the Greek-Italian War the town was burned by collaborationist Cham Albanian bands (October 28-November 14, 1940).[8] It was home to a Cham Albanian community, before 1944, when they fled due to accusations of mass collaboration with Nazi forces.[9] In June 1945 a great part of Filiates was burned by Greek bands during the expulsion of Cham Albanians.[10] Almost all Cham Albanian monuments of Filiates were destroyed during WWII.[11]

Year Pop. village Pop. municipal district Pop. municipality
1981 2,439 - -
1991 2,591 - -
2001 2,246 2,344 8,288

Notable people

Anthimus VII of Constantinople (1835–1913), Ecumenical Patriarch.
Aziz Çami, officer of the Albanian army and Balli Kombëtar commander.
Qamil Çami, teacher and poet of era of the Albanian National Awakening.
Ali Demi, Albanian resistance fighter (World War II).
Musa Demi, revolutionary and important figure of the Albanian National Awakening.
Niazi Demi, minister of trade of Albania.
Rexhep Demi, leading member of the Albanian independence movement and signatory of the Albanian Declaration of Independence.
Tahir Demi, high-ranking member of the Party of Labour of Albania and representative of Albania at Comecon.
Stavroula Dimitriou, author and poet.
Nicholas Gage, Greek American author and investigative journalist.
Vasiliki Kontaxi, wife of Ali Pasha and member of the patriotic organization Filiki Eteria,[12]

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