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Konitsa (Greek: Κόνιτσα; Aromanian: Conita) is a town in Epirus, Greece, near the Albanian border. It lies amphi-theatre shaped on a mountain slope of the Pindos mountain range, overlooking the valley where the river Aoos meets the river Voidomatis. The valley is used for farming. Konitsa is a regional centre for many small Pindos villages, and there are shops, schools and a hospital. It is a good starting point for tourists who want to explore the Pindos mountains, or who want to go rafting in the river Aoos or parapenting.


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Other places of interest nearby are:

The Vikos–Aoös National Park, including the Vikos Gorge, the Aoos Gorge and the Tymfi mountains. It is where Vikos spring water is collected;
Mount Smolikas (2637 m), Greece's second highest mountain;
The sulfur baths of Kavasila;
The two Dragonlakes (Tymfi's and Smolika's)
Zagori, a group of small mountain villages;
The nearest city is Ioannina

History

In antiquity, the area of Konitsa was part of the territory of the Greek tribe of the Molossians.

In 15th century Konitsa came under Ottoman rule and became part of the Sanjak of Ioannina.[1][2]

A Greek school was operating already from the end of the 18th century under Georgios Mostras, student of Balanos Vasilopoulos. Greek education was flourishing and in 1906 the kaza of Konitsa had 31 schools and 1,036 pupils.[3] The functioning of the school was interrupted during the turbulent times of Ali Pasha's rule, however soon after it reopened following the initiative of Kosmas Thesprotos, a student of Athanasios Psalidas.[3] During the 19th century until the early 20th century, the tekke of Konitsa, similarly to other Albanian Bektashi tekkes, was a covert center of culture, learning and tolerance, but also Albanian national activism against the Ottoman Empire.[4] On the other hand, the local Greek population displayed tolerance towards actions by the Albanians that didn't reveal chauvinist inclinations.[5]

During the Greek Civil War (1946–1949) the surrounding region became a major battleground, while in December 1947 communist guerrilla units unsuccessfully tried to capture the town.[6] Almost all buildings inhabited by Muslim Albanians in Konitsa were destroyed during World War II warfare.[7]

Division of the old municipality

  • Konitsa / Δ.δ. Κονίτσης -- η Κόνιτσα [ 2.871 ]
  • Agia Varvara / Δ.δ. Αγίας Βαρβάρας [ 113 ]
    • Agia Varvara / η Αγία Βαρβάρα [ 87 ]
    • Pyxaria / η Πυξαριά [ 26 ]
  • Agia Paraskevi / Δ.δ. Αγίας Παρασκευής -- η Αγία Παρασκευή [ 431 ]
  • Aetopetra / Δ.δ. Αετοπέτρας Κονίτσης -- η Αετοπέτρα [ 192 ]
  • Aidonochorion / Δ.δ. Αηδονοχωρίου -- το Αηδονοχώριον [ 203 ]
  • Amarantos / Δ.δ. Αμαράντου [ 115 ]
  • Armata / Δ.δ. Αρμάτων -- τα Άρματα [ 62 ]
  • Ganadion / Δ.δ. Γαναδιού -- το Γαναδιόν [ 76 ]
  • Eleftheron / Δ.δ. Ελευθέρου -- το Ελεύθερον [ 135 ]
  • Exochi / Δ.δ. Εξοχής [ 60 ]
  • Iliorrachi / Δ.δ. Ηλιορράχης -- η Ηλιορράχη [ 139 ]
  • Kavasila / Δ.δ. Καβασίλων -- τα Καβάσιλα [ 57 ]
  • Kallithea / Δ.δ. Καλλιθέας -- η Καλλιθέα [ 196 ]
  • Kleidonia / Δ.δ. Κλειδωνιάς [ 217 ]
  • Mazion / Δ.δ. Μαζίου -- το Μάζιον [ 327 ]
  • Melissopetra / Δ.δ. Μελισσόπετρας [ 120 ]
  • Molista / Δ.δ. Μολίστης -- η Μόλιστα [ 67 ]
  • Molyvdoskepastos / Δ.δ. Μολυβδοσκεπάστου -- η Μολυβδοσκέπαστος [ 103 ]
  • Monastiri / Δ.δ. Μοναστηρίου -- το Μοναστήρι [ 53 ]
  • Nikanor / Δ.δ. Νικάνορος -- ο Νικάνωρ [ 75 ]
  • Pades / Δ.δ. Πάδων -- οι Πάδες [ 67 ]
  • Palaiosellion / Δ.δ. Παλαιοσελλίου -- το Παλαιοσέλλιον [ 112 ]
  • Pigi / Δ.δ. Πηγής -- η Πηγή [ 206 ]
  • Pournia / Δ.δ. Πουρνιάς -- η Πουρνιά [ 71 ]
  • Pyrgos / Δ.δ. Πύργου -- ο Πύργος [ 157 ]
North: Albania
West: Ano Pogoni?
Konitsa East: Konitsa
Southwest: Delvinaki South: Papingo (community), Tymfi Southeast: Bizani

Municipality

The present municipality Konitsa was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became municipal units (constituent communities in brackets):[8]

Konitsa (Aetopetra, Agia Paraskevi, Agia Varvara, Aidonochori, Amarantos, Armata, Elefthero, Exochi, Gannadio, Iliorrachi, Kallithea, Kavasila, Kleidonia, Konitsa, Mazi, Melissopetra, Molista, Molyvdoskepastos, Monastiri, Nikanoras, Pades, Palaioselli, Pigi, Pournia, Pyrgos)
Aetomilitsa
Distrato
Fourka
Mastorochoria (Asimochori, Vourmpiani, Gorgopotamos, Drosopigi, Kallithea, Kastania, Kefalochori, Kleidonia, Lagkada, Oxya, Plagia, Plikati, Pyrsogianni, Chionades)


Historical Demographics
Year Town population Municipality population
1981 2,859 -
1991 2,858 6,572
2001 2,871 6,225

Notable people

Konstantinos Dovas (1898–1973)
Saint John Vrachoritis (-1813), Greek Orthodox Saint
Eleftherios Oikonomou, current Chief of the Greek Police.
Faik Konica, writer and ambassador of Albania in Washington, DC
Mehmet Konica, twice Foreign Minister of Albania
Giannis Lyberopoulos, professor and author.

References

^ H. Karpat, Kemal (1985). Ottoman population, 1830-1914: demographic and social characteristics. p. 146. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
^ Motika, Raoul (1995). Türkische Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte (1071-1920). p. 297. Retrieved 22 September 2011. "Sancaks Yanya (Kazas: Yanya, Aydonat (Paramythia), Filat (Philiates), Meçova (Metsovo), Leskovik (war kurzzeitig Sancak) und Koniçe (Konitsa)"
^ a b M. V. Sakellariou. Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotikē Athēnōn, 1997. ISBN 9789602133712, p. 307: ""In the city of Konitsa in particular, a Greek school had been founded at the end of the eighteenth century at which the.. "
^ Sellheim, R. (1992). Oriens. BRILL. p. 298. ISBN 9789004096516. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
^ M. V. Sakellariou.Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon, 1997. ISBN 9602133716. p 361: "The Greek population displayed toleration whenever the action taken.
^ Charles R. Shrader. The withered vine: logistics and the communist insurgency in Greece, 1945-1949. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 ISBN 0275965449, 9780275965440, p. 215
^ Kiel, Machiel (1990). Ottoman architecture in Albania, 1385-1912. Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture. p. 3. ISBN 9789290633303. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)

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