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Periphery: Epirus
Prefecture : Ioannina

Ravenia (Greek: Ραβένια) is a village of Epirus, Greece located 26 km south of Ioannina at an altitude of 844 m. It belongs to the county of Dodoni.


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It belongs to a group of villages called Katsaounochoria or Katsaounohoria (Κατσαουνοχώρια).

Population
Year Population
1981 174
1991 135
2001 107
History

The settlement changed location twice. During the Byzantine Era, the population moved from the location Langada Eklissias (Λαγκάδα Εκκλησίας) and resettled to the area of Bogdora (Μπογδορά). According to oral tradition, the resettlement was made due to geological changes. After an earthquake the mountain water springs ceased as the water found other subterranean paths towards the Arachthos river.

During the beginning of the Turkish period, the settlement was moved to its current location next to the monastery of 'Koimisis tis Theotokou' and one of the incentives for the relocation must have been the nearby mountain water spring. The monastery drew the Christian population of the surrounding area and thrived between the 15th-18th centuries.

During the sixteenth century a large proportion of the male population emigrated to Moldovlachia, Moldova and Valachia, for economic reasons and had left their families in Ravenia. Due to some tragic incident between the Muslim Albanian insurgents and the families left behind, the men returned and took their families with them. Their destination is unknown today. According to oral tradition eighty seles left. Sela means saddle and one family was represented by one saddle.

The first primary school was built in 1901 with the help of a local educated man. Georgios Gkazianis had studied in Constantinople. Gkazianis raised money amongst the Greek population of Ioannina and Istanbul.

The village was burnt down by the Turks during the Balkan Wars in 1910. The residents fled south to Filippiada which was already in the hands of the Greek Army. The Greek Army set camp for a short period of time in Ravenia and fought some skirmishes against the Turks in the surrounding rugged mountainous area before it moved ahead for the last battle in Bizani and the siege of Ioannina. Ravenia became part of Greece in 1911.

In 1943 the village was burnt down by the Italian occupation forces of Mussolini and the inhabitants had to flee one more time to the peaks of Mount Xerovouni and neighbouring villages where they had family ties.

After World War II and the Greek Civil War, the school was reopened and remained open until 1982. The population decreased as the younger inhabitants left for a better life in the near by town of Ioannina, Athens and abroad. Ravenia was connected to the national grid in 1964 and the town water system in 1967. The entire water system was renovated in 2010. The dirt track connecting the village to the National road was sealed with asphalt in 1987.
Ravenia today

Five families of retired people remain today in Ravenia.

The majority of the old houses have been renovated as holiday/weekend homes.

Due to lack of farm animals the surrounding mountainous terrain which used to be pastures for sheep and cattle has now been reforested partly by the Greek Forestry Commission and partly naturally. Since 1995 we have witnessed the return of wild animals that had disappeared from the area such as the wild boar, the wolf, the dear and the black squirrel.

Despite the lack of organised footpaths, Ravenia and the surrounding area offer a variety of gentle mountain walks and it is an excellent mountain bicycle terrain.
See also

List of settlements in the Ioannina regional unit

External links

Ravenia at the GTP Travel Pages

References

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Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire

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