KONITSA (Small town) IOANNINA
Based on the findings on the stone buildings of Klidi and Boila, in Voidomatis, we can state that the area has been occupied since the Paleolithic period by hunters-food provision men.
Between the years 1300 and 1100 B.C., the wide area is occupied by Molosi (Liatovouni), while the peaceful and secure conditions of life in 750 B.C. lead to an increase on the population of the area. In ancient Trifillia, as the area was named in the ancient times, was developed the town of Molossida, that became both the hometown of the mother of the Great Alexander of Olympiados and also the base of operations for the most famous king of Epirus, Pirros. It is believed that at the location where Konitsa stands today there was an ancient town which had periods of summit and decay and whose name was whether Antitania for some people or Erivia for others.
During the Romans domination, which starts with the descent of the conquerors in 168 B.C., the Aoos valley was one of the passages to Epirus and Thessaly for the Romans who used to disembark from Italy at the ancient Illiria, the albanian borders today. Later, one section of Egnatia Odos went across the area. Along Egnatia Odos there were built castles and fortresses whose relics are still visible in many places of the area. During the first byzantine period, Visigotths, Vandals, Avars and Slaves invade the area and cause a lot of destruction.
In the 8th century, Konitsa comes under the Patriarchate of Konstantinople, while until then Konitsa was under the Pope of Rome. In 1380 for the first time Konitsa appears with its modern name in the publication of "The Chronicle of Ioannina", which makes a reference on Konitsa castle.
During the modern times, the town of Konitsa had its largest development during the turkish domination. Then, Konitsa turns into the favorite town of the turkish aristocracy. Konitsa is the hometown of both Hamko, Ali pashas' mother, and Hasekis, the voivod of Athens in the 18th century and also of many other eminent Turks. At this period, there are a lot of wealthy Greeks who are obliged to be islamized in order to keep their belongings. Turks and Greeks lived peacefully for many years with their own religions. Both developed the art of tannage mainly as well as the carpet factory. At the beginning of the 18th century, the town has got its own Greek school, which indicates the prosperity of the Greeks in the area. With the exchange of population, the muslim families leave Konitsa and come the refugees from Kappadokia instead. Since the liberation of Konitsa, in 1913, until the arrival of Italians, in 1940, Konitsa developed the trade and started to exploit more systematically its fertile plain.
During the Greek-Italian war, Konitsa was subject to many destructions which became more later with the German occupation. Also, the consequences of the following civil war were significant until 1949 when it was ended.
The position and the natural beauty of Konitsa attracts since long time the interest of many travellers. Today, the area has drown the attention of climbers, lovers of rafting, kayak and paragliding and also of many tourists who come to Konitsa in order to admire the beauty of the landscape every season of the year. It is worth including some unique sights for your tour in the town and in the region.
This text is cited June 2003 from the Municipality of Konitsa URL below, which contains images.
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