In the frontier area of the Prefecture of Thesprotia, eight kilometres
north-east of Filiates, near the Greek - Albanian border, the Holy Monastery of
Giromeri is situated, built at an altitude of three hundred metres, on the west
slopes of the rocky mountain range of Farmakovouni.
As far as the name of the Monastery is concerned, there have been
many opinions and its name has changed many times up to now. We encounter the
Ieromeriou, from the words "iero"(holy) and "meros"(place)
Gyromeriou, from the words "gyro" (around) and "meros" (place) Geromeriou, from
the words "gero" (solid) or "iero" (holy) again and "meros" (place) Giromeriou
or Giromiriou, from the words "gireo" (old) and "meros" (place).
For many years and to our days the name of the Iera Moni Giromeriou
has prevailed.The Monastery of Giromeri was founded in the beginning of the 14th
century (between 1310 and 1320), at a time of prosperity of the Despotato (Kingdom)
of Ipiros. It constituted an important monastic centre and was in its prime in
the middle of the 16th century, when it numbered approximately 300 monks, according
to Theodosios Zygomalas.
Since its foundation, the Monastery had belonged to the Ecumenical
Patriarchate of Constantinople as a Patriarchal one and later (18th century) as
the Chair of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Giromeri. Twelve villages of the district
and Filiates were within its jurisdiction.
In 1800, the Monastery became the Chair of the Diocese of Giromeri
having the same area within its jurisdiction, belonging to the Metropolis of Ioannina.
Since then and until 1895 when it was finally abolished it had several alternations,
being either the Chair of Diocese or one of Exarchate. In 1928 according to a
Patriarchal decision it was granted to the Autocephalus (independent) Church of
Greece and today it belongs to the Holy Metropolis of Paramythia, Filiates, Giromeri
Finally, the importance of the Monastery to the area of Thesprotia
has been great during its long lasting history as it has contributed to the conservation
of the inhabitants' national and religious conscience. It was significant that
a Secret School and a Religious Seminary were in operation on the premises of
the Monastery, during the Turkish occupation. Moreover, after some Exarchs' actions
and with expenses covered by the Monastery, schools operated in some of the villages
in the area.