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Metsovo and the nearby villages

Street in Metsovo

Monastery of Virgin Mary in Metsovo

The picturesque Metsovo is located at distance of 57 km. from Ioannina and it is built on the slopes of Pindos Mt. It has a popoulation of 6.000 people and has all the necessary services and infrastructure. It is a popoular destination with a big tourist interest, especially during the winter months because it is a famous destination for winter vacation.

Metsovo has preserved its traditional colour and it is famous for its local traditional products, such as wood curving products, hand-woven textile products, silverware products, but also the famous cheese “Metsovone” and many other dairy products.

Significant is also the loyal continuation of the customs of the regiob, the rich music tradition and the language (vlach language). It is worth noting that the elder mostly of the region continue till today to get dressed in the traditional cotumes of the region. Metsovo is also famous for the local cuisine that includes dishes such ask: kontosouvli, pies, dairy products etc. From Metsovo came from many great men, but also many great benefactors such as G. Averof, M. and Th. Tositsas and N. Stournaras etc.

A brief historical retrospect

In the region of Metsovo haven’t been found any pre-historical founds that could give us clues about the settlement. The historians agree that the region was an important commercial pasage bfore 4 or 5 centuries, and a place for the supplies of the caravans. In 2.000 B.C. about according to the historical sources is mentioned the appearance of greek pastoral races. It seems that the region of Metsovo was an ideal pasture land for the shepherds from the ancient times. The habitants of Metsovo have nowadays large properties from the animal breeding.

Historical mentions to Metsovo appear during the 14th century. The name “Metsovo” appears for the first time to the chronicle of Brothers Filanthropinoi Komnimos and Proklos in 1380.

For the name origins there are two versions:

  • According to the first aspect is considers that the name has slav origins (mets+ovo = the village of bears)
  • Though according to the other aspect is considered that the name comes from the coalescence of two greek words middle + mountain, beacause of its location among two mountains.

Metsovo was initially a settlement of shepherds. However, th privilege that had during the Ottoman period contributed to the dvelopment of art, trade and literature. These benefits were given to the habitants by the sultan Mourat B’  when the guards from Metsovo, who guarded the passage of Zigos made easier the crossing for the army of Sinan Passa, who directed to Ioannina.

The sultan Mehmet D renewed these benefits, which included also the establishment of a semi-autonomous federation with the nearby villages of Anilio, Malakasi, Milia, Palia Koutsoufliani (Platanistos) Votonosi and Anthochori. In 1795 Ali Passia banned all these benefits, except for those that were given by the patriarchal Exarchia and they were preserved till 1924. On March 27th in 1854 Metsovo was totally destucted by the army of Avdi Passa, a fact known as “destruction of Grivas”. After the desturction many habitants emigrated, but they never forgot their homeland and gave many donations for the mansions of Metsovo, fountains, schools, churches, folk art museum, gallery, etc.

Metsovo was finally liberated from the Ottoman State on October 31st in 1912 by the general forces of Greek Army, and volunteers from Crete and Epirus.

Sights in Metsovo:

  • The Folk Arta Museum that there is in the mansion of Tositsas family
  • Evagelos Averof gallery, with paintings of the 19th and 20th century
  • The church of St. Paraskevi from the 1511 with its magnificent wooden iconostasis
  • The monastery of St. Nicolas
  • The monastery of Virgin Mary in Metsovo
  • The traditional fountains
  • The Watermill of Gkina, an the banks of Arachthos river
  • The Garden of Averof, a park of big extent where you can find all the species of trees of the region of Pindos (one of the best parks in the country)
  • The church of St. Charalampos, where Kosmas the Aitolian talked to the habitants of Metsovo

Sights in the other villages of the region:

  • In Anilio: Church of St. Paraskevi, new ski centre at the location of Zigos
  • In Anthochori: Monastery of Kokkini Petra from the 17th century, watermill, mount Lakmos at an altitude of 2300 m.
  • In Chrysovitsa: Byzantine Church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary from the 1486
  • In Mikri Gotista: An old settlement of Molossoi at the castle of Gradetsi
  • In Megalo Peristeri: Monastery of Megouli from the 1588