Photographer's Note

The castle of Ioannina and my homeland village Ligiades as viewed from the side of Lake Pamvotis. The village is built at an altitude of 940 meters above sea level, on the mountainside of Mitsikeli. Ligiades is part of the region of Zagori. The distance from Ioannina is just a 15 minutes drive, only 12 km. far.


Mitsikeli (Oros Mitsikeli) is a long and narrow mountain situated in the central part of the Ioannina Prefecture. It begins south of Mt. Timfi and extends northwestwards to southeastwards to Mt. Driskos, dominating the Ioannina Lake. Its highest peak has an altitude of 1810 m. Many springs flow from Mitsikeli and feed the Ioannina lake. The western part of the mountain, as opposed to the eastern part, is bare and remnants of fires are evident in several places. In the higher altitudes Abies borisii-regis occurs, either forming sparse stands or mixed with Quercus pubescens. Stands of Quercus pubescens appear above the maquis zone or in some places are mixed with Quercus coccifera and Juniperus oxycedrus. Formations with dwarf thickets of J. oxycedrus, Q. coccifera and Phlomis fruticosa occur in the lower altitudes. On the southwestern side of Mitsikeli, limited reforestation was made to protect the Ioannina lake from the brought material. So a reforested zone of Pinus nigra, about 500 m long, occurs in the area of Amfithea, and mixed reforested areas with P. nigra and Cupressus sempervirens can be seen in the area of the village of Ligiades. At the eastern side of Mitsikeli extensive formations dominated by characteristic species of Ostryo-Carpinion and Quercion frainetto, such as Ostrya carpinifolia, Carpinus orientalis, Fraxinus ornus, Quercus pubescens, Corylus sp., Acer sp. etc., occur. In the higher altitudes stands of Abies borisii-regis appear.

Built at the edges of Lake Pamvotis, Ioannina is a beautiful traditional town that combines in a unique way the historical memories with the reality of a contemporary town. It is the town of legend, tradition and silver makers. In the green waters of the Lake, the legendary tales of Ali- Pasha and Kira-Frosini take life, while in the traditional alleyways of the Castle the memories of Byzantine past and yesterday's history are dominant.
The town is first mentioned in the 9th C as episcopacy yet again others believe that it was founded by Emperor Ioustinianos. In the 13th C it was an important town of Epirus domain and had flourished economically, that situation prevailed over the next centuries. In 1430 the town was surrendered to the Turks under an agreement.By the end of 19th century, beginning of 20th, the town became the capital centre of Ali Pasha domain, his period of legacy coincides with the biggest economic and cultural flourishing of the area. Treasures of the town's history which appeal to the visitors are its monuments: The Castle,the island's Monasteries with wonderful wall paintings, the Turkish church, old wealthy houses, the Jewish Synagogue.

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Additional Photos by Aimilios Petrou (aimiliospet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 63 W: 162 N: 486] (2355)
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