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Ioannina

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Fethiye Mosque

Ioannina (Ιωάννινα) (population: 112,486 (2011)) is in Central and Northern Greece.

Understand[edit]

Set atop a 100-metre cliff overlooking the Lake Pamvotida, the capital of Epirus is an old town with an intriguing history. The city gained prominence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as the seat of an almost independent state ruled by Ali Pasha of Tepeleni, who successfully rebelled against the central government of the Ottoman Empire, and kept fighting until the end, but was killed by Ottoman soldiers during the siege of his fortress in January 1822, and his head cut off to be sent to Sultan Mahmud II. His grave still stands into the ancient citadel (the Kastro) and has became a popular tourist attraction.

Ioannina was also a significant trade center, hosting a Greek-speaking Jewish community observing their own tradition and religious rituals. They were neither Ashkenazi, nor Sephardic, but rather indigenous Jews of Greece who have lived on Greek soil for over 2,300 years. At the beginning of the 20th century these Hellenized Jews, known as "Romaniotes" immigrated to the US, mostly to the Lower East Side of New York City, where their little synagogue in Broome St. has remained unchanged from 1927. On March 1944, the Jewish Community of Ioannina was rounded up and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today the community numbers fewer than 50 members, most of them elderly.

Get in[edit]

1 KTEL Intercity Buses

  • From Athens by air (45 min), by bus (6 hr, 430 km), by car (4.5 hr).
  • From Thessaloniki by bus (3.5 hr) or by car (2.5 hr).
  • From Albania via Kakavia, it takes about an hour from the border crossing.
  • From Gjirokastër by bus (4h).

Get around[edit]

The city is small enough to travel through via foot.

See[edit]

Castle (Greek: Kastro). The old town surrounded by tall defensive walls overhanging the lake Pamvotida.

  • 1 Archaeological Museum6, "25 Martiou" Square. It presents many of the findings from the excavations at Dodona area
  • 2 Municipal Ethnographic Museum of Ioannina8, Noutsou Str. Housed in the Mosque of Ali Pasha. The museum collections include craft of local silversmiths, guns, Epirote costumes, rugs and tapestries. The mosque dates from 1618 and still retains its decoration as well as a tall mihrab pointing towards Mecca
  • 3 Byzantine Museum. Collections of sculptures, icons and other artifacts retrieved from ruined churches and monasteries in Epirus countryside and housed in the inner fortress (Turkish: İçkale), where Ali Pasha built his palace.
  • 4 Fethiye Mosque. The graves of Ali Pasha and his first wife are located inside the mosque.
  • 5 Islet of Ioannina (Nissi). It is the only inhabited islet in the lake Pamvotida , with around 200 inhabitants. Green and peaceful, dotted with Byzantine monasteries, the islet can be reached by a 20-minute boat ride from Ioannina 2 Fishers Wharf. Its main attraction is the 16th-century Pandelimonos Monastery, now the Ali Pasha Museum, where the pasha was killed on January 17, 1822.

Further afield[edit]

  • 6 Perama Cave. A show cave located at just 4 km from Ioannina.
  • 7 Dodona. is the archaeological site of the oldest Hellenic oracle. The well preserved theater is a must-see and hosts theatrical performances. It was built in the 3rd century B.C., during the reign of Pyrrhus, and was destroyed by the Roman consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus. in 167 B.C. Under Roman rule was restored and turned into an arena.

Do[edit]

At the bus station there are lockers where you can leave your luggage (1€)

The lake and castle are 10 minutes away from the station.

Buy[edit]

Ioannina is well known for its production of hand-made silver crafts. There are about 90 workshops in the city. Prices are quite high but can drop considerably as vendors expect a bit of bargaining.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Toros Steakhouse.
  • 2 Stoa Louli78, Anexartisias St. +30 2651 071322.
  • 3 Mystagogia44, Koundouriotou St. +30 26510 65325, +30 6977 748479 (mobile), +30 6972 871031 (mobile).
  • 4 Nousia1, "Konstantinou Karamanli" Str.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • 15 Byzantio HotelPolytexneio Square +30 26510 40453. €40 gets you a room with a balcony and a king size bed with breakfast for 2 people. It's approximately 25 min away from the city centre on foot. Free Wi-Fi. €40.

Splurge[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]


Routes through Ioannina
Igoumenitsa  W Autokinetodromos A2 number.svg E  → Metsovo → Meteora



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