Bridges

#71 Bridge of Konitsa

 



The Konitsa Bridge is a remarkable stone bridge located at the end of the Aoos River's ravine that links Konitsa with Zagoria and the other villages of the area. Formerly it served as a trade path of the area. It was built in 1870 by Ziogas Frontzos and his fifty workers.

Before this bridge was built a number of other bridges were built there. Particularly, for the sake of the villagers that were drowning there, especially during winter, Dimitris Lampris, helped by the villagers, managed to build a wooden one in 1823 at a place called Tsarpali, which lasted only till 1833, when it was swept away by Aoos River in one of its floods. After that incident two other locals, Panagiotis Skoubourdis and Vasilis Masios, after collecting the needed funds from the other villagers built another wooden bridge on the same place. Evidently it ended in the same way the first one did in just a few years, isolating the villages around Ioannina.

The reason for finally building a stone bridge after so many years the wooden one was destroyed was a man known for his good deeds and charities Yannis Loulis born in Ktsanochoria. When he returned from Vromoneria, located today in Albania, and after hearing all the troubles the villagers of Konitsa had been through because of the lack of bridge, he decided to help them generously giving a permanent solution to that problem by building a stone bridge. Ziogas Frontzos a known builder of the area was the one in charge of the construction.

It seems like the bridge wasn't finished... because it completely fell apart. Frontzos was really sad then and was trying to think of a way to fix the problem so that to stop the rumors that didn't want it to hold up. According to the tradition, a fateful dream clarified afterwards by the women of the village, was what saved him from that situation.

The large amount of water and the strong winds that he saw in his dream were definitely showing the cause of the demise of the bridge. It was true that the Aoos River's ravine has always such strong winds that a frontal apposition of the bridge wouldn't stand a chance against them. So, Frontzos thought, wisely, to apposition both sides of the bridge diagonally so that one will receive more pressure than the other and thus, solved the problem. It cost around 120.000 qirsh and its uniqueness is shown in its big arc and the spot it was built. A bell has been there since it was built that notifies the travelers when the water level rises. Since 1871, when it was finished, the bridge has continued to serve a lot of people that were grateful to the builders and the ones who funded everything for the beautiful and sturdy bridge.

The durability of the bridge has been proven many times in the past

 

Construction characteristics

 

 

The construction of the bridge began in spring and the materials used for its construction were slate, which was abundant in the area, animal dander, egg whites and lime which were the glue that was used and a mixture was made by adding grated tile, pumice, soil, water and dry grass to that glue. That mixture was called kurasani.

Builders: Ziogas Frontzos (foreman)

Zikos Galanis (worker)

Christos Papadimitriou (worker)

Yannis Serifis - Katsiamanis (worker)

George Serifis- Georgopoulos (worker)

Nikos Serifis (worker)

Lampros Betsas (builder) and 50 more builders

Sponsor: residents of Konitsa and others

Cost: 120.000 qirsh (50.000 qirsh Yannis Loulis - 5000 qirsh Vasilis & Alcibiades Liabeis - 2000 qirsh Aggeliki Papazoglou - 1300 qirsh Yannis Liampeis - 2500 qirsh George Zoidis - 2500 qirsh Mohamed Bey Siskos - 1060 qirsh Bekiaris Bros.)

Maintenance: In 1975, the cultural association of Konitsa replaced the old bell on the bridge with a new one. In 2000 the Municipality of Konitsa removed the belley bridge that was stuck to the bridge.


Additional historical, cultural and touristic data

  Castle of Konitsa

The castle of Konitsa is located on the outskirts of the town, on top of a rocky hill. It reinforces the already existing natural fortification of that area and surrenders everything under its control. It is a medieval castle built on the remains of an ancient wall, with several addendums added during the years of Ottoman Rule. The castle today is in ruins. You can only distinguish plate stones placed in horizontal rows with a layer of white powder in the middle. In some cases you can see tiles.

Anagnostopulean College of agriculture

In 1925, the Michael Anagnostopoulos College of Agriculture is built in Konitsa, funded by a donation from the principal of Deaf School of Boston, Michael Anagnostopoulos. It is an impressive stone building of great architectural design. Currently, only a small part of the building is utilized, while the college of agriculture of Konitsa isn't working for many years.

Mosque of Suleiman

The mosque of Suleiman is one of the two mosques of Konitsa yet the only to have survived till today. It was built in 1540 in an ideal place over the city. We have no reliable evidence of its founder. It is believed by tradition but also from other sources that its possible founder is Sultan Suleiman I the Magnificent (1520-1566). The mosque had sustained a lot of damage from the citizens. In 1971 the competent Conservancy took care of it and started its and the surrounding area's restoration. The mosque also has hexagonal tomb and a two-storey building which earlier hosted an elementary school.

Environmental Education Centre of Konitsa

It was established in 1995 by the Ministry of Education. It launched in 1996 and housed the student dormitories of Konitsa. School students, undergraduate and older people participate in different environmental programs at EEC of Konitsa.


Imprinting figures

  Directions: You can find it at the Konitsa city's entrance

County: Ioannina

Community: Konitsa

Location: Aoos River

River: Aoos

Coordinates: N 40 ° 02'09, 8'' E 020 ° 44'41, 7''

Altitude: 454 m.


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