Presentation of Geographical Unit Arta

The birthplace of Maximos Grekos, Nikolaos Skoufas, Makriyannis and Georgios Karaiskakis. The place with the Byzantine monuments, medieval castles and splendid stone structures. The place of legends and the multisang bridge ... Arta, a place endowed with natural beauty and a great culture, rich tradition and rare people.

Description of geographical features

It is the capital hub and the commercial and administrative center of the homonymous prefecture, which locate in NW part of Greece. It belongs geographically and administratively to the continent, occupying the SE part. It has an area of 1,612 sq. km. and bordered on the north by the prefectures of Ioannina and Trikala, on east to the prefectures of Trikala, Karditsa and Aetoloakarnania, on west by the prefectures of Preveza and Ioannina, while on the south by the Ambracian Gulf.
The last one consists of landscapes of rare beauty, like the uniquely beautiful wetlands and lagoons of Logarou and Tsakalou, where, among others, find shelter swans and flamingos. Tsoukalio, with a surface of 22 sq. km and Logarou with a surface 30 sq. km. are lagoons, located between the mouth of Louros and Arahthos and is rich in fish, while they are separated with a narrow piece of land.
In Ambrakikos meet and poured two of the rivers that cross the county, Arahthos and Louros.
In the natural environment of Arta dominate Athamanika Mountains or Tzoumerka (2,429 m), while hefty is Xerovouni (1,614 m) and the Mountains of the Valtos (1.782 m).
At the southwest part of the county is formed a broad coastal plain, the plain of Arta, which is the largest plain of Epirus.

Historical and cultural significance of the stone bridges

The rough subsoil of Arta, with the towering mountains and rushing rivers create a rugged and inaccessible environment for residents, complicating communication and the transport in general.
The bridges were among the structures that required great skill. The kernel compilation undertook specialized teams of craftsmen, mostly from the villages of Konitsa and Tzoumerka. The masters of stone, the famous Kiouproulides put the soul and art in order to build these superb bridges.
The art of these masters has its beginnings in the 16th century, when the poor part of life in the villages of Konitsa and mountainous Tzoumerka pushed people to the development of the art of stone in order to survive. Particular growth was experienced during the Turkish occupation-limit, especially at the dawn of the 18th century. From the late 19th century their fame transcends the boundaries of the Balkans and they attempt bold and overseas trips.
Their works cause admiration as part of the landscape with almost physical causalıty, as its natural continuous inst.
They are a rich source of folklore, including folk songs, legends, proverbs, customs and beliefs, often designated as monuments of cultural heritage. Live example the bridge of Arta, which carries up centuries of history and is infused with the legends and traditions of the region.

Traditions and customs on the stone bridges

Steeped in tradition, the history of Arta could only be interwoven with the storied, namesake bridge.
The bridge of Arta, a work so hard for that era, inspired the homonymous folk song and made the stone passage known all around the world.
Historical research, however, ascertains that this legend hid for many years a historical truth about Arta and the region of Epirus in general.
Initially, after the request of the Turkish army to create a passing, residents volunteered to help building the bridge in order to be in favor of the Turks, but when they realized their purpose, at night they demolished what the previous night they themselves had made.
The Turks, seeing the project being delayed, inquired the reason. Then the people answered that, ultimately, the place is haunted and the bridge cannot be built. Listening to this justification, the Turkish governor ordered the arrest of the master builder and his wife's killing. Residents, fearing the consequences, completed the construction of the bridge, which was accompanied with curses to the Turkish army. After the revolution of 1821, however, and waiting for the release of the Greek army, the locals turned their previous curses to blessings.
Korakou Bridge
Built in 1514-1515 and stood proudly for over 400 years, with money from the Metropolitan Bessarion II, Metropolitan of Larissa, who called it bridge Korakou because of his height.
According to the legend accompanying the bridge, it is said that in order to save the necessary for the construction of the money he had to tour the Balkans.
The builders, however, reluctant to start work again, as they feared that there was the necessary money to pay. The Saint pulled from his pocket a hand full of gold coins and threw them in the river bed. This was all and the work resumed, while the Saint started a new journey, this time in Ukraine and Czechoslovakia and after some months he turned back, to confront the bridge now complete.




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