Bridges

#95 Pounti Naou Bridge

 

It is an arched stone bridge that is located at “Mpotzia” at the entrance of Syrrako. It bridges Valia Mare, the stream of the rivers Aracthos and Kalarutikos. It was built in 1860 and is still in very good condition. The cost of its construction is still unknown and it seems that it was built by foremen from Konitsa. We can find the Fantanitsia faucet next to it. According to tradition, the name of the bridge means “new bridge” in contrast to the older bridge that is located near it.

 

Construction characteristics

It is an arched stone bridge that was built by foremen from Konitsa. The height of the arc is 30m. It was built in 1860 and is still in very good condition. It that is located at “Mpotzia” at the entrance of Syrrako. It bridges Valia Mare, the stream of the rivers Aracthos and Kalarutikos. The costs of its construction as well as the names of the foremen are still unknown. We can find the Fantanitsia faucet next to it. The name of the bridge means “new bridge” as it replaced an older collapsed bridge that existed in the same spot.

 

Additional historical, cultural and touristic data

 

Syrrako

The settlement was inhabited before the 15th century by Wallachs. During the period of the Ottoman rule, in 1480, it became the capital of a federation that consisted of 42 villages that belonged to the Sultan.

 

It is one of the most historic villages in the Ioannina prefecture and in the whole Epirus, too. Its prosperity during the Ottoman Rule was due to its special privileges when it came to taxes as well as the increase of trade and of the production of woolen fabrics and meat processing products which were the main activities of the residents of the village. Their products were sold at the largest trading cities of the Mediterranean and the Black seas (Italy, France, Spain, Odessa, Moscow, Bucharest, Belgrade, Istanbul, etc.). Syrrako held a long tradition of woolen cape production and it is believed that the army of Napoleon bought large quantities of them.

The Turks burned down the settlement in 1821, but it was rebuilt in 1825 and region flourished again.

 

It is located at an altitude of 1200m on the slopes of Mt Peristeri, northeast of the Priza peak (alt. 2017m). It is 52km from Ioannina and is classified by the president as a traditional settlement due to the impressive architecture of its stone houses. The houses’ main building material is stone for the walls and slate for the roofs.

There are many fine examples of traditional architecture in the beautiful village of Tzoumerka, such are the three stone bridges, Pounti Naou, Pounti da la More and the bridge at Siopato that welcome us at the village’s entrance, the renovated watermill and the Goura faucet.

You can find in the center of the village the church of St Nicolaus (17th century) with its beautiful iconostasis and its embroidered epitaph of Russian style. The church of the Holy Apostles is special due to it being hewn in a rock on the Priza peak. Also interesting is the house of the poet K. Krystallis that was turned into a library and a museum as well as the old boarding school that is now a hotel.

The traditional house-museum of Kostas Audikos is also worthy of your visit as there are exhibited old furniture, embroidery, textiles and the village’s traditional costumes  that take you back to older times.

 

Syrrako was the birthplace of many great men such as the poet Kostas Krystallis (1868-1894), the first constitutional prime minister of Greece John Kolettis (1774 - 1847), George Zalokostas (1805 - 1858) who was a poet and took part in the revolutionary army in 1821 also the chieftains Katsikogiannis, Lepeniotis etc., the benefactors C. Gianniotis, Sp. Baltatzis C. Ikkos etc. as well as many other men that were involved in arts, literature and commerce.

For the hiking lovers, Syrrako is the starting point the route Chrysa-Agios Athanasios- Koryfi that takes you to the Priza peak (alt.2017m) in about 4 hours of walking. Other paths start from the village and lead you to the springs of the Chrousia River in about 1 hour and to the Gkouiasa Bridge of Kalarrytes in 45 minutes. The well paved path, which is called “Syrrako-Kalarrytes stairs” and in some places is stone paved, leads to the neighboring village of Kalarrytes in about 1 hour by crossing the rugged ravine of Chrousia.

The village has accommodations suitable for sleep and tasty food.

 

Imprinting figures

 

Directions: At the entrance of Syrrako

 

Regional Unit: Ioannina

 

Community: Syrrako

 

Location: Syrrako

 

River: Aracthos River, Kalarrytikos River, Valia Mare stream

 

Coordinates: N 39° 35΄42, 3΄΄ E 021° 06΄17, 1΄΄

 

Altitude: 1.102m

 

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