The Castle of Ioannina is built on the west bank of the lake on a small rocky peninsula, on the two hills of which an equal number of citadels are formed.
One town, countless experiences
From the Stone Age, the ancient Greek civilizations, the Roman magistrates and the Byzantine despots through to the Ottoman pashas and the modern Greek democracy, the history trail leads to the unmissable attractions of today’s multicultural Ioannina.
Ioannina city and the surrounding area is filled with colorful traditions, mythical legends and endless choices for entertainment that will satisfy even the toughest crowd. Depending on the time of year, those choices may include a walk amongst the cobbled lanes of the city, a boat ride in the lake or a visit to the museums, making Ioannina a perfect destination for every season.
The list of sights is never ending, proving there is always something new to see. The city has six amazing museums, a beautiful cavern, a trademark lake, an art gallery, two archaeological sites of huge historical value, twelve churches, one synagogue, sixteen monasteries eight of which are on the island, twelve Muslim monuments (mosques, mandrasahs and hammam baths), eight traditional mansions and thirteen buildings of exceptional architectural style.
Multicultural and Traditional
The vast multicultural traditions of the region are reflected in the lake's waters. You can find them in everything you encounter, from the architecture to the churches and mosques, in the city's commercial streets, even in the delicious cuisine. Ioannina has been a multicultural city for centuries. The city's identity has been shaped by the Christian, the Islamic and the Jewish communities coexisting and leaving their mark in the city's historical center. Stoa Louli is the place where all three communities worked together and thrived.
The magnificent Castle of Ioannina was built in 528 A.D. by Emperor Ioustinianos and was the epicenter of the city's cultural life. A walk within its walls will transport any visitor to the days of Old, when legends were alive and traditions upheld. It is a place where you can feel the spirit of the city, from its darkest dungeons and stunning mosques all the way to the impressive Acropolis.
Pamvotida, the lake of Ioannina, is a place of unmatched natural beauty, where even a simple walk or bike ride is sure to enchant your soul. Even more impressive is the Island located in the middle of the lake, one of the few inhabited lake islands in Europe.
Just four kilometers outside the city of Ioannina is the 1,5 million-year-old Cave of Perama, one of Europe's most exquisite caves. The beauty of its chambers is breathtaking and the visitors have the unique opportunity to witness the grandeur of nature in one of its most impressive forms.
The Pavlos Vrellis Museum of Wax Effigies based in Ioannina is one of the most original and interesting museums of the country. The striking wax exhibits take the visitor on a journey throughout the history of Epirus and Greece.
The ancient theater of Dodoni, located just 22 kilometers outside the city of Ioannina, is one of the country's most important and renowned archaeological sites. Built in the 3rd century A.D. and with a capacity of 18.000, this theater is the biggest of its era. In close proximity is the ancient Dodoni Oracle, the famous sanctuary and religious center of the ancient world.
The city's museums including the Archaeological and Folklife, as well as the Art Gallery, offer visitors the opportunity to admire the work of both ancient and modern Greek artists and allow them to get acquainted with the country's history, art and civilization throughout the centuries.
Catching a glimpse of History
A trip to Ioannina will offer many different experiences to a visitor with an interest in history, art and nature. The identity of this city is a blend of many cultures and civilizations. It has a vast history extending from the Paleolithic era and ancient Greece all the way to the Ottoman occupancy and the modern city of today and will certainly satisfy the demands of every visitor.
You will always want to come back!
Meet each other in the central town square, in front of the characteristic administrative building of the city Region. Behind the building, the mall iw stretched, stores of which offer a range of options. A stop is essential at the many cafes. And keep your eyes open. Somewhere between the storefronts and shops, one encounters small cultural treasures and architectural monuments: the Folklore Museum of Continental Research Company, the building of the Post Office and the Zosimaia Library until the former Papazogleio Weaving School, the former Kaplaneio School and the mansion Pyrsinella.
A walk in the historic center, which extends in the "front" of the city to the lake, is worth only if you desire to wander and get lost. A good starting point for the walk is the Clock Square (1905), opposite the Town Hall.
Go down the main road, where you will find jewelery and shops with folk art and souvenirs, and let your instinct guide you. Right and left of the main street, every little street, every alley is a surprise.
The boats that tie in Molo, lead you to the Island, a place that never got another name. Just Island. It is the house of Ali Pasha there and also a set of ecclesiastical monuments: Filanthropinon Monastery (1291), Monastery Stratigopoulou (13th cent.), Monastery of Panagia Eleousa (16th c.).
The residents of the island are always ready to tell you stories, traditions and legends. A very good walk is around the island that will relax you and open the appetite to taste local specialties such as frog legs, eels, crayfish etc.
The major advantage of Ioannina is that you can see every corner of the city in a walk. You leave your car in a parking lot or you get off a bus and then everything is in front of you! Great sights, tastes, smells, images, the history of the place, parks, scenic spots, food, drink and fun. Lots of fun!
In the heart of the city of Ioannina, at Litharitsia Park (6, 25th March Square), lies the Metropolitan Museum for the Epirus Antiquities. It showcases a multitude of important cultural artifacts from prehistoric times up to the fall of the Roman rule (4th century AD). Through a variety of finds- such as tools, equipment, weapons, jewellery, coins, architectural fragments, inscriptions – are unfolded aspects of daily life the economy and social organization in camps, villages and towns/citadels.
It was founded in 1995 and is housed in a building with influences from the local architectural tradition, which was built in 1958 as a "royal pavilion" by the Greek army, which at that time had under its supervision the entire citadel.
It was created on the initiative of the Society for Epirotic Studies (E.H.M.) and its subsidiary, the Ionian and Adriatic Studies Foundation (I.M.I.A.X.), with the aim of collecting, rescuing and utilizing objects of the Epirotic folk culture.
Whatever gate you walk through to enter the castle, it does not matter. By entering the Kastrini state, the bustle of the city is left outside. A traditional settlement where Ottoman buildings are scattered throughout, such as Soufari Serai and Aslan Pasha mosque, which houses the municipal museum and the Jewish synagogue.
A crossroad of cultures and religions. And high above, the Its Kale, the acropolis: a cultural small park with museums and collections. In summer, the area is the cultural heart of the city, with concerts and other events which take place.
Almost a breath from the historic center, there is the lakeside. From the square Mavili until "12", the "Skala" the Katsari Park, the multi old municipal slaughterhouses, Akti Miaouli and lakeside bicycle - pedestrian. In some places along this route many restaurants and cafes are developed.
Near the Coast Miaoulis there is the Ioannina Centre of Traditional Crafts (KEPAVI) where you can find jewelry and any other creation of silverwork. A lakeside stroll or by bicycle, ii a must. Those of you who are fans of fishing or bird watching, do not forget your equipment.
In 1617-1618, in the area of the north-eastern citadel the religious-educational complex (Kyliye) of Aslan Pasha was built which included the mosque, the Madrassa (seminary) and the Mageiria (hearth).
The building of the Gallery (1, Korai street) was built by the civil engineer Vergiotis for his son-in-law Vasileios Pyrsinellas in 1890. In 1924 Vasileios Pyrsinellas was elected mayor of the city of Ioannina and his term of office was characterized as a period of building reconstruction and various projects. Being a book and arts lover, he owned a large collection of books and works of art. Later, Mr.
It is a life's work of the sculptor Pavlos Vrellis- a graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts- who created it from scratch. In 1983, at the age of 60, he bought a barren space in Bizani, Ioannina (located in the 12th klm. of the Ioannina-Arta National Road).
Stoa Louli was built in 1875 and its arches were imported from Italy. Initially the gallery functioned as an inn, where people from villages stayed when in Ioannina. Gradually the inn became point - node, where people gathered from across the continent, to start the great, for the season, trip to Athens. The constant motion of so many people resulted in the conversion of the Stoa into the mall of the time. First to develop commercial activity Lodge, were Jewish merchants of Ioannina, who operated shops with fabrics and leather.
Member of the network museum of the Cultural Foundation of the Piraeus Bank Group. It is located in the western bastion of the south-eastern citadel (the so called “Its Kale”). It occupies the two levels of the bastion as well as the building of the old Mageiria, adjacent to the latter.
In the carnival period there are many happenings and events in Ioannina. One of the must see is the Tzamala. This is a big fire in the center of every neighbourhood of Ioannina. Every neighbourhood is trying to make bigger fire than the others while everyone is dancing around it!