Arta: a land of riversArta, Greece
The plain of Arta is an expansive orchard of orange trees and is defined by the rivers Arachthos and Louros. Among the verdant foliage hides a treasure trove of idyllic locations and stories about unfaithful kings and caves where dragons nest. Discover a world that comes equipped with Roman aqueducts and lighthouses built on islands of manure.
1. The bridge of ArtaFor the people of Arta there are only three major rivers: the Danube, the Euphrates, and Arachthos. On the latter’s shores stood men condemned to death, kings, greedy governors, and immortal plane trees.
2. The conqueror’s soup kitchenThe mosque of Faik Pasha was built by the first Ottoman conqueror of Arta as part of a charitable institution responsible for feeding the poor and the persecuted of this world.
3. A rose with unfurled petalsThe church resembles a rose with unfurled petals, It is beautiful on the outside but the greatest treasures are hidden in the interior. But you will not see them easily.
The bridge of ArtaWhen Arta joined Greece in 1881, the border with the Ottoman Empire crossed the bridge at its highest point, with custom houses on both ends of the bridge. The Greeks controlled the city but the Turks were still masters of the farmland on which many people of Arta depended for a living. The Sublime Porte developed an ambitious plan of establishing a new city on their side of the river, but failed to attract residents. The Greeks had to deal with many problems as they tried to market their produce. The custom duties were so high they could not export their goods to the Ottoman side, but it was also prohibitively expensive to carry them to Greek markets due to the lack of roads.
The great massacre
The conqueror’s soup kitchenThe Greek War of Independence turned the sacred Muslim site to a battlefield. Famous revolutionary leaders gathered their men in Marati, near “orchards and some houses and a well-built mosque” according to the words of General Makriyannis. The Turkish infantry and cavalry attack caused multiple casualties among the Greeks, who retreated in haste. But not all of them. Georgios Karaiskakis and Markos Botsaris, two of the most distinguished Greek generals, fought the Turks from the mosque. Their bravery enticed the other Greeks to return and join forces with the besieged men. Their counterattack forced the Ottomans to retreat to Arta with heavy losses.
A rose with unfurled petalsUnfortunately the church is open only once a year, on 14 August, the eve of the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. It is, therefore, difficult to enjoy the marvelous frescoes created by folk painters from Samarina, a village in west Macedonia, in 1884. The painting program follows the tradition of the Ottoman period: the lower zone is adorned with full-length saints; then comes a band of saints in medallions, and finally who have whole Testament scenes. The faces emanate a serenity and benevolence that is not usually encountered in Byzantine churches. Particularly noteworthy is the image of Judas hanging from the tree, the only person in the entire church not to be identified by name.
Nea Odos has undertaken the study, planning, construction, operation, administration and maintenance of the “Ionian Road” project. A breathtaking project covering a total length of 380klm.
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.
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