Ioannina | The lion’s cavernGreece,
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1. The Archaeological Museum of IoanninaIn this museum you will find an oracle for the people, archers, elephant warriors and Neanderthals, among others. This museum-monument is dedicated to the people of Epirus and has many surprises.
2. The Castle of IoanninaA castle that many have wanted, many have claimed and many have lost. Over the years, the castle has always been the heart of the city.
3. The Island of IoanninaIn the middle of the lake, during the Byzantine times and, later, the Ottoman rule, prayers and chanting is heard, temples are built and murals painted; those who devote their lives to the worship and union with God, liv
Looking for Neanderthals
The Archaeological Museum of IoanninaTens of thousands of years ago nothing resembled Epirus. The mountains were covered by many meters of ice. The Adriatic was not a sea, but a vast plain. Corfu was not an island but part of the mainland. In the gorges and the labyrinthial valleys, alongside rivers and swamps, lived wolves, deer with big horns, and some other two-legged creatures with robust bodies and protruding eyebrows. These were the Neanderthals, who lived by hunting and collecting fruits from nature and who left their traces in several corners of Epirus (Asprochaliko, Kokkinopylo, Karvounari). Archaeologists have not found their skeletons but have found their stone weapons and tools instead, such as scrapers to soften peltry, shellfish beads and much more evidence of their resourcefulness.
The tower of Thomas
The Castle of IoanninaIn the early 14th century, Serbs occupy the whole of Epirus, Thessaly and Macedonia. This fact encourages groups of Albanians, who begin a wild descent and colonize Epirus, chasing the locals. In 1367, the Serbian ruler hands Ioannina over to his brother in law, Thomas Preloumbo or Prelioubovich. In his time, major repairs are done to the Castle of Ioannina to deal with the Albanian attacks. The tower to the right of the main gate of the Castle is probably associated with his person, since the faded name “Thomas” can be distinguished on a brick inscription which is preserved above its arched opening. Another view suggests that the tower was built by Thomas Komnenos Doukas, a sovereign of the Despotate of Epirus, a few decades later.
The Holy Mountain floats
The Island of IoanninaThe small isle in the waters of Pamvotis offers relative serenity during times when lake travels are not that simple. Perhaps this is why Michael, member of the renowned Byzantine family of the Philanthropenoi, chooses to found or renovate, at the end of the 13th century, the monastery of Saint Nicholas. At the same time, following his example, the equally powerful Byzantine family of Stratigopoulos, founds a second monastery dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Slowly, the isle of Ioannina transforms into a center of monasticism, a small, floating Holy Mountain.
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.