Igoumenitsa, the capital of Thesprotia

Past, present and future

HGOUM_PORTThe largest Municipality of the Prefecture of Thesprotia in population - 11.680 residents - covers an area of 80.808.000 m2, occupying the region around the big bay of the capital city of the Prefecture, Igoumenitsa, and up to the old mouth of Kalamas river. The plain was a result of the silts of Kalamas, while it has been claimed that the Lygia Peninsula, the Pyrgos of Ragio, etc., and small hills in the area of the river's sources, used to be islands (the Syvota, islands of Thucydides) during the historic period.

 

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The cape of Drepano - where the homonymous municipal camping is today - which partly blocks the entrance of the bay, and the shallowness of the sea, had probably made the use of the bay as a port problematic, from the ancient times. (Thucydides: "Limin Erimos" - Deserted Port). Very few stone tools of the Mid-Paleolithic era (±40.000-9.000 B.C.), comprise the only indication of appearance of the prehistoric man, at the limits of the Municipality. The excavations at the hill of the Pyrgos of Ragio showed that the area had already been inhabited Pyrgos of  Ragiosince the 2nd millennium B.C. At the Lygia Peninsula, north of the bay of Igoumenitsa, during the Classic era, probably also during the period of the Peloponnese war, colonists from Kerkyra (Corfu) created Toroni, a colony of the people of Kerkyra on the coastline of the mainland. Fortified with strong evenly-structured walls, The Kerkyraiki Peraia was protected, from the mainland, by the small, clearly of military nature, castle of the Pyrgos of Ragio. An indication of the early roman presence is the homestead at the position "Troube" of N.Selefkeia, on the way to Drepano. A quite extensive settlement of the first after-Christian centuries, with lime-built walls ofsark_ladoCastle of Igoumenitsaregion of Igoumenitsa emerges anew to the fore during the Middle Ages, as its castle [which survives in a quite good condition] on the hill on the east side of the building of the Prefecture, kept the Enetians busy since 1204. This castle was blown up by Morozini in 1685, after having moved its twelve canons to Kerkyra. During the period of the Turkish domination, its port was used - possibly after the deepening of its entrance - as anchorage by the Turkish fleet. The tower, which dates back to the last period of the Turkish domination (19th century), was built by the Aga of the region on a tower which protected one of the gates of the ancient castle at the Pyrgos of Ragio, so that he could supervise the extensive plain at the mouth of Kalamas. the houses and paved roads and small squares, which was created at the cove of the bay of Igoumenitsa, in the region of Ladochori east of the new harbor, which also seems to have survived during the Palaeo-Christian period, comprises the distant ancestor of today's capital of the Prefecture. On the small island of Prasoudi - according to a tradition a rock which was thrown by the Cyclops Polyphimos to Odysseas - at the entrance of the bay of Igoumenitsa, the ruins of a Palaeo-Christian temple survive at an adequate height. The

 

The economy of the region is based on agriculture, stock-breeding, fish-culture, trade, craft industry, tourism and lastly, more and more, on transportation. Today, Igoumenitsa, capital city of the Municipality by the same name and of the Prefecture of Thesprotia, is a very important sea-gate to the Greek territory, while this preferential position of the city is being upgraded by the new modern port, and the gateway to Europe, the Egnatia highway.

 

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