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Holy Monastery of the exaltation of the Holy Cross, Doliana

Just 50 kilometers from Kalambaka, at southern Pindos Mountain, more specifically between Doliana and Krania Aspropotamou villages, one can have the chance of getting to know the Monastery of the Holy Cross, Doliana, one of the most impressive churches in Greece. There, at about one and a half kilometer from Doliana, in the wonderful fir tree of Aspropotamos, one of the most remarkable byzantine churches attracts the interest and the admiration of the ones that have the chance to visit it. It is believed to have been built in the late 18th century, although there is not sufficient evidence for an exact date, and initially it operated as a monastery but it was abandoned in 1924.

It is a church of peculiar architecture and it has been listed protected monument by the Ministry of Culture. The impressive church is built at an altitude of about 1,500 meters, hidden in a forest of tall fir trees, at a majestic scenery. Made of stones and covered with plates, what distinguishes the Monastery of the Holy Cross is its 13 domes, the central one being double. Getting into the interior part of the church, one observes that it is quite dark, with little light, coming in from the small windows of the domes. Outside the church there are several reliefs, which are quite interesting and, in combination with the domes, add special magnificence to the church.

Pyli Trikalon

The small and beautiful town of Pyli is at the entrance of a natural passage, created by Koziakas, on the one side, and Itamos on the other side.

These two facing mountains, separated by Portaikos river, form a natural magnificent gate, which justifies the origin of the name of the settlement! (Pyli is the Greek word for gate)

This justifies the visitors’ special interest, as Pyli is the center of significant byzantine and post-byzantine monuments, as well as the passage to the to the picturesque villages of  Aspropotamos and Arta.

Metsovo

Metsovo is a mountain town of the prefecture of Ioannina, at an altitude of 1,150m. A traditional settlement, located at the eastern edge of the prefecture, close to the boundaries with the Municipality of Kalambaka, at the northern slopes, among the mountains of Pindos, the biggest mountain range in Greece. Monuments that have been listed as protected at Metsovo, include the monastery of Virgin Mary (Theotokos), near Metsovitikos river, the Monastery of Saint Nicholas at the southern part of the town, and the monastery of the Life Giving Fountain at the site Kiatra Rossia. Moreover, a remarkable Folklore Museum operates in the town, as well as an organized skiing center, which, in combination with the quaintness of the scenery, is a tourist attraction for many visitors. E. Averoff Museum of Neohellenic Art has been operating since 1988, where about 250 paintings of significant artists of the 19th and 20th century are exhibited. According to one point of view, the word Metsovo originates from the Slavic “Мечка” (bear) and “ovo” (village).

Plastira Lake

Plastira lake is a lake located at the plateau of Nevropoli at the Prefecture of Karditsa. It is an artificial lake and its official name is Tavropos lake. It was formed in 1959, with the completion of the dam at its southern edge, on the start of the river Tavropos or Megdovas. The idea for its construction was attributed to the general and politician Nikolaos Plastiras, when in 1935 that he visited his birthplace, and destructive floods had occurred in the area and in Macedonia by constant rainfall; on seeing the village he allegedly said that “one day, here it will be a lake”, where its more commonly used name originated from.

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