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Epirus, Zagori, Prefecture of Ioannina

Grambala mountain

Aristi, Zagori
44004
Epirus, Greece

We set out to walk in the mountain of Grambala, above the village of Aristi in Zagori, NW Greece. With these walks we want to commemorate the WWII battle of Grambala (1940), celebrating the 80th anniversary of this historical event.

Following different paths, we will observe the material traces of WWII in the area: the defensive structures at the peak and the mausoleum of the Italian soldiers who died in the battle. Furthermore, we will visit the “sacred forest“ at the chapel of Aya Paraskevi, in Grambala. We will discuss the concept of managing the commons through religious prohibition during the early modern period and at night we will play related documentaries at Aristi. Free entrance to all events. Good health condition and hiking apparel required.

Discovery tour

The archaeology of trees: a visit to the chapel of Aya Paraskevi
That chapel is surrounded by some of the most ancient oak forests of Zagori. Mostly known by the term Vakoúfika they form a centuries long-form of managing communal woodlands throughout SE Balkans. The trees of sacred groves around chapels were dedicated to the patron-Saint, therefore no human was allowed to exercise pollarding or coppicing, under the fear of ex-communication. We will visit the chapel of Aya Paraskevi to explore this heritage belonging to the national register of intangible heritage (Ministry of Culture).

Free

Friday 19 June de 17:30 à 19:00 (Meeting point: the square of Aristi.)

General public

Screening

Documentary screening on the Sacred Forests of Zagori
We will showcase documentaries related to the Sacred Forests of Zagori. At the central square of the village of Aristi.

Free

Friday 19 June de 21:00 à 22:30

General public

Discovery tour

Trekking at the battlefield of Grambala
80 years ago, the Italian forces of Mussolini invaded Greece through the Greek-Albanian border. The Greek defensive line expanded around the region of Kalpaki. The most decisive battle, which signalled the Italian retreat occurred at the mountain of Grambala, situated on top of the village of Aristi. The Greek forces had built strong defensive structures, such as bunkers, on the top of the mountain to prevent the Italians from reaching the city of Ioannina and march securely towards Athens. We will hike around this battlefield to explore this WWII military landscape.

Free

Saturday 20 June de 09:30 à 13:13 (Meeting point: the square of Aristi. Good fintess level and hiking apparel required. Participants acknowledge the risks of hiking and with their own responsibility.)

General public

Discovery tour

Trekking to discover the monument of the Italian soldiers
The Italian army suffered many casualties during the battle of Grambala and initiated their retreat, late November 1940. On their way to the Greek-Albanian border, some 6 miles from the site, they constructed a rectangular mausoleum, in which they buried the deceased colonels and soldiers. We will hike to rediscover the monument of the Italian soldiers.

Free

Sunday 21 June de 09:30 à 13:30 (Meeting point: the square of Aristi. Good fintess level and hiking apparel required. Participants acknowledge the risks of hiking and with their own responsibility.)

General public