from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Metsovo municipality
Δήμος Μετσόβου (Μέτσοβο), Aminciu
Metsovo (Greece)
Basic data
State : GreeceGreece Greece
Region : Epirus
Regional District : Ioannina
Geographic coordinates : 39 ° 46 ′  N , 21 ° 11 ′  E Coordinates: 39 ° 46 ′  N , 21 ° 11 ′  E
Area : 366.82 km²
Residents : 6,196 (2011)
Population density : 16.9 inhabitants / km²
Seat: Metsovo
LAU-1 code no .: 1807
Districts : 3 municipal districts
Local self-government : f121 city district
10 local communities
Location in the Epirus region
File: 2011 Dimos Metsovou.png
f9 f10 f8
Overview of the place Metsovo
View over the stone roofs of Metsovo to the surrounding area
The center of Metsovo

Metsovo ( Greek Μέτσοβο ( n. Sg. ), Older also Metsovon; Aromanian Aminciu ) is a small town and a municipality in the far east of the Greek region of Epirus .

Geography, geology, climate


The place is about halfway between Ioannina in the west and Meteora or Kalambaka ( Thessaly ) and Grevena ( Western Macedonia ) in the east in the middle of the Pindos Mountains at an altitude of 1160 meters. Metsovo is located on a hill facing southeast on the northern edge of the valley of the Metsovitikos river , a tributary or source of the Arachthos . Northwest of Metsovo is the dam Limni o Pigon which the river Aoos dams shortly after its springs at the foot of the mountains and Soumpresi Mavrovouni.

The Metsovo municipality has three municipal districts. In addition to Mestovo itself, these are the neighboring district of Egnatia, named after the Via Egnatia , and the village of Milia in the east , which is on the pass road to Grevena in the northeast.

The area around Metsovo is also known as the "hydrographic heart" of Greece. The reason for this designation is that three large rivers in Greece have their origin in the area around Metsovo: east of the municipal area of ​​the Pinios with its source river Malakasiotikos, in the north of the Aoos ( Vjose ) and in the south of the municipality border in the Lakmos massif of the Acheloos . If the Metsovitikos river is considered to be the headwaters of the Arachthos, then the major rivers of Greece that have their source in the Metsovo area add up to four, including two of the three longest rivers in Greece: the Acheloos and the Pinios. The origin of the Venetikos river is northeast of Metsovo and connects to the longest river in Greece, the Aliakmonas, as its tributary.


The soil of the region around Metsovo consists of flysch sandstone and thus belongs to the flysch zone of the Zagoria.


The total amount of precipitation per year in Metsovo is 1431.1 mm. The minimum amount of precipitation per year falls in August with 29.1 mm, the maximum amount in November with 230.6 mm. In December there is 180 mm of precipitation, in March, May and October around 150 mm of precipitation. Metsovo recorded 120 rainy days per 1000 days. The month with the most rainy days is March with 14. November has 12.5, December 11.6, May 12.9 and July the minimum with 5.7 rainy days. In relation to 1000 days, Metsovo has 23.6 snow days in February ; in January it is 19.7, in March 17.1 and 12.9 in December, which brings the annual average of snow days to 26.9.


The ancient forerunner settlement of Metsovo is located near the present-day village of Votonosi in the valley of the Metsovitikos River, west of the present-day village of Metsovo. The settlement was built due to its strategic position on the pass between Epirus and Macedonia over the Zygos Pass (today's Katara Pass ). Bronze finds from Votonosi dated to the 6th to 3rd century BC. Chr.

In the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire captured Metsovo as it expanded on the Greek peninsula. In the 17th / 18th The Republic of Metsovo existed here in the 19th century . During the Ottoman rule, Metsovo, like the villages of the Zagori (Zagorochoria) and those of the Agrafa Mountains, acquired privileges: it was regarded as a valid sultana , a fief of the sultana, and accordingly paid fewer taxes. 1659 Metsovo acquired further rights under the Sultan Mohammed IV. (1648-1687) and could this until the rule of the Sultan Selim III. (1789–1807) obtained and confirmed repeatedly. According to tradition, these privileges were granted to Kyrgios (Kyriakos) Phlokas, a shepherd. Sultan Mohammed IV issued a firm, according to which the towns of Metsovo, Anilio, Malakasi, Voutinos, Milia and Koutsoufliani were declared inviolable. The towns were allowed to administer themselves: they were only subject to inspections by the sultan and his assistants, the Bostançi . Metsovo's self-government was a council of seven consisting of a president or elder ( Dimogeron or Geron ), the Ephoren ( Ephoros ), who oversaw the schools, the Frondistis (oversight of the water), the Ispraktoras (tax collector ), the Agronomos (market inspector), the Epitropos (church guard) and the Oplarchigos (militia leader) of the local garrison. This system of self-government existed until the end of the 19th century, although it remained in the hands of a few noble families until then. In the course of the 19th century, in addition to these original noble families, there were also rich and powerful merchants who had acquired their wealth and prosperity not through land ownership, but through trade with Egypt, Russia, Wallachia and Constantinople. The basis of these privileges was probably Metsovo's strategic position on the Zygos or Katara Pass. The residents had also given assistance to the Sultan and his entourage in crossing this pass. Sultan Murad II said:

“The people of Metsovo live in a place that many people pass through in the course of a year. In winter this place was covered in so much snow that travelers were in constant danger of getting lost. The local residents covered the horses' legs and carried the travelers on their shoulders. In the summer, when the danger of bandits, they protected the travelers and accompanied them safely over the pass. "

Metsovo's privileges led to an influx of people from Thessaly and the Agrafa region as well as from Epirus.

In the first half of the 20th century, Metsovo was described as a place that had no market. The numerous merchants would often be abroad. In addition, there are craftsmen, pack animal drivers and shepherds.

The Ottoman rule over Metsovo, which had begun in the 15th century, ended on November 14, 1912. Greek troops conquered Metsovo during the first Balkan War .

During the Second World War , Metsovo became a main target of the Italian troops, which crossed the Greek-Albanian border on October 28, 1940. An advance by the Italian troops led along the valley of the Aoos (Vjose) to the village of Vovousa north of Metsovo. The capture of Metsovo would have disrupted the road link between Epirus and Macedonia. At the beginning of November 1940 the Greek troops were able to repel the Italian attack and subsequently push the Italian troops back into Albanian territory. In mid-April 1941, German units of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, under the command of Sepp Dietrich from Grevena (East), reached Metsovo, conquered the Zygos or Katara pass on April 19, 1941 and thus cut the parts of the Greek passages in Albania Armed forces withdraw to central Greece. The commander of the III. Due to this situation, the Greek army corps in Epirus and Albania and later Prime Minister of Greece within the framework of a collaboration government, Lieutenant General Tsolakoglou took up armistice negotiations with the German armed forces on April 20, 1941 against the express instructions of the Greek commander-in-chief Alexander Papagos . These took place in Votonosi and ended a day later with the surrender of the Greek Epirus army. Metsovo is partially destroyed by the fighting. After the Greek surrender at the end of April 1941, Metsovo fell into the Italian zone of occupation. In June 1943, Greek partisans of the ELAS People's Liberation Army captured the village of Metsovo and thus gained control of both the place and the road over the Katara Pass. In October 1943, German armed forces carried out so-called clean-up operations along the Kalambaka-Metsovo-Ioannina road: on October 26, 1943, Army Group E reported that Operation Panther would soon be successfully completed with the subsequent reopening of the road over the Katara Pass from a German perspective.

In the Greek Civil War from April 1946 to September 1949, Metsovo was attacked in October 1947 by troops of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), a communist-dominated rebel army; the DSE did not succeed in taking the town against the troops of the right-wing central government in Athens defending Metsovo, despite one week of fighting.


The inhabitants of the city of Metsovo were and are predominantly members of the Aromanian ( Vlachian ) minority. In 1893 Metsovo had an estimated 5000 inhabitants. In 1920 the population had dropped to 1944 inhabitants, in 1928 Metsovo had 2,156 people. The province (Eparchia) Metsovo had 4082 inhabitants in 1920 and 4686 in 1928. The population of Anilio was 370 inhabitants in 1920 and that of Votonosi 200 inhabitants.

The population of Metsovo is likely to suffer from a malignant lung disease, mesothelioma (interdental cancer ), more than randomly until 2030 . The reason for this is the regular use of loutos, an asbestos-containing limestone, to bleach laundry until 1985 . In 1950 92% of the inhabitants used Metsovos Loutos, in 1980 18% and in 1985 nobody. The asbestos fibers contained in the Loutos were released and inhaled during the bleaching of the laundry. Between 1981 and 1985, the incidence of mesothelioma in Metsovo was 300 times higher than in a population not exposed to asbestos fibers. In addition to the cancer of mesothelioma, the so-called Metsovo lung occurs in 47% of the adult residents of Metsovo . This consists of calcifications in the intermediate layer of the lungs, which are also caused by exposure to asbestos fibers in the loutos.

Administrative division

Until the Greek local government reform of 1997, Metsovo was the administrative seat of the province of Metsovo, which included the current municipal districts of Metsovo and Milia. With the aforementioned local government reform, the provinces were abolished for administrative use and at the same time a township (Dimos) Metsovo was established. In 2010 the municipalities of Milia and Egnatia were incorporated into Metsovo and have since formed municipal districts (Ez. Gr. Dimotiki enotita ). The communities that existed until 1997 are run as urban districts (Ez. Gr. Dimotiki kinotita ) or local communities (under 2,000 Ew. - topiki kinotita ) and have their own local representatives. The population figures come from the results of the 2011 census.

  • Egnatia municipality - Δημοτική Ενότητα Εγνατίας - 2,331 inhabitants
    • Local community Mikro Peristeri - Τοπική Κοινότητα Μικρού Περιστερίου - 244 inhabitants
      • Mikro Peristeri - Μικρό Περιστέρι - 2 inhabitants
      • Giarakai - Γιαρακάρι - 10 inhabitants
      • Neo Giarakari - Νέο Γερακάρι - 50 inhabitants
      • Paleochori - Παλαιοχώρι - 15 inhabitants
      • Rachoula - Ραχούλα - 27 inhabitants
      • Tambouria - Ταμπούρια - 140 inhabitants
    • Local community Megali Gotista - Τοπική Κοινότητα Μεγάλης Γότιστας - 342 inhabitants
      • Megali Gotista - Μεγάλη Γότιστα - 166 inhabitants
      • Baltouma - Μπαλτούμα - 176 inhabitants
    • Local community Megalo Peristeri - Τοπική Κοινότητα Μεγάλου Περιστερίου - 693 inhabitants
      • Megalo Peristeri - Μεγάλο Περιστέρι - 310 inhabitants
      • Ambelakia - Αμπελάκια - 84 inhabitants
      • Karyofyto - Καρυόφυτο - 28 inhabitants
      • Kastri - Καστρί - 30 inhabitants
      • Kerasia - Κερασιά - 6 inhabitants
      • Milies - Μηλιές - 42 inhabitants
    • Local community Mikra Gotista - Τοπική Κοινότητα Μικράς Γότιστας - 194 inhabitants
      • Mikra Gotista - Μικρά Γότιστα - 73 inhabitants
      • Agioa Minas - Άγιος Μηνάς - 28 inhabitants
      • Batza - Μπάτζα - 49 inhabitants
      • Riza - Ριζά - 13 inhabitants
      • Sioutsos - Σιούτσος - 31 inhabitants
    • Local community Sitsena - Τοπική Κοινότητα Σίτσαινα (Σίτσαινα) - 175 inhabitants
    • Local community Chrysovitsis - Τοπική Κοινότητα Χρυσοβίτσης - 900 inhabitants
      • Chrysovitsa - Χρυσοβίτσα - 446 inhabitants
      • Ambelia - Αμπέλια - 16 inhabitants
      • Analipsi - Ανάληψη - 193 inhabitants
      • Myli - Μύλοι - 215 inhabitants
      • Xiriko - Ξηρικό - 4 inhabitants
      • Siolades - Σιωλάδες - 26 inhabitants
  • Metsovo municipality - Δημοτική Ενότητα Μετσόβου - 3,469 inhabitants
    • Metsovo district - Δημοτική Κοινότητα Μετσόβου (Μετσόβο) - 2,503 inhabitants
    • Local community Anilio - Τοπική Κοινότητα Ανηλίου (Ανηλίο) - 587 inhabitants
    • Local community Anthochori Metsovou - Τοπική Κοινότητα Ανθοχωρίου Μετσόβου (Ανθοχωρί Μετσόβου) - 159 inhabitants
    • Local community Votonosi - Τοπική Κοινότητα Βοτονοσίου (Βοτονοσί) - 220 inhabitants
  • Milia municipality - Δημοτική Ενότητα Μηλέας - 396 inhabitants
    • Local community Milia - Τοπική Κοινότητα Μηλέας (Μηλιά)

Economy, transport, infrastructure


Metsovo is traditionally known for the production of two types of cheese. Metsovo is known as the center of a wine-growing region. In winter there is a ski area in the vicinity of Metsovo, which gives the place income from winter tourism. The Limni O Pigon reservoir is used to generate electricity.

Viticulture in Metsovo

Although viticulture has been practiced in the area around Metsovo for a long time , the area did not gain attention among wine connoisseurs until the late 1950s, when Evangelos Averoff first began to plant various red grape vines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon , on a small scale, and especially with them with local varieties to intersect the agiorgitiko . This resulted in a dark-colored, full-bodied, well aging, not too heavy red wine , the Katogi Averoff ( Κατώγι Αβέρωφ ), which in good vintages must be counted among the best red wines in Greece (→ viticulture in Greece ). In addition, the Averoff wineries are also experimenting with various white wines from Roditis , Chardonnay and Traminer ; the latter is also expanded by type. In recent years, a few hectares have been planted with the very fashionable Viognier . In 2002 the Katogi Averoff winery merged with Strofilia , another winery from Metsovo to form Katogi Strofilia .

In addition to these top-quality wines produced using the most modern cellar technology, mostly white country wines are made from autochthonous vines in small businesses, which, when drunk young, achieve a thoroughly appealing quality and often have intense fruit aromas with low alcohol levels. The Metsovo wine-growing region is the highest in Greece with heights between 900 and 1100 meters, but despite the quality of its wines, it does not have appellation status.


Due to its location on the Metsovo, Zygos or Katara passes, Metsovo has an important traffic situation; Until the 1950s, the road from Ioannina via Metsovo to Kalambaka or Grevena was the only fixed road connection between Epirus and Western Macedonia or Thessaly. To the north-east of Metsovo is the Katara Pass, above whose maximum height of 1650 m the national road 6 ( European route 90 , European route 92 ) winds in an east-west direction. Motorway 2 (Εγνατία οδός / Egnatia odós) runs south of Metsovo and runs from Igoumenitsa to the border with Turkey. To the east there are u. a. the cities of Grevena, Kozani and Thessaloniki. Immediately after Metsovo in an easterly direction, the motorway leads through several tunnels, including a. the Metsovo tunnel (3.5 km in length), the Anilio tunnel (approx. 2 km in length) and the Panaghia tunnel (2.8 km in length). Metsovo does not currently have a railway connection; possibly a connection from Metsovo is planned as part of the planned rail link from Igoumenitsa via Ioannina to Kalambaka .

Culture, sights, personalities


An Aromanian festival takes place in Metsovo every year .


Metsovo is the place of origin of important people in Greece. In particular, the members of the Metsovo family Averoff (έβφρωφ) have gained importance in Greece:

Greek entrepreneur; left Metsovo at the age of 22 for Alexandria; supported the Greek community there with the building of hospitals and schools; founded the National Technical University of Athens in Athens , which is also known as “Metsovion” or “Metsovion Polytechnion”; the only Greek battleship was named in his honor, and he made a significant contribution to the financing
comes from the Averoff family from Metsovo; Member of the Greek Parliament 1946–1964; repeated Minister, most recently Minister of Defense 1974–1981; Chairman of the conservative party Nea Dimokratia 1981-1984, then its honorary chairman
  • Nikolaos Stournaris (* unknown, Metsovo; † 1826, unknown place)
Commander of Greek insurgents in the context of the Greek Revolution from 1821 in Aetolia-Acarnania
  • Eleni Tositsa
  • Mikhail Tositsas

Individual evidence

  1. a b Results of the 2011 census at the National Statistical Service of Greece (ΕΛ.ΣΤΑΤ) ( Memento from June 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (Excel document, 2.6 MB)
  2. ^ Alfred Philippson. The Greek Landscapes. A geography by Alfred Philippson. Volume II Part I. Epirus and the Pindus. Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1956, p. 72
  3. a b c d e f g h i Alfred Philippson. The Greek Landscapes. A geography by Alfred Philippson. Volume II Part I. Epirus and the Pindus. Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1956, p. 73
  4. Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos. The Greek Nation, 1453-1669. The Cultural and Economic Background of Modern Greek Society. Rutgers University Press, 1976, p. 195, ISBN 0-8135-0810-X English translation by: Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos. Istoria tou neou Ellinismou , Volume 2, 1909.
  5. a b Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos. The Greek Nation, 1453-1669. The Cultural and Economic Background of Modern Greek Society. Rutgers University Press, 1976, p. 197, ISBN 0-8135-0810-X English translation by: Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos. Istoria tou neou Ellinismou , Volume 2, 1909.
  6. Quoted from: Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos. The Greek Nation, 1453-1669. The Cultural and Economic Background of Modern Greek Society. Rutgers University Press, 1976, p. 197, ISBN 0-8135-0810-X (English translation by: Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos ), Istoria tou neou Ellinismou, Volume 2, 1909
  7. Friedrich Immanuel. The Balkan War 1912/13. Second and third booklet. The war up to the beginning of the armistice in December 1912. Verlag Ernst Siegfried Mittler and Son, 1913, p. 102
  8. Alexandros Papagos. Greece in the war 1940-1941. Verlag Schimmelbusch & Co, Bonn 1954, p. 140
  9. Emmanouil Zacharioudakis. German-Greek relations 1933-1941. Matthiesen Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-7868-1471-6 , p. 278.
  10. Alexandros Papagos: Greece in the war 1940-1941. Verlag Schimmelbusch & Co, Bonn 1954, p. 142.
  11. Mark Mazower . Inside Hitler's Greece. The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT., ISBN 0-300-06552-3 , pp. 136
  12. Mark Mazower: Inside Hitler's Greece. The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT., ISBN 0-300-06552-3 , pp. 170-171.
  13. Christopher Montague: Woodhouse. The Struggle for Greece, 1941-1949. MacGibbon, Hart-Davis 1976. (Reprint C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1-85065-487-5 , pp. 210, 219.)
  14. ^ Alfred Philippson. The Greek Landscapes. A geography by Alfred Philippson. Volume II Part I. Epirus and the Pindus. Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1956, p. 128.
  15. a b c d e K. Sakellariou, V. Malamou-Mitsi, A. Haritou, C. Koumpaniou, C. Stachouli, ID Dimoliatis, SH Constantopoulos: Malignant pleural mesothelioma from nonoccupational asbestos exposure in Metsovo (north-west Greece): slow end of an epidemic? Eur Respir J., 1996, 9, 1206-1210. doi : 10.1183 / 09031936.96.09061206 .
  16. Constantopoulos SH, Goudevenos JA, Saratzis N, Langer AM, Selikoff IJ, Moutsopoulos HM. Metsovo lung: pleural calcification and restrictive lung function in northwestern Greece. Environmental exposure to mineral fiber as etiology. Environ Res. 1985 Dec; 38 (2): 319-31.
  17. Constantopoulos SH, Langer AM, Saratzis N, Nolan RP. Regional findings in Metsovo lung. Lancet. 1987 Aug 22; 2 (8556): 452-453.