Driving on the highway from Konitsa to Kastoria at 23 km. you turn right and after 5 km. of a wonderful path in pine forest you will find one the three labeled “Stone Village” called Ganadio. (The other two are Molista and Monastiri).
It is located on the outskirts of Smolikas and it combines natural beauty with traditional architecture.
History and Information
Ganadio was declared a traditional settlement in 1979 and has preserved almost intact its architectural wealth. The mansions show the economic prosperity of the region. The “crowds” of craftsmen of Ganadio in Greece and abroad as well as commercial activities of many immigrants from the Balkans brought money to the village.
The stone houses of the village are small forts, some even have loopholes. In the 19th century, the village became target for the thieves for consecutive times. Even the women had learned to handle weapons to protect their property alongside men.
The architecture of the houses is very interesting. That is because the design and size determines the social stratification of the people . The houses, built in “Π” shape, belonged to the rulers, those that had “Γ” meant belonged to the middle class and simple squares were those of the poor. The colors on the windows, doors and inside the houses are ocher, dark green and burgundy.
During 1950 till 1960 the “devastation” of the site took place. Its inhabitants fled in search of a better luck in big cities or close to their relatives, who had earlier emigrated to America, Australia, Romania and Egypt with their thought always in the village.
What to see in Ganadio
In the central square there is a large plane tree that dominates the sacred temple of Archangels. The temple is an aisled basilica built with hewn stone in 1856 by master builder Charisiadis and “hosts” precious religious relics.
These two buildings, as well as the temple of Archangels in the square, were built with money from Spyridon Xynos, who made a big fortune trading in the Balkan countries.
Next to the church is the “amiliko”, an old inn, where in the ground floor the stables for horses are kept till today and on the 1st floor the guesthouse is located. Finally, the cafe fills the central square setting.
Ganadio comes to life only every August, when people who have emigrated come and meet each other for two weeks. After that time the “Stone Village” lives another “stone winter” with fewer than 20 inhabitants.