Elafotopos is located on the slopes of Stouros at 1100 m. built amphitheatrically, is located one of the traditional villages of Central Zagori , Elafotopos or Tservari (according to its old name). It is a village with a long history that starts from a very old age.
History and Information
It is unknown when the original settlement was established. However, archaeological findings found on a hill at the Kastro site, and at the “Konismata” site testify to the habitation in the wider area from the end of the 13th century BC.
Originally the village consisted of two settlements, Mikro and Megalo Tservari. When the Turks occupied Ioannina in 1430, it also declared submission, like many villages of Zagori, obtaining with the Treaty of Voinikos a status of autonomy and other privileges granted by the Turks. When in 1583 a terrible plague epidemic decimated Central Zagori the Ottoman state in an attempt to strengthen the communal system of Zagori that had been shaken by the desolation due to the plague, ordered many settlement collapses in wider communities. Thus the two settlements were united forming one community, that of Cervari, which in 1928 was renamed Elafotopos.
At the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, many families from the Vastani settled in Tservari, contributing to the development of the village. From the 18th century onwards Cervari showed economic and cultural development, This was due to the emigration of many of the inhabitants who were active in many countries and mainly in Serbia and who advanced economically and helped their village.
As for the origin of the name Tservari, there are various versions, but the most prevalent is that the toponym comes from the Slavic words terbu (= deer, cervus in Latin) and arie (= place), i.e. a place with many deer, i.e. Elafotopos which is also the its current name.
During the Greco-Italian war, the village was located near Grabala, which was also the defense line of the Greek forces. The same in the Civil War. And it may not have suffered the ravages of other villages, but the later period was the period of desolation. In 1970 the school was also closed.
In recent years, many residents have returned and the village has changed its appearance. Some have restored their houses and others have built new ones.
What to see in Elafotopos
The village is built around the beautiful square with the sycamore tree, the middle village, located in the center and around it are the cafe, the church, the school and the neighborhoods with the beautiful stone houses. The houses are built of white chipped stone, a building material abundant throughout the region.
The walk on the cobblestones gives you a complete picture of the architecture of the village and the usability of the buildings. The built terraces and steps were and are places of meeting and rest. The houses of the village that remain standing until today were built between the 18th and 20th centuries.
The huge plane tree was planted in 1200 AD at the same time as the establishment of the “Mega Tservari” settlement. In 1898, a lightning strike that struck the trunk burned its interior. Fifty years passed for the sycamore to recover, and to close the hole opened by the lightning.
The old Primary School and the mansion of Theodoulis Kaisaris have been designated as historical monuments under the Official Gazette 39/B/19-1-1996 and Official Gazette 61/A/13-4.92 respectively.
Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas)
It is located near the main square. It was built in 1857 at the site where two temples were built, the church of Saint Nicholas (1770) and a small temple of Saint Charalampos. The old temples were demolished to build the newest of St. Nicholas in this place.
Temple of Dormition of Virgin Mary
Known by the name Panagia, it is located in the settlement of Elafotopos.
It is located in Kalyvia of Elafotopos. The small one-storied temple is located on the left side of the road connecting Kalpaki with Elafotopos.
Folklore and Historical Museum (Museum of Traditional Occupations)
Next to the Church of the Assumption, in a building of 1790. His history began in 1978 at the initiative of the local Sculptor and Educational Art, M. Economides and in collaboration with several other actors and residents of the village. The exhibits that exist here have managed to gather them from donations and purchases by Economides himself with much effort and money with purpose to save, preserve and highlight the objects of local folk culture. About 1,000 utilitarian tools 19 traditional professions, dating back to 1800, are exhibited at the museum, while there are 3,000 other tools in the warehouse of the other professions waiting to be found the right place. But there are other remarkable exhibits of everyday life. Tel: 26530-22538.
Some old buildings are still preserved in the village, such as the Kitsia mansion, the mansion owned by Theodoulis Kaesaris and the Primary School, which have been designated as historically preserved monuments.
The settlement is located in the peripheral zone of the protected area of the North Pindos National Park and is therefore offered for nice routes either by car in all Zagorohoria or walking in paths.
In Apokries (Carnival) with the great fire (jamala), on August 6th in Metamorphosis of Sotiros is held a two-day traditional feast, in August religious and athletic events. Gratzia, three-day sports events established since 2009 and taking place in August every 2 years in honor of the brothers of Gratzios (great benefactors of the Gkratzeio Sports Center Elafotopos) and especially the Balkan winner (“pre-war” superintendent) Menelaos Gratzios, , in honor of which he also took the same name and the Northeastern Athletics Championship in Thessaloniki. These events are organized by the Athletic Club and include athletic matches, football matches, mountaineering and other sporting events.
Accommodation – Food
The village has guest houses and taverns.
The historical information has been based on the book ELAFOTOPOS (Tservari) by Menelaus Kikopoulos, Ioannina 1991