Monodendri, built at an altitude of 1100m, is a beautiful and representative Zagorohori with its residential complex following the characteristic traditional architecture.
The village was built around 1360 AD. In 1965, between Vitsa and Monodendri, the most ancient settlement of Epirus was discovered with 2 cemeteries. What’s more, the findings are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina.
It met great economic and commercial acne in the 18th and 19th centuries and many churches, schools and mansions were built by its benefactors.
In fact, many national benefactors came from Monodendri: the brothers Manthos and Georgios Rizaris, who distributed their unrivaled property they acquired in Russia for the establishment of an institution and through it the creation in 1844 of the homonymous historical Ecclesiastical School in Athens.
Also, thanks to the money from the Rizari brothers’ legacy, there is a craft school functioning today where you can see or buy beautiful woven and embroidery works today. In Monodendri there is also the Rizarios Exhibition Center, which hosts remarkable international art exhibitions such as Bresson, Boissonas and others. Today, at the Rizari Brothers’ home, the Primary School is housed.
From Monodendri also came the “father of Greek agriculture” Spyros Hassiotis, the first mayor of Athens Ioannis Koniaris, the founder of pediatric science in our country Anastasios Zinnis, the great Hellenist Dimitrios Semitelos and other eminent men.
What to see in and around Monodendri
In Monodendri there are seven churches, with the oldest ones being the monastery of Agia Paraskevi (1412 AD), Agios Minas (1625 AD), the monastery of Prophet Elias (1464 AD) and the central church of Agios Athanasios (1801 AD).
Monodendri, due to its location and the tourist infrastructure, is claiming a place in the most beautiful and visited villages of Zagori. Moreover, it was one of the first and old villages that were developed in tourism.
The Stone Forest: On the way to Oxya, you will also find the Stone Forest. These are limestone rock formations that cause admiration. They are made out of stone slabs, one above the other, which seems to have been placed by a human hand. They are between 160 and 35 million years old. Corrosion from rain and wind has brought this effect.