View of Karpenisi
|Administrative region:||Central Greece|
|Population statistics (as of 2011)|
|- Area:||924.1 km2 (357 sq mi)|
|- Density:||14 /km2 (37 /sq mi)|
|- Area:||250.9 km2 (97 sq mi)|
|- Density:||34 /km2 (89 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation (center):||960 m (3,150 ft)|
|Postal code:||361 00|
Karpenisi (Greek: Καρπενήσι) is a town in central Greece. It is the capital of the regional unit of Evrytania. Karpenisi is situated in the valley of the river Karpenisiotis (Καρπενησιώτης), a tributary of the Megdovas, in the southern part of the Pindus Mountains. Mount Tymfristos (2,315 m elevation) lies directly to the north of the town, and the foothills of mount Kaliakouda are in the south. Karpenisi has a ski resort and is a popular destination, especially during winter.
According to Homer, the first known inhabitants of northern Evrytania -Karpenisi- were the Dolopes, who took part in the campaign against Troy around 1100 BC. The ancient capital of the area was Oihalia, situated close to the city of Karpenisi. Ancient Evritanians especially honored Diana, the goddess of hunting and Ulysses for his ability to be cunning and inventive.There are two possible explanations for the origin of the name “Evrytania”. The first is that is formed from the Greek word “ev” for “well” and the verb “hreo”, for “flow” so that altogether the word “Evrytania” means the place where there is plenty of fresh and “well flown” water. The second explanation for the names origins, comes from the verb “evrio”, meaning “stretching the cord of the bow”, hence the name of the first king of the area, Evritos, who was an excellent archer.
Roman & Byzantine era
In later Roman and Byzantine years, the area became better known, especially after the battle between the Roman and the Aetolian Commonwealth (Greek) armies, in the location of “Kokalia”, which ended in favour of the former. During the Byzantine times, the people of Evritania had the rare privileges of self-government and tax exemption. For this reason the northern part of the district was also called “Agrafa” (unwritten), because the residents were not listed in the Imperial tax registers.
During the Turkish occupation of Greece, this area remained relatively free, especially the very remote areas in the mountains. For this reason, the population of the villages grew. During the 18th century a famous school was created here by Evgenios Yannoulis the Aetolian, a school which had a great contribution in awakening the ethnic consciousness of the nation. The Turks and Albanians raid the territory many times. However one of the turning points, at the historic site of Kefalovrisso, on the night of August 8, 1823, was when General Markos Botsaris was killed by the Turkish army sent by the Sultan to stop the Greek Rebellion. The Greek troops won the battle and, although the great shock from the death of the hero at first, the soldiers were to fight more bravely from then after.
Second World War
During the Second World War, when Hitler’s Nazis and Mussolini’s fascists were occupying the whole country, the “Government” was established in the village of Viniani during the Spring of 1944 and it proclaimed elections for a National Counsil. This Committee was convoked at Korischades, in the school building in 1944 with representatives from all over the country, and made substantial decisions about the Resistance war. These mountains became the stronghold of the Greek freedom fighters (Hellenic Liberation Army – EL.A.S.) against the German occupation during World War II. In the path of history,Karpenisi faced many destruction, the latest being its burning by the German army in the 1940s.
This in an unremarkable market town in the middle of Roumeli, notable less for its own merits than for what’s around it. The chief attraction, in fact, is the Karpenisi Ski Centre eight miles out of town on Mount Velouhi, perched nearly 6,000 feet above sea level at a spot called Diavolotopos – literally, Devil’s place. This centre has ten pistes, seven ski lifts, the requisite number of restaurants and first aid facilities, and a stunning view of a good part of the central Greek mountain tops that has been compared to the view from near the top of Mont Blanc.Most of Greece is arid and dry but in Karpenisi there is much greenery and forestation. While far away from the sea and the world renowned islands of the Aegean and Ionian, Karpenisi has become an important ski center and an outdoors person’s play ground. In fact during the summer it is a great place to escape the heat.
The municipality Karpenisi was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 6 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
- Domnista (Ampliani, Domnista, Krikello, Mesokomi, Psiana, Roska, Stavloi)
- Fourna (Fourna, Kleisto, Vracha)
- Karpenisi (Agia Vlacherna, Agios Andreas, Agios Nikolaos, Fidakia, Kalesmeno, Karpenisi, Koryschades, Myriki, Papparousi, Pavlopoulo, Sella, Stefani, Stenoma, Voutyro)
- Ktimenia (Agia Triada, Agios Charalampos, Chochlia, Domianoi, Petralona)
- Potamia (Aniada, Chelidonas, Dermati, Karitsa, Klafsi, Megalo Chorio, Mikro Chorio, Mouzilo, Nostimo, Sygkrellos)
- Prousos (Alestia, Aspropyrgos, Esochoria, Kastania, Katavothra, Prodromos, Prousos, Sarkini, Stavrochori, Tornos, Velota)
- Zacharias Papantoniou (1877–1940), writer
- Ioannis Theodoropoulos, bronze medal in the pole vault 1896 Summer Olympics
- Georgios Kondylis (1878-1936), General of the Greek army and Prime Minister of Greece
- Charalambos Katsimitros (1886-1962), General of the Greek army who distinguished himself during the Greco-Italian War
- Pavlos Bakoyannis (1935-1989),Greek politician and journalist
Facts in Karpenisi
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