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History of Thesprotia

Thesprotia with its particular geographic position, the anaglyph and the safe quays in its many natural gulfs led in the 14th century to the transfer of many Mycenaeans to the area and establishing of fortified facilities. 

In the 4th century B.C. Thesprotians create fully organized cities such as Elea and Gitani. The history of the area can be seen from the ruins of cities, settlements, towers, castles, monasteries, churches and many archeological findings. During the 15th century Thesprotia is under Ottoman occupation. The constant fights for liberation from the Turks peaked with the resistance of Souliotes against Ali Passa of Ioannina and Kougkio holocaust. Nowadays Thesprotia is the main marine entrance to the country from West Europe.

Its role is upgraded due to the operation of the new port and the finishing of Egnatia Road. Both projects make Igoumenitsa, capital of Thesprotia prefecture, one of the most important transport centers in Europe.


One of the most mountainous areas in Thesprotia is Souli community. Its historic elements are still vivid with Kiafa castle dominating in the area. Kougki, place of sacrifice of monk Samouil, wells that the inhabitants used for supplying the village with water, the path that leads to Acherontas springs, Aghios Dimitrios church and "Skala tis Tzavelenas" the pathway of Souliotes. 

The district of Souli consists of Souli, Avarikos, Kiafa and Samoniva, all together also called Tetrachori. After years the district expanded to the surrounding villages of Tsakouri, Petrachi, Vilia, Alpochori, Kontatais, Gkanola and Tsifliki which formed Eftachori location. This area was inhabited by Souliotes. Souliotes did not approve Turkish occupation in the area and were their relentless enemies. Ali Passa made three countermarches against Souli and the first one was in 1792. The last one began in 1800 and lasted 3 whole years. On the 15th of December 1803 Souliotes surrendered after agreement with Ali Passa.

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