"Ioannina and the region" Ioannina by StefanosS

Ioannina Travel Guide: 182 reviews and 613 photos

Alternative spellings: Ioannina or Yiannena

Ioannina: Some History.

The Byzantine Emperor Justinian initially built the Castle of Ioannina in 528AD, around a small settlement. The tower of seignior Thomas and a small part of NW acropolis are remains of that era. Add-ons and extensions were made in 802AD and later, after 1204 (when the Byzantine Empire was abolished by the Crusaders), by the Byzantine Seigniory of Epirus. The Seigniory of Epirus remained free and independent until 1318, when it was again incorporated to the Byzantine Kingdom of Constantinople as semi-independent, but suffered by various invaders both from the North and West. In 1430 the city was surrendered to the Turks who added their own extensions and installations to the fortress. In 1611 the city was totally destroyed after the unsuccessful revolution of Dionyssios.

Ioannina was soon revived and flourished economically by commerce and manufacturing. Many citizens migrated to Italy, France, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Moldavia, Russia... They got education and returned to their home-city building schools, printing-houses, libraries, and public welfare institutions. The city started expanding more and more out of the walls. About 1790 Ali-pasha Tepelenli, a Turk-Albanian ex-robber, installed a semi-independent regime on a great part of Greece, having his seat in Ioannina and challenging even the authority of the Turk Sultan of Istanbul. As Ali-pasha supported the bourgeois and the merchandise, there was a new impetus to developing. But the Sultan sent a strong military force against him in 1821, Ali was defeated and killed and Ioannina was destroyed once again. An epidemic of plague in 1823 and two big fires (1856, 1869) were also heavy setbacks.

The city revived after the liberation in 1913.


View of Ioannina, 1843.

Steel-engraving by C. Reiss.

From the book of: Allom, T., Constantinople and the scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, London, 1843.


Ioannina, the capital of Epirus in 1870.

Coloured woodcut, 21.3x13.8 cm
by A. Yionin.

From: The Illustrated London News, London 1870.

  • Last visit to Ioannina: Jan 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (26)

Comments (66)

  • MacedonianUK's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2009 at 3:28 AM

    Lovely page of Ioannina, I was there this summer, for a very short visit, trying to locate some documents, of my Vlah ancestors living in the town in the 1800s,this brings memories. Tanx for shearing. Valentina

  • Mar 5, 2008 at 5:57 AM

    Excellent travelogue for Ioannina. I intend to check out your extensive list of other locations. We visited Ioannina in 2005 and are returning this year again for 4 days. We are looking forward to it because it is really lovely there. regards, Charlie

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    Now I am sorry that I didn't stay in Ioannina last aurumn. I spent only a few hours there on my way from Lefkas to Albania. Looks like a very interesting city. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • Oct 14, 2006 at 1:16 PM

    lovely page, Nikos

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2006 at 9:51 PM

    Wonderful places, I'd like to be there...Glad for you!... Greetings!

  • pedersdottir's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2004 at 11:30 PM

    Enjoyed 're-walking' the stone bridges of Epirus. Would have loved to revisit Ioannina as well-but your pictures do not appear on my screen. Alli fora;

  • gale.blog.pl's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2003 at 9:58 AM

    Extremely interesting page with great tips (too few of them, unfortunately) and lovely pics! Stefanos, you made a great job, congratulations!!!

  • mardaska's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2003 at 3:18 AM

    Unfortunately the ?Orpheas? open-air cinema is an ope-air parking space now....It is such a pity...

  • marka13's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2003 at 5:48 AM

    Your page has all the info in introduction section. So I cannot rate your tips there and as a result I rated the must see section although it has only photos . An informative page as always! :)

  • Feb 25, 2003 at 7:59 PM

    Nice page...Include more description under each category


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