The Prefecture of Evrytania, predominantly mountainous, is located in the center of the Greek territory. Its characteristics are the towering fir-covered mountains and water-rich springs, the relatively mild climate, with lots of snow in winter and cool summers. The Evrytanic alpine landscape has a lot to offer the visitor, the tourist, the traveler. In the winter, the Karpenisi ski resort operates with slopes of all levels. It has tracks for beginners, but also tough ones for adrenaline junkies. The evening begins with a walk through the snow-covered streets of the city and villages, then food by the fireplaces of the taverns, and then entertainment with drinks and music.
At the end of winter, the white Evrytania transforms! Decorated with the colors of spring, nature rages, while the birds make their presence felt, reminding us of the values of life! The insects, restless and in a hurry, herald summer. The whole of Eurytania, is a veil of colorful wild plants and flowers, which looks like the touch of a carefree painter, in his attempt to paint the Divine creation and a well-tuned, a heavenly orchestra, playing musical pieces of the Angels and songs unheard of and Divine! The rivers, swollen by the melting of the snow, rush with force, seducing the friends of the adventure of kayaking and rafting in unique experiences and in endless moments of pleasure!
Summer in Evrytania offers many options. Above all, however, it requires a tour of its beautiful picturesque villages, where their people, adorned with ancestral hospitality, always welcome the "stranger" with a good word. The tsipouraki, which is served to him, is a sign of friendship, humanity and appreciation, while the wishes for health and happiness are given under the sycamore tree of the Village.
Then... Then follows a conversation with grandparents, about the glorious rich Euritan history and tradition, about myths and legends, about the ancient unexplored castles of the place and the petrified ancient settlements of the area. From aged lips are heard tales of honor and glory. Stories of the national struggles of ancient, Byzantine, pre-revolutionary, and "modern" Greece. Mythological stories are heard about freedom fighters and their exploits or about their own participation in recent historical events. If the time allows, local songs are sung and slow dances are danced! A stray feast is set up, because that's how they like it.
Suggestion - challenge is the walk along the rivers with their stone arched bridges and their cool gorges, in the artificial lake of Kremasto or Katsantoni for photos and for fishing, horse riding, hiking on unknown paths, climbing the towering peaks of the Evrytanic mountains , whose background is the infinity of the sky and the alternation of colors in the landscape. But an excellent suggestion is also to visit the scattered monasteries of Evrytania, such as Prusos, Tatarna, Stana, Domiana, Mikro Chorio, as well as many others forgotten by time and the world!
Autumn is a continuation of the adventure. Lovers of motorized sports will find themselves in the ideal conditions for enjoyment, with the unique autumn Evrytan nature in their company. They will experience endless moments of emotion, as long as they have the stamina for the ultimate "extreme". Big challenges, which become life experiences.
In general, therefore, the image of Evrytania is unprecedented and special! Moves, enchants, captivates, travels, seduces! Welcome to the Eurytania of dreams, history, myths and traditions!
Evrytania as a whole contributed to the Independence Struggle of 1821, not only with those Evrytans who fought the Turks here on the mountains of Evrytania, Roumeli and in the rest of the lands of the revolted Greece, but also Evrytans from the diaspora, who wherever they were found rushed to take the weapons and to fight for this same holy cause. Thus, many Evrytans of the diaspora excelled not only in trade as businessmen and economic agents, such as Siderides or as scholars and clerics, such as the Butyrades, but also as soldiers, the leading figure of which was Athanasios Karpenisiotis.
The various biographical and historical dictionaries clarify that the original family name of Athanasios Karpenisiotis was Fleggas or Fleggopoulos or Fourlidas. It is known of course that he was born here in Agios Andreas Karpenisiou in 1780 and that he immigrated to Constantinople when he was young, maybe 12 years old, as was the custom at that time. There, perhaps because of his occupation of repairing rifles, he acquired the nickname of Rifleman, by which he is often referred to. But the name with which he went down in history, glorified and glorified his special homeland is Karpenisiotis, a name that betrays his place of origin. A nickname that was often given especially in the Danubian dominions, where he moved for better luck a few years later.
So after Constantinople, at the beginning of the 19th century, he settled in Iasi, where he engaged in renting estates. There he finds the great event of the beginning of the 19th century, as it is considered the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war in December 1806. At the time when Athanasios Karpenisiotis was in his third decade of life, Prince Alexander Ypsilantis was serving as an officer in the Russian army. In this capacity, Ypsilantis organized a military corps of volunteers, known as the "Hellenic Legion". Initially this body numbered 300 to 400 but eventually reached 1500 Balkans, among whom most were Greeks. Many of them came from the regions of southern Russia and the Danubian hegemonies. In the lists of the members of this corps, the name of Athanasios Karpenisiotis is also mentioned with the rank of milliarch, i.e. captain. During the Russo-Turkish war this army of Al. Ypsilanti, led by Athanasios Karpenisiotis, Pagalos and Mingleris the Peloponnesian, joined the Russian troops and bravely fought the Turks on the banks of the Danube River.
Historical writings attribute to him other nicknames related to their wider place of origin, such as: Aetolos Athanasios, the general from Agrafon (Pukeville), the Aetolos chieftain (Karolides) etc. A few years later and before the end of the Russo-Turkish war, in 1810, Athanasios Karpenisiotis, now a standard-bearer of the Russian army, showed extraordinary bravery and heroism, especially during the siege of the town of Selista and the massacre that followed. For this heroism and more generally for his brilliant career as an officer of the Russian army, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and awarded the order of St. Vladimir.
Essentially, most Evrytanian houses of a village are descendants of common genealogical trees. This happens as next to the paternal konaki, the children's konaki were set up and next to those of the grandchildren. Little by little, one house became many, many became a settlement, the settlement became an entire village. So it is no coincidence that the inhabitants of each village are often connected by some kind of kinship. The Evrytanian family was and, probably, to some extent, still is Patriarchal. The man thought, made decisions and represented the family in public. According to the tradition, as it is expressed in the folk song "Stroumboulos", the woman "to have a pass", "to be a woman at home", had to be a girl, a strumboule and with red abukou. Provided, of course, that it would be worth it. What he would know from skerries and smygyri, from rock and loom, from rods, from crochet, from things and from fields. The akamatres - the ones who made tamas tranas and made promises, such as: "Holy Monday, save me and Tuesday and Thursday and Friday and Friday, I will not do work for you" - were not for household and home. These were either waiting for her on the shelf or they were taking parakatians, jaundiced and crippled.
Evrytanas in his daily life, but also in the significant moments and events of his life, was distinguished by a life in accordance with tradition, morals and customs, which were bequeathed to him, a modest and holy legacy, by his ancestors. From the time of his birth, until the moment he passed on the threshold of the sunless, tear-drenched and lame grave, he acted and behaved according to the ancestral precepts. The remote, eerie conditions of his life sharpened his mind, sharpened his mind, made him a practical and infallible scientist. They made him a novelist, a storyteller, a poet, a singer and a reveler.
Evrytanas made nothing life! Have a good time! The lavender pride! He made his everyday life, habits, coincidences, needs, wants and beliefs a way of life. He made them a mindset. He made them a wonderful and admirable culture. A culture that was created, in the hut, in the mansion, in the field, in the paddock, in the barn.
Of the Eurytanian families, there were very few that descended only and exclusively with one type of occupation. The vast majority of them were engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, but also in other occupations. The men, apart from farmers and breeders, were masons, conductors, tailors, blacksmiths, believers and the women were weavers, weavers, embroiderers, part-time workers. If we accept the tradition as it is, we can claim that Eurytus, as the inventor of the bow, was also its producer. So, at that ancient time, there existed in this place a primitive form of arms production industry. A more "modern" weapons production industry operated, later, in Koryschades, where there were copper foundries, in which shields and helmets were manufactured.
According to tradition, sericulture flourished in Kalesmenos and Frangistes, perhaps in other villages of the region, which produced excellent quality silk! It is possible, therefore, that the main occupations of the Evrytans were agriculture and animal husbandry, but at the same time, they were also engaged in other, less well-known and less widespread, which, however, gave them valuable products. The Evrytan farmers dug, plowed, made terraces and ridges, turned the stone into soil, threw the seed and fermented it with rivers of sweat. From sowing to the water mill the road was long and the struggle continuous and arduous. More laborious was the cultivation of the corn, because it required weeding, carving, watering, guarding against midges, weeding, gathering, peeling, threshing, burning, sunning, grinding. But the work, the heat, the sweat, the agony, everything was forgotten in the peelings that were a festival, a social event. It was a bride match.
How many and how many secret lusts and even more secret desires were not expressed with a look full of meaning, with a love song or with a holding of hands at the dance, which, almost always, followed them!
As tiring and tiring suffering and sweat was the life of the farmer, so ... easy and carefree was considered and, probably, was the life of the believer, the shepherd, the shepherd. With the glitza on the back, the flugera on the lips, the cape on the shoulder, the dogs on the side and the things up close, as if passing through "St. George" he caught the cold fountains, the backs, the goupatas and the saddles. There, under the shade of the spring fir tree and the playful stars of the night, he milked, harvested, made cheese and enjoyed the Divine Nature. The wolves, the capricorn and the jackals were not shadowed. The sheepdogs, the grass, the spike and his gum, the mantoelikia, protected his flocks.
Evrytanas faithful, only the shadow was shadowed. He couldn't do that. After all, a God, even if it is the cloven-footed God Pan, is not easily fought. As he did and appeared - sometimes as an ugly anthropomorphic monster, sometimes as a hound and sometimes as a small pitch-black passing cloud - he "whispered" his dogs, "snagged" his things, made his flocks sick. In order to catch the annoying, damaging ancient God and keep him away from his flocks, for a whole life, he played in his flogera, with the grace of the Augerite and the sight of the Asperite, sweet purposes, intoxicating purposes. Purposes of "sumasia", dertia and filming. "To Ai-Demetrius apodiava", he loaded his sygyri, gathered his living things, made his Cross and with a hot tear in his eyes and the hope of return rooted deep in his hearts, he said goodbye to his backs and korfobunia and was going downhill. He drew for the winters the "protection" and the anapemia.
Evrytanas, since ancient times, had a particularly developed religious feeling. Pre-Christian worshiped Dionysus and Artemis. He admired and deified Odysseus, in whose honor he built an oracle in the Apokleistra of Kastania, while according to others in Ai-Sostis of Mikros Chorio. After the Crucifixion of the Savior Jesus, he worshiped the Triune God and as the Eurytan worshiper Panos Vassiliou informs us, the Christian Religion arrived here, from the relative of the Apostle Paul Herodion, through Nea Patras (Ypatis). Many villages in the area, approximately, until the middle of the last century, had a wooden or a stone Cross erected at their entrance and exit. This Cross was a symbol of faith and devotion to the Crucified Jesus, but also a guard of constant protection of the village. At the same time, it was probably also a symbolic remnant of faith, from the years of the black Turkish tyranny.
In Evrytania, more than any other saint of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Saint of Saints and the Infant Panagia were honored and are honored. There is no Evrytanic village that does not have a monastery, church or chapel dedicated to Her Grace. The Holy Martyr Agia Paraskevi held and still holds a special place of worship.
(source: Presentation by Mr. Giorgos Athanasias, at the 1st World Congress of Evrytans)