Fethiye Mosque

Ioannina (Ιωάννινα) (population: 112,486 (2011)) is in Central and Northern Greece.


Set atop a 100-metre cliff overlooking the Lake Pamvotida, the capital of Epirus is an old town with an intriguing history. The city gained prominence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as the seat of an almost independent state ruled by Ali Pasha of Tepeleni, who successfully rebelled against the central government of the Ottoman Empire, and kept fighting until the end, but was killed by Ottoman soldiers during the siege of his fortress in January 1822, and his head cut off to be sent to Sultan Mahmud II. His grave still stands into the ancient citadel (the Kastro) and has became a popular tourist attraction.

Ioannina was also a significant trade center, hosting a Greek-speaking Jewish community observing their own tradition and religious rituals. They were neither Ashkenazi, nor Sephardic, but rather indigenous Jews of Greece who have lived on Greek soil for over 2,300 years. At the beginning of the 20th century these Hellenized Jews, known as "Romaniotes" immigrated to the US, mostly to the Lower East Side of New York City, where their little synagogue in Broome St. has remained unchanged from 1927. On March 1944, the Jewish Community of Ioannina was rounded up and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today the community numbers fewer than 50 members, most of them elderly.

Get in

  KTEL Intercity Buses

Get around

The city is small enough to travel through via foot.


Castle (Greek: Kastro). The old town surrounded by tall defensive walls overhanging the lake Pamvotida.

Further afield


Ioannina is well known for its production of hand-made silver crafts. There are about 90 workshops in the city. Prices are quite high but can drop considerably as vendors expect a bit of bargaining.






Go next

Routes through Ioannina

Igoumenitsa  W  E  Metsovo Meteora

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