The archaeological site of Ragi Tower occupies the top of a hill in the middle of the Ragi-Kastrinis plain, near the old estuary of the river Kalamas. The site presents its timeless use from the Middle Palaeolithic period to the times of Ottoman domination. The fort is believed to have been part of the “Corfiot Perea”, the military base which, according to the historian Thucydides, was founded by the Corfiots on the edifice coasts, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.
In the 5th c. B.C. the hill was fortified with a strong isomorphic wall, which is currently preserved in a particularly good condition, enclosing an area of three acres. A small section on the western side of the fortification follows the polygonal masonry system and is attributed to interventions and reconstructions during the late Classical and Hellenistic times. Rectangular towers and gaps reinforced the defensive ability of the wall. In ancient times, the main entrance to the fortification was located on the south side, and there was a second narrow pylon in the north.
The tower of the Ottoman period is now restored to its original form and functions as an exhibition space
TOMB OF PARAPOTAMOS
At Tsifliki, north of Parapotamos village of Igoumenitsa, there is a low tumulus with an ancient cemetery. The tomb, a height of 5 meters, surrounded a circular enclosure, traces of which survive mainly in the southwestern part of its periphery. Throughout the tomb, a total of 88 graves, mainly box-shaped, have been uncovered, while there were seven graves and one vase buried in vases (injecting). Few of the burials contained gifts, mainly jewelery and coins. Based on these few findings, the use of the cemetery seems to have stretched over an extremely long period of time from Hellenistic to post-Byzantine times.
The Dymanokastro, also known as Erekoukastro, Elinokastro or Elykoukastro, is a fortified coastal settlement founded in the second half of the 4th c. B.C. on the top hill south of Karavostasi Bay in Perdika. It is probably identified with the ancient Elina, the seat of the Hellenes of Thesprotia, who lived in today’s area of Margaritio – Plataria – Perdika. The settlement experienced great prosperity during the Hellenistic period. Although it was destroyed by the Romans in 167 BC. was not abandoned, but – because of its crucial position to control the Ionian sea routes – it continued to be inhabited until the 1st century BC. A.D.
Dykoukastro, with a total area of 220 acres, consists of three successive sections along the hill, which are defined by successive fortifications with towers and gullies at their most vulnerable points. In its foundation period, habitation was confined to conventionally named “citadels” A and B in the eastern part of the hill. During the Hellenistic years, the fortification extends to include the western part (“Acropolis”) to the coast, where the ancient harbor is located.
The settlement is organized on the basis of the physical shape of the soil and not on the basis of strict urban planning. The layout of the buildings does not follow a single orientation system, while the buildings themselves show considerable variations in the plan, size and construction details. Apart from individual houses, it also includes more complex building complexes. Three rock-cut circular reservoirs were used to concentrate rainwater
THE WATERMILLS OF MARGARITI
The Margariti watermills complex consists of two successive mills, fed by at least two sources in the adjacent hills. The mills were simply single-storey buildings with a roof-cover, and had an overground space for cereal milling and an arched semi-basement where the horizontal impeller was moving the grinding mechanism.
Two hydrants, 25 and 60 meters long, were transferred to the mills with a natural flow of water, which was then lowered to the underground drives through built-in built pipelines. The lower and best-maintained hydrant is supported on a base with successive arcs and has a water-conductor shaped with slopes on its upper surface. At the point where the hydrant ends at the second mill, it acquires a stepped configuration to control the flow of water.
The complex was probably constructed in the 19th century, according to the evidence of Ottoman coins found in the foundation of the lower hydraulic plunger. The upper mill survived, in its final form as a diesel fuel, until the middle of the 20th century.
CASTLE OF IGOUMENITSA
The castle of Igoumenitsa is built on the pine-forested hill that dominates the modern city in the place of an ancient fortress, probably of the late Roman period, which is locally visible in the lower parts of the southern side of the walls.
The walls have undergone repairs at various times. The fortification enclosure in its present form is built with clay-limestone and plaster as a binder and all its sides are reinforced with rectangular towers that communicate with the interior of the castle through arched gateways. Its northeastern side closed with intersection and functioned as an inner acropolis. The main gate to the castle was probably on the eastern side of the fortification and was protected by two rectangular towers.
The castle is connected with the history of Igoumenitsa from the 15th century. and thereafter, when the settlement was a commercial station and one of the outposts of Venice in western Greece until its definitive occupation by the Ottomans in 1540. In 1685 the Turkish stronghold of Igoumenitsa was blown up by the Venetian fleet headed by Admiral Morozini , and a century later it was partly repaired after his capture by Ali Pasha of Ioannina.
ROMAN REMAIN IN LADOHORI IGOUMENITSA
On the southern side of the bay of Igoumenitsa, the remains of a Roman villa have been revealed. It is a rectangular building with perimeter wings around the central covered area. Its walls are preserved at the foundation level, while the superstructure retains minimal parts in the southern and eastern parts. Some of the rooms were laboratory-grade, while others were serving accommodation needs and had – nowadays damaged – mosaic floors.
To the west of the building is excavated a burial chamber, inside of which were found parts of three marble sarcophagi, dated from the beginning of the 2nd to the beginning of the 3rd century. A.D. The most preserved, which is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina, depicts scenes from the Trojan circle, while the cover of one of the sarcophagi exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Igoumenitsa depicts the hollow reclined figure of the young dead Antonios and is inscribed in Greek with the his name and age.
The fortified settlement of Lygia extends to the eastern part of the homonymous peninsula of the Municipality of Igoumenitsa, in the area of the old estuary of the river Kalamas. It is probably identified with the ancient city of Toroni, part of the “Corfiot Perea”, an extensive colony that, according to Thucididis, was founded by the Corfiots during the classical period on the Editorial Coasts. It consists of three consecutively fortified sections, conventionally called “Castles” A, B and C, surrounded by powerful isodomic – mostly fortifications – of the 5th and early 4th centuries. B.C. Parts of them were probably repaired or rebuilt during the late Classical and Hellenistic times, and some interventions of the Roman, probably, years.
Castle “A” is the eastern one and is smaller in size than the three castles of the settlement. The surrounding wall is reinforced by semi-circular or rectangular towers and by a western wall. There were four gates, one of which was the main gate to the east, between a rectangular and a semicircular tower, and probably arched. Inside the wall there are now visible scattered residential remains and a central road artery, 5 m wide, which traverses the settlement from the east to the west.
The fortification of Castle “B” in the west of Castle A is reinforced by ravines and rectangular and semicircular towers. To the south a gate could be opened, leading to the coast, while on the east side it was discovered a reconstruction of probably late antiquity.
The wall of the western castle is crafted and rescues in an extremely fragmentary state. Inside, almost the building remains. An isostomic wall section in one of the bays north of the fortification probably belonged to port facilities.
ROMAN CEMETERY OF MAZARAKIAS
The cemetery near the modern settlement of Mazarakia is the only known case of an organized and extensive cemetery of the Roman period in Thesprotia. A total of 200 tombs have been excavated, of various categories: tile-roofed, paved and built, as well as burial monuments dating from the late 1st century AD. B.C. until the beginning of the 3rd century. A.D.
All kinds of burial practices, burning of the dead, burials and infusions in pots have been used in the cemetery, with burns exceeding the number of other practices. Stone signs, columns, and tombstones were placed to mark the graves. The dead were accompanied in their last home by various objects, many of which are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Igoumenitsa, such as table pots and drinking vessels, lamps, clay and glass perfumes, jewelery, items related to their professional activity and bronze coins.
FANOTI – DOLIANI
The archaeological site of Doliani is situated on a low hill on the bank of the river Kalamas, to the west of the modern settlement of Geroplatanos, at the boundaries of the municipalities of Igoumenitsa and Filiates. It is probably identified with the ancient Fanotis, the center of the Phantees Thesprotis’ sex since its foundation, in the second half of the 4th century. BC, until its conquest by the Romans in 167 BC. Its prosperity dates back to the Hellenistic period and its habitation continues almost uninterruptedly until later times.
The hill is surrounded by a double isostomic fortification which, due to its timeless habitation, has received multiple interventions. The arched main gate of the fortification is located on the northeast side of the outer fortification enclosure between two rectangular towers, while three other gates were in the inner fortification enclosure.
During the Late and Classical Hellenistic period (4th – 2nd century BC), the settlement extends mainly to the top of the hill in the inner fortification enclosure, where a part of the ancient urban fabric with successive building phases has come to light, until the Early Christian period (6th century AD).
The settlement of Vrachonas is located on a plateau stretching along the ridge of Mount Vrachonas at the southeast of the modern settlement of Sivota. It consists of about 50 houses, which are currently kept in a rustic state. The houses are stone built from small rough carved stones in the area, two-storeyed with vaulted structures on the ground floor and date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1993 the settlement, in order to protect it from newer interventions, was declared a historic monument.
The fortified settlement in Polineri (formerly Koutsi) is naturally fortified on the eastern slope of Mount Vrachonas and at a point that visually controls the Plataria plains.
There are no historical data or sources that tell us about the historical development of the fortified settlement over the centuries. Its beginning is probably set in the 4th century. BC, when most of the islands of Thesprotia were created. The settlement survives during Hellenistic times and seems to be destroyed along with other mainland cities in 167 BC by the Romans.
The settlement has an area of about 55 acres and is surrounded by a strong polygonal wall in the east, in part of the west and at the points on the north side. The main gate of the settlement is located to the west and protected by a strong vista of the wall.
In the northwest corner of the ancient fortification, a small triangular fortification was constructed in Byzantine times. During the recent times the settlement extends beyond the ancient walls. Because of the timeless habitation, little remains of ancient times – with the exception of the fortification – have been preserved inside.
STATE OF SAINT DONATOS
The fortress at Agios Donatos Zervochoriou of Souli Municipality is located at the foot of the mountainous mass of Paramythia, south of the settlement of Asfakas, an area that in antiquity was in the territory of Eleas.
Its founding, in the 3rd century. BC, is related to the wider supervision and control of the area by the Commonwealth of Thesprouts and, possibly, is part of the Pyrros policy to strengthen the defense of its vast kingdom.
The fortified area occupies the top of the hill and has a rhombic top view. On the most distant sides (south and east) it is protected by a strong polygonal wall, while the northern side is steep and uninterrupted. Access to the interior of the fort was through a main gate to the northeast which is protected by a strong square tower. The inside of the fortress is stepped up with strong retaining walls in successive levels.
Access: The Fort of Agios Donatos is 42 km away from Igoumenitsa. The visitor follows the Egnatia Road to the Paramythia junction and from there the Paramythia – Glyki Provincial Street. At a distance of 5 km after the settlement of Dafnoulas, there is a rural road leading to the foot of the hill where the fortress is located