Arta


CHURCHES AND BYZANTINE MONUMENTS OF ARTA

The church of Panayia Parigoritissa (ancient metropolis) was constructed between 1285-1289 by Nicephore I Comnene Doukas and his wife Anna Paleologou. She was a part of a convent of which there remain sixteen cells and the refectory. The latter actually serves as a museum of classical antiquities, sheltering objects original to this region. The church presents great interest from the architectural point of view through its audacious and original system, utilized to sustain the dome, which is ornamented with XIIIth C. mosaic. The sculptured decorations are the works of Italian craftsmen. The frescoes date back to the XVI and XVII centuries.



The church of Agia Theodora, dedicated to the patron saint of Arta, dates back to the XIII C. It is a basilica with three vessels and a narthex (vestibule). St. Theodora, the wife of Epirot Despot Michel II Comnene Doukas, played a magnetic role in the cultural life of Epirus. With the death of her husband, she became a nun and retired at the later so named, convent of St. Georgios.

The celebrations, which take place every year on the 11th of March, honor the memory of St. Theodora, and attract crowds in from the four corners of Greece.


 


The church of Agios Vassilis is a small church from the XIIIth C. It is exteriorly decorated with earthenware tiles and well arranged saw-tooth bricks. Equally remarkable are the two stain-glass windows on the eastern pediment.



The convent of Kato Panayia is the only Byzantine monastery in Arta to still be inhabited. Founded by Michel II Comnene Doukas in the XIII C., it shelters an important collection of icons and contains a weaving workshop, which produces beautiful tapestries. The municipality of Arta, in collaboration with the convent, have proposed to promote this local artistic production. The socio-economic importance of Arta, has been equally expressed in a more recent time on the architectural plan, in that this chief place can boast on possessing impressive buildings such as: the ancient town hall and the house of Zorbas, who accommodated among other the Archeological Service and the Euphoria of Byzantine Antiquities.

The cultural and intellectual life of Arta benefits from the active support of the municipality from the musical and literary circle "Skoufas" along with the cultural association "Makriyannis".

Thanks to a carefully studied program, the municipality recognized the value and potential in the culture of Arta. The municipality makes continuous efforts to offer throughout the year, not only to its fellow citizens, but also to its visitors, Greeks and foreigners- the artistic and cultural manifestation of a higher level.

The creation of the Historic Archives of the city, marked a stage for the intellectual life of Arta, and a foundation for the School of Farming, at university level, stimulating the development of the socio-economy o the region.

There are three museums in Arta worth visiting:

  1. The Museum of Classical Antiques at the church of Panayia Parigoritissa

  2. The Museum of Popular Art in association with the "Skoufas" organization

  3. The Historic Museum in association with "Skoufas" organization


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