The ancient settlement of Ammotopos is identified with the ancient town of Orraon, established before the middle of the 4th century BC by the Molossoi. It is located west of the village Ammotopos, in the exit of the natural pass of Pente Pigadia, which connects the Amvrakikos bay with the plain of Ioannina. The (surrounded by walls) town had a fortified character and was located in a particularly strategic position: it controlled the coastal zone occupied by the Molossoi in the Amvrakikos bay, and at the same time it protected the main road connecting central Epirus with the bay and southern Greece.
Orraon and the nearby city of Cassope are the best examples for the study of the ancient city of northwestern Greece. Some buildings were built with local limestone of very good quality and are preserved at a height of 5 – 7 m. Many of them preserve the upper storey with the embrasures and windows, as well as the position of the wooden beams of the upper storey and roof. Nothing is missing, except for the roof and the interior, in order to function as a regular accommodation. Therefore, they are marvellous material for the study of an ancient house of the 4th – 2nd century BC.
The particular, fortress-like character of Orraon is proved by the lack of communal spaces, by the water supply of the settlement from large basins, and also by the solid walls which were strengthened during a posterior phase with towers and additional walls. Moreover, the fact that this small settlement was one of the four cities of Molossia that tried to resist the Roman legions of Anicius in 168 BC, supports the theory that Orraon was a town-fortress, controlling the western pass to the Amvrakikos bay.
For more information on Orraon, click here.
It is the widest stone-made bridge of Epirus and probably of Greece. With its impressive 40-meters-wide arch it stands some 18 to 20 meters above the waters of Arachthos river. It also has two small auxiliary 6-meters-wide arches on its two sides.
The bridge’s construction was completed in 1866 but before that it had collapsed twice during the building works, in 1860 and 1863. It stands on the border-line of the Prefectures of Arta and Ioannina and belongs to the community of Plaka Raftanaion.