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Tourism - Modern Life Destinations - Routes in Thessaly Larissa Destinations Ampelakia

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26/11/2008
Ampelakia

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Ampelakia is located on the foot of Kissavos mountain, in the entry of the valley of Tempi, 32km from the city of Larissa. The village is a listed historical settlement and received its name from the small vines that were in the area.

Flourished at 18th and 19th century and it mainly acquired exceptional fame because of the the growth of the production and the trade, exceptional quality,of red threads. Here was founded in 1778, the first Partnership in the world, called "Common Company and Brotherhood of Ampelakia", that had as object the production, the treatment, the dye and the trade of red threads. Their tading scope reached in Austria, Germany, Romania, Denmark, Holland and England, while in the Hellenic space the community had distinguished place. Unfortunately the Partnership was dissolved in 1811 in an atmosphere of economic abuses and internal conflict.

The economic prosperity brought also social growth and blossoming of the letters. In 1749 functioned the "Ellinomousion", where taught appreciable schoolteachers as Eygenios Bulgaris, the Grigorios Kwnstantas, Konstantinos Koumas, Konstantinos Oikonomos e.c. Here took his first general courses and Rigas Feraios. The Faculty ceased to function in 1812/13 because of the epidemical plague. Also in 1879 it was founded with expenses of Adamantios Maniaris, the "Maniareios Faculty" that functioned up to 1930. Today, in the place of Faculty is accommodated the Municipal School.

In Ampelakia today exist 17 mansions built in the dues of 18th with the beginnings of 19th century. Most appreciable is the house of Georgios Schwartz (Maurou), chairman of the Partnership, that is functioning as a museum. It is a big three-floor building of which the manufacture lasts 11 years (1787-1798). The ground floor of the mansion was used for certain functional needs of the Partnership and its interior is elaborate decorated and painted proportionally. Appreciable are also the mansions of D. Schwartz, Th. Tsampali, Eyth. Euthimadi and S. Solomos, while the house of Thanasis Haimadis at the Italian-German occupation functioned as illegal printing-house with all the equipment and today it accommodates the Museum of years 1940-1949.

The oldest building in Ampelakia is the Palace of Bishopric that is dated from 1767. Here was the Bishopric of Likostomio during 1763-1836 and 1879-1900.

From the churches of the village interest presents the post Byzantine temples, of S. George with appreciable temple and hagiographies, of S. Athanasios (1881) with the impressive belfry and of S. Paraskevi (1885) that built in the place of "Ellinomouseion" which was destroyed. Still, 3 km roughly outside from the village exists the chapel of Prophet Elias, in the homonym region, in the forest with the chestnut trees and the oaks with a splendid view to the valley of Penios river, till the coasts of Pieria.

Under the forest of Prophet Elias is the "Castle of Oria" or "Fortress of Likostomio", that was controlling the passage of the narrow pass of Tempi and was connected with the known castles of Platamonas and Gonnoi. Today is saved only a part of the walls and a part of the two-storied tower, but the view is unique.

Few hardly meters away from the square of the village is found the Folklore and Historical Museum of Ampelakia. It is accommodated in the mansion of the family Mola, which was granted after donation for the needs of the Museum. The exhibition of the Museum is including a big collection from folklore objects, which are placed in a natural environment, offering thus the picture of a mansion of Ampelakia. The visitor can see domestic utensils, craft-based tools, splinters of murals from mansions, articles of clothing, old photographs and historical documents which are related with the work, the operations and the life of Ampelakia’s residents. Also in the Centre of Cultural Heritage of Ampelakia, that is accommodated in the old factory of weaving bequest of Asterios Alevizos anyone can see an exhibition of folklore and historical material, looms and other tools as well as an authentic copy of the Map of Greece of Rigas Feraios.