), (alternate names/ spellings: Vrysochóri
, Vrysochorion, Vrysochóri, Vrisokhorion, Vrisokhóri, Vrisokhori, Vrysochori, Vrysochórion, Vrisokhórion, Lesinítsa, Lesinitsa) is one of 44 Zagori
villages (Zagorohoria), or settlements, in the Ioannina Prefecture
, in Greece
. Vrysochori is in the Tymfi municipality, and is about 75 km (50 mi) from Ioannina
Location and climate
The elevation of Vrysochori is 1157 m (3799 ft) above sea-level. It is located at . Vrisohori is surrounded by conifer forests and rivers at the foothills of Gamila
of the Tymphis mountain range
, and borders the Vikos-Aoos National Park
. Vrisohori is the 3rd largest village of Zagori Villages in terms of land size. The village is located in between the 2nd the the 5th highest peaks of Greece, just 5 km away from the Vjosë
It is the only area of Greece where snowbanks stand throughout every season of the year. The forest area which belongs to the village is the 2nd biggest in Zagori (after Laista's one) and local forest maps are required not to be lost in them, as wild pigs and bares live in it. Becauase of the many rivers which cross those mountains and the village, the village has its own source of water, while the central Zagori now uses the same one.
The secondary mountain route O3 (connecting to the main E3) passes through the village.
Vrysohori was founded in 1295. It was called Liasintsa
(or Lesinitsa), until 1927, when it was renamed to Vrysochorion
. The church of St. Charalambos in the village square dates back to 1814. The town suffered severe damage in both World War II
and the Greek Civil War
, and lost a large portion of its population during the 1940s as a result. The Germans burnt much of the settlement in 1943.
In the early 20th century, its population was more than 1600. The residents of the area speak a Latin dialect which is spoken in various areas of the Balkan peninsula (Vlach
Local main events — Panigyri
1. 26–28 July, every year, there is a three (3) days continuous local traditional fest, one of the very few that has remained untouched by time in Greece. The first two nights there is dancing in the main square (plateia) until morning and the third morning the fest moves to the high mountain "Gamila", where inside the forrest in the area "Mpalta" (beside the eternal ice and snowbanks), everybody shares food and dancing until the afternoon. Everybody is invited in the festing and especially people who do not have permanent stay in the village are treated with care and they are given the time to lead the dancing.
2. There is a new fest which takes place in the first Saturday after the 15th of August, called "To panigyri tis pitas" ("pie fest"). Every family has to create a pita ("pie")and bring it in the night at the fest. The dancing starts and the pies are the main food of the night, offered to all participants by the women who created them. This fest has a lot of syccess, as the only "pie fest" in Zagori, and every year attracts more and more participants.
- Euterpi Bouki-Dukakis, mother of Michael Dukakis, American Democratic politician, former Governor of Massachusetts, and the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988.
- Nikola Ioannis Kassavetes, father of American actor/director John Cassavetes.
- Hristos Athanasiadis, a businessman who offered his inheritage to the village, used wisely by the local club until today.
Morfotikos and Oreivatikos syllogos Vrysohoriou (Educational & mountaineering club of Vrysohori). Issues a newspaper four times a year which is the main way of communication among people who have their origin coming from Vrysohori and they are spread all around the world. Organises the fests and brings back every summer in reunion all Vrysochorites. Maintains the forrests and the village. It is the reason why the village is still alive.