Categories metsovo_en


By | | No Comments

On December 8, 1974, the monarchy was dissolved via referendum.

The monarchy was established in Greece in the London Protocol (1830) that provided for the creation of an independent Greek state. The first king was Otto, second son of king Ludwig I of Bavaria (Wittelsbach dynasty). After Otto was removed in 1862, George, the second son of the future king of Denmark, Christian IX, was appointed King of Greece (a scion of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg dynasty). This dynasty ruled through many exploits, schisms and a number of intermittent breaks in democracy, until 1974.


By | | No Comments

On July 24, 1974 the Dictatorship of the Colonels fell and democracy was restored.


By | | No Comments

On April 21, 1967, a military dictatorship was established via a coup d’état.


By | | No Comments

In 1955, King Paul visited Metsovo to inaugurate the Folk Art Museum that had been built by the Baron Michael Tossizza Foundation.

Royal family visit, 1955.

Paul I was born in 1901, son to Constantine I and Sofia. In 1938 he married Princess Frederica of Hanover and they had three children: Sofia, Constantine and Irene. In 1947, after his childless brother George II died, he came to the throne during a period of hardship for Greece. In the decades that followed, a balance between the Crown and the political parties became difficult to achieve. The constant involvement of Paul, as well as his wife, Frederica, in Greek politics caused frustration and conflict, with the likes of Marshal Al. Papagos and, later with K. Karamanlis. Paul died in 1964 and was succeeded by his son Constantine.


By | | No Comments





The reconstruction of Greece after almost a decade of fighting was hard and painful. From now on, the international Cold War loomed over domestic political developments to a huge extent. During the initial post-war decades, there was huge immigration from a largely agricultural Greece to industrially developed countries, such as the USA, Canada, Germany and Australia. The rural population also started to migrate into cities that were now growing larger (especially the capital) massively changing domestic demographics. At the same time, new goods and technologies, such as the TV and domestic appliances, were arriving from the West and having an impact on everyday life. The years following 1960 saw an increase in mass tourism, the development of the construction industry (housing and infrastructure works) and the transformation of Greek society. The dictatorship of the Colonels (1967-1974) ended with the coup d’état against Makarios and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The monarchy was abolished via referendum.


By | | No Comments

In 1947 the Baron Michael Tossizza Foundation was founded.
Thanks to Evangelos Averoff’s guidance, the Foundation played a key role in Metsovo’s economic growth and revival.


Baron Michael Tossizza in a painting by Yiannis Moralis

Baron Michael Tossizza (1885-1950) was the grandson of Konstantinos Tossizza, one of the youngest brothers of Greece’s national benefactor, Michael Tossizza (1787-1950), who had moved to Livorno, Italy, at the start of the 19th century. In 1831 the local duke awarded him the hereditary title of baron in recognition of the commercial activity of the Tossizza family.
Baron Michael Tossizza lived in Switzerland and France. Although he was not close to Greek life, he was persuaded, after the exchange of letters and communications with Evangelos Averoff, to found a charitable foundation to help the home of his ancestors. The foundation was established on June 1947 under the name of «Baron Michael Tossizza Foundation» and its main aim was the development of the wider area of Metsovo, from where its founder originated.
The foundation’s money was used to restore his family’s house in Metsovo (that still operates as a folk art museum) and the primary school building that had burnt down in 1947. It was also used for the creation of a hospital, a sawmill, a cheese-making plant, a gym, a ski centre, and various other social and development works. Over 107 schools were completed across the wider area of Epirus with funds provided by the foundations. Student accommodation was also built in Kato Kifisia to host students from Epirus.

Evangelos Averoff soon became involved in politics and for almost half a century he played a major role in Greek political life.
In 1941 he became Prefect of Corfu and in 1942 he was arrested by the Italians for his revolutionary activities. In 1946 he was elected member of parliament of Ioannina for the first time and then held the position of Deputy Minister and Minister of Supply, Finance and Agriculture. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1956 to 1963.
During the military takeover he fought against the junta and was arrested. In 1974 he was assigned to the Ministry of Defence.
In addition to his political activity, he also wrote novels, stories, dramas, essays and historical analyses.
To Metsovo residents, Evangelos Averoff is the last representative of a long tradition of local benefactors. He led the initiative to create the Baron Michael Tossizza Foundation (which he managed for 40 years) that contributed greatly to the modern development of the settlement. It was at this point he also adopted the Tossizza name, in accordance with Baron Michael Tossizzas’ wish that all of the Foundation’s president bear his family name.
He also created the Evangelos Averoff- Tossizza Foundation, to which he donated his extremely valuable and important personal collection of Greek painters of the 19th and early 20th century, building a gallery to host them. At the same time, he invested in local wine making by cultivating the abandoned Metsovo vineyard and by creating a modern winemaking plant.


By | | No Comments

On October 18-24 and November 3-6, 1947, during the Civil War, there were battles in Metsovo. The Democratic Army of Greece fails to occupy Metsovo.

Mountain gun of the National People’s Liberation Army in Epirus, in the period from 1942 to 1944. (M. Benaki archive)


By | | No Comments

In October 1944, the occupation troops withdrew from Greece.

Ceremony for the withdrawal of the German occupation troops from Athens, October 1944. (E.L.I.A.)


By | | No Comments

In 1941-1942, Italy planned the foundation of an Autonomous Koutsovlach «Principality of Epirus» consisting of Pindos, west Macedonia and Thessaly. Italian propaganda declared the Aromuns (Vlachs) to be the descendants of the 5th Roman Legion – in other words descendants of the ancient Romans – and attempted, unsuccessfully, to entice the local populations in this way.


By | | No Comments

On April 27, 1941 German troops entered Athens. Greece was now under triple Occupation by the Germans, Italians and Bulgarians.

German tank in Athens,1941. (E.L.I.A.)


By | | No Comments





The participation of Greece in WWII, after the negative response of I. Metaxas to the Italian ultimatum letter, introduced the entire Greek population and especially border areas, to a bloody confrontation with huge human and material losses. This small country fought first against Italy and then suffered the German invasion and the violent effects of that Occupation. Persecutions, executions and hunger marked the memories of people across the country. Populations were decimated, the economy destroyed along and the countryside depopulated. The retreat of the occupation troops from Greece in October 1944 did not bring an end to the war, as it did in the rest of Europe, as a new cycle of fighting – civil clashes – started between the Greek government army and the Democratic Army of Greece. The civil war ended with the defeat of the Democratic Army in August 1949 and left post-war Greece with a deep political and ideological schism.


By | | No Comments

On August 25, 1938, the School of Textile and Carpet Weaving was inaugurated at the Toulis Orphanage. A. Hatzimihali also participated in the initiative to found the school.

Toulis Orphanage in 1938. (Archive of G. Plataris-Tzimas)

The construction of the Toulis Orphanage was funded by Georgios Toulis, a benefactor from Metsovo. In his will in 1878, Toulis, wrote: «the Orphanage will receive orphans who will be dressed in Frankish or European clothes made with double weaving (…) it is not to be a large building, but rather small and elegant, floors are to be laid and there are to be no basements, which are useless. Keep the rooms small and without fireplaces, add central heating to heat all rooms, as done in Wallachia.


By | | No Comments

In 1937, the Cultural Association of Metsovo was founded; its president was Gregoris Tsanakas, the vice-president was Evangelos Averoff. The Association asked the diaspora of Metsovo to support Metsovo financially. This led to the exchange of letters between Evangelos Averoff and Baron Michael Tossizza, who was established in Lausanne and exiled from Greece. Their communication went on for many years.

Handwritten letter of EA to Tossizza

In the first salvaged letter to Baron Michael Tossizza, dated December 1938, Evangelos Averoff writes: «…I imagine we will have a lot to discuss and learn from each other. (…) Your name is attached to many things here and you will see this on your visit soon.»
In another letter (1938), Averoff sent Tossizza pictures he had taken in Metsovo, to show him the village.

«Part of the village: the Church’s square, surrounded by the schools. The large building on the right is the primary school that was built in 1888 by Georgios Averoff. In the middle (the house with the two doors, one above the other) there is the School of Housekeeping and Weaving (G. Toulis Foundation) that I founded last summer. The second house behind the school is that of Nikolakis Averoff. A bit further to the right is your ancestors’ house, it cannot be seen though.»




By | | No Comments

In 1936, a motorway connecting Thessaly with Epirus and passing through Katara was completed.

Men with adzes and shovels working in the construction of roads in Epirus, in about 1935. (Benaki Museum archive)



By | | No Comments

In 1924, the Exarchate of Metsovo was abolished, by decision of the Synod, by the Patriarchate and was replaced by the Holy Metropolis of Metsovo, which was abolished in 1929. Metsovo was then subject to the Holy Metropolis of Grevena until 1932, when it was annexed to the Holy Metropolis of Ioannina.

The General Assembly of the residents of the community reacted to the decision to abolish the Holy Metropolis of Metsovo by sending two acts of protest in December 1929: one to the Ecumenical Patriarch and one to the Church of Greece. In their opinion the decision was unfair and they asked for the restoration of the Exarchate of Metsovo.


By | | No Comments

On July 24, 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, calling for a population exchange between Greece and Turkey. The exchange did not apply to the Muslim Cham Albanians of Epirus.

The Treaty of Lausanne brought the Asia Minor Catastrophe to a painful end whilst at the same time, ending the Greek war efforts that had begun with the Balkan Wars in 1912. East Thrace, Imbros, Tenedos and the Smyrna zone were conceded to Turkey while a compulsory population exchange between Greece and Turkey was decided upon. The exchange did not include the Muslims of West Thrace, the Greek Orthodox residents of Istanbul, Imbros and Tenedos, the Muslims of «Albanian nationality» living in Epirus (Chameria), or the Greek Orthodox Arabs residing in Cilicia.


By | | No Comments

On June 27, 1917, Greece joined the war after Constantine abdicated and left the country.