By 28 Νοεμβρίου 2023 No Comments

In 1854, during the Crimean War, revolutionary movements emerged in Epirus under the leadership of General Theodoros Grivas. The residents of Metsovo were divided by the revolution, with some supporting it and others not. The latter group asked the Turkish armies from Ioannina to intervene and in March 1854, after three days of fighting, the Turks pushed Grivas from the city. Metsovo was looted and 400 houses were set ablaze. This ransacking is now referred to as «the Destruction of Grivas».

Theodoros Grivas (Bouboulina’s Museum)

Theodoros or Theodorakis Grivas (1797-1862) was a Greek Revolution fighter coming from Preveza. He participated actively in the political life of the independent Greek state but without coming out in support of any specific party or principles. In 1836 he supported Otto, the then king of Greece, and put down the revolt against him in Acarnania, however in 1862 he launched a revolution against Otto and succeeded in occupying Vonista and Messolonghi. When the Crimean war broke out* he crossed the Greek-Turkish borders with a group of irregular troops to lead a revolt in Epirus. The confrontation between Grivas and Otto is reflected in the popular song «My dear Grivas, the king wants you».

*The Crimean war (1853-1856) was a conflict that took place between Russia, on one side and the UK and France on the other. The war is also known as the ‘Eastern War’. When Russia attacked the Ottoman empire, the UK and France rushed to support the Sultan. The war ended with Russia’s defeat, but Europe also suffered the consequences of the war, namely the destruction of the «Holy Alliance» and a shift in the international status quo that proved to be painful for Greece as well. During the war, revolutionary movements for the liberation of Epirus, Thessaly and Macedonia broke out but were unsuccessful. In order to punish Greece and force it to stay neutral, the Anglo-French navy occupied Piraeus and baricaded it for the three years between 1854 and 1857.