Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
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Christian Iconography

Iconographic samples are preserved to this day in the sanctuaries and narthexes of Churches and Monasteries of Tzoumerka. These are crafts from local workshops and iconographers that still operate to this day and serve as indicators as well as milestones in a complex economic and social reality. Iconographers from Kalarrytes work in groups. Such was the case of the work crew that created the iconographic narratives of the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist (1737) located in the Monastery of Vyliza. This work crew covered the region of southwestern Epirus and Thessaly from 1700 until 1811, as evidenced by their signatures on their works. Their presence in southeastern Epirus and the northwestern region of Trikala was not accidental. The iconographers made the most out of the existing channels that enabled communication between the mountain communities. Nonetheless the iconographer’s artistic works cannot be assessed partially or independently from the wider economic and social contexts of the historical period within which they were created.

 

The people of Kalarrytes and Matsouki successfully took part in the development of an economy of trade. The objective was to increase the production of wool, ensure a smooth handling of raw or processed products, establish professionalism in the production of the woolen cloak and thus increase the productivity and promotion of wool products. Part of the population would take advantage of the economic growth in the Mediterranean which encouraged the mountainous region to get involved in long-distance trade. This growing economic climate is evidenced in newly renovated Monasteries, the shipping and promotion of religious products at important pilgrimage areas and the material manifestations of wealth that was associated with religious faith. Commercial networks in the mountainous region were also established by importing products from the Ionian Islands, Italy and the rest of Europe.

More on the Monastery of Vyliza’s Narthex and Sanctuary.