Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
Υπόμνημα:

The Bridges

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We encounter bridges scattered around the massif of Tzoumerka. These are living proof of human intervention which served for practical reasons but are also of a symbolic nature. The bridges mark the beginning of new horizons thanks to the possibility of trade and the development of commercial links and networks among neighboring communities. The stone bridges of Arachthos are evidence of the craftsmanship that existed in the settlements of Pramanta, Houliarades, Skloupo and Michalitsi. The bridges stand over crossings of rivers and tell the story of the will of man to harness the intensity of nature. Each and every bridge is connected with the history of the place and its people. It echoes and reflects the images and experiences of a bygone era. Among them are the Bridge of Plaka, the Bridge of Politsa, Bridge of Tsimovo and the Papastathi Bridge which together outline the border of the Arachthos gorge. We also encounter bridges within settlements as is the case in Kalarrytes (e.g. Kouiasas Bridge) and Matsouki (Karlimpou Bridge). Here, the bridge’s role is twofold. It is just as much a communication channel for the settlement’s locals as it is for the people living in the outskirts.

The construction of bridges was generally financed by affluent residents or religious institutions and local communities contributed to the best of their ability, either in money or in kind (i.e. supply of stone, wood and labor). Experienced workmen, led by foremen, undertook these large scale construction projects. They were known as κιοπρούληδες (kioproulides) which originates from the Turkish word copru, meaning bridge. They’d travel the entire Balkan region in mobs and thanks to their talent they’d build bridges over river crossings. The very nature of a bridge’s construction, its difficulties and obstacles were a good enough reason to come up with myths and legends about bridges. The existence of demonic elements created fear and anxiety and so made the workmen cautious throughout the whole of the building process. As a means to protect against evil, sacrifices for redemption were performed in order to avoid a haunted bridge