Σάββατο, 2 Μαρτίου 2013

Prespa

Watching Prespa strange feelings overwhelm you. Their location gives sometimes the impression of a desert, desolated place, something that does not stand whatsoever. These lakes carry along a huge history and a wild beauty that dare us watch them...

By Aliki Koutoura
Translation: Artemis Touli
republishing from PaintBox magazine
issue 26

Read this article in Greek


Prespa's territory was inhabited from the prehistorical era, thanks to the multitude of natural resources that it offer to the residents. And of-course more than the astonishing beauty, Prespa gathers a lot historical, archaeological and cultural patterns, scattered all around the three countries that it is spreaded coming most of them from the time of Byzantine Empire. All of the 100 Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments which are saved over the three countries the territory is shared.

There are at the west side of Macedonia, with Little Prespa extended from Greece to Albania and FYROM. The special ecological value of the territory of the Prespa made the residents of the surrounding settlements to want to contribute actively to its protection. And they have right, because nature has made a pretty good work to compose this unique landscape.
So, Prespa was declared a National Park in 1974, while in 2000 the Transboundary Prespa Park was founded to guard and emerge the lakes through a three nations cooperation between Greece, Albania and FYROM. Prespa are gathering a large number of animals and plants comparatively to their size. It is indicative the fact that that many of the rare species that find shelter there are endemic, meaning that you can find them only in Prespa and nowhere else in the world. Also here one can meet over the half bird species, amphibians and mammals of whole Greece.

One of the most known places of Little Prespa is the island of Agios Achilles which was reachable only by boats. The construction of a footbridge solved directly the problem of access so now more and more tourists are able to admire more than the endless natural beauties, the astonishing Basilica of Agios Achilles that was built in 986 BC and it is considered one of the most important monuments of the territory. On the other hand, it is worth it to admire the hermitages monks built at Big Prespa, looking for a shelter during the Turkish occupancy, but also at the rock paintings of the 14th - 16th century, at the rocks of the beach of the Big Prespa, in Greece and in Albania. Naturally the beauty of Prespa is not only in Greece. Small islands, traditional settlements and magical landscapes await the visitors who will pass the borders and continue the exploration of that enchanted place . . .


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