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Pyli (Municipality, Greece)


Last modified: 2015-08-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Pyli - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 18 December 2014

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Presentation of Pyli

The municipality of Pyli (14,343 inhabitants in 2011; 74,770 ha) was formed in the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities of Aithikes (Αίθηκες, 2,744 inh.), Gomfoi (Γόμφοι, 5,154 inh.), Myrofyllo (Μυρόφυλλο, 736 inh.), Neraida (Νεράιδα, 944 inh.), Pialeia (Πιαλεία, 3,813 inh.), Pyli (3,527 inh.) and Pindos (Δήμος Πινδαίων, 917 inh.).
Situated 18 km west of Trikala, at the bottom of two mountains Itamos, and Koziakas, which mark the beginning of the Pindos mountainline, Pyli marks the entrance to a great gorge and the natural path that leads to the city of Arta.

The settlement of Pyli has been referenced since Antiquity. During the Greco-Roman times, the location was found to be of strategic importance and the castle of Athinaion was used as an outpost, enabling monitoring of the plains in distances of up to 30 or 40 km. In Byzantine times, after the first fall of Constantinople in 1204, various independent fiefs had emerged, one of the most notable being the Despotat of Mystra. During those times, one of the most notable churches of the era was constructed, the basilica of Porta Panagia. It was built on top of the ruins of an ancient temple (probably a temple dedicated to Apollo).
During the Ottoman era, Ali-Pasha, the Pasha of Ioannina, rebelled against the Ottoman Empire and tried to turn Epirus into an independent caliphate. During his campaign, his army camped briefly at Pyli.
During World War II, the area came under the authority of Italian occupation forces, and during the years 1943-1944 under German occupation forces, which set fire to the monastery of the Dormition of Theotokos, believing that rebel forces of the ELAS were in hiding there.

Olivier Touzeau, 18 December 2014

Flag of Pyli

The flag of Pyli (Kokkonis website) is white with the municipal emblem in the middle.
The emblem, used by the former and the new municipality, shows the arched bridge at the Pouri location, which is considered to mark the end of the mountains and the beginning of the settlement, and is a classic example of stonemasonry of the era it was built (1514). Up to 1936 it was the only link between the plains of Thessaly and the villages of Pindos.

Olivier Touzeau, 18 December 2014