Within walking or short driving distances from Hotel Mimallones, there are many Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments scattered among the villages and countryside of the Prespes Lakes. These historical and sacred monuments pay tribute to the area's rich cultural heritage and are perfect complements to the outstanding natural beauty of the region.
Churches of Prespa:
It is from the Byzantine provinces of northern Greece that the church architecture associated with the forts and monastic centers of the area began to spread into the central areas of the Balkans.
The most famous monument is the three-aisled Basilica of Agios Achilleos on the island of the same name in the Small Prespa Lake. It was built by tsar Samuel in the 10th century during the First Bulgarian Empire, and he was believed to be buried in the atrium.
Other notable churches in the area include:
Church of Agios Germanos, 11th C – Ag. Germanos
Church of Agios Nikolaos. 12th C – Pyli
Church of Ypapanti, late 14th /early 15th C — Laimos
Church of Aghios Nikolaos, 16th C – Plati
Monastery of the Virgin of the Porphyra, 16th C – Ag. Achilleos
Some of the most unique monuments in Prespa are the ascetic hermitages which commemorate the presence of small monastic communities and hermits in the area over the years. There are boat tours from the village of Psarades to see three hermitages (13th – 15th centuries) — Metamorphosi, Mikri Analipsi and Panagia Eleousa — and the frescoes which are preserved on rocks above Great Prespa.
In Prespa, the life of the local people is concentrated in the villages around the lakes.
Here you will see traditional houses (‘palia spitia”) built out of stone and clay bricks with roofs of straw or stone tiles, with an external staircase leading to the ‘hayiati’ (a covered balcony) on the upper floor.
The ground floor was used to house animals and store food.
In recent years many of these houses have been restored with government grants for use as guest houses and museums.
But others, located in the near-abandoned villages, are being slowly reclaimed by nature.
Laimos Village • Prespes Lakes 53077 • Greece
tel: +30 23850 51 422 or +30 698 656 2733