to the village of Stephani
This website is the
fulfilment of an obligation owed to those who once lived on this
land and who are no more, to our fellow villagers and those of the
Diaspora, but also to those who would like to gain an insight into
Stephani and what the village has to offer.
By opening a window
to the world wide web, we aim to contribute to the effort of encouraging
people to acquire knowledge about the cultural heritage and identity
of the village and the importance of preserving it for future generations.
Promoting pride in local identity and rural regeneration is one
of the main aspirations of this webpage. All of us, either living
in Stephani, in Greece, or abroad, have to become aware of the value
of our villages, to respect its history and to maintain its identity.
Heritage is so much
more then just stones and mortar. Protecting our heritage and the
environment means to keep the stories of our past alive and to give
them context and relevance for future generations. Each generation
discovers new meaning and value through interacting with the evidence
of the past. The dialogue between past, present and the future is
never ending. Thus to care for our cultural heritage means also
to embrace change.
Historic places and
monuments are valued, because they give a sense of identity to a
community. The preservation and restoration of Stephanis Byzantine
churches, stone houses, watermills, olive presses ect, contributes
to regeneration by renewing the community's confidence in its future.
Stephani is also valued
by many for its tranquility and the sense of retreat it evokes as
a place rich in history set in unspoilt country-side. Places like
the old monastery of Taxiarhis whose remoteness once attracted the
medieval Byzantine monks, continue to offer an escape from the noise
and frenetic activity of life today. Therefore this historic places
should also be valued for the opportunity they provide for contemplation
The trend of our times,
the turn towards the roots of ancestral heritage and its protection,
is neither a matter of romanticism, nor is it just an opportunity
for charity work for something that is vanishing. It is part of
man's basic need to evolve within a favourable climate of tradition
and continuity. The present and the future cannot possibly form
an entity without the past.
and creative contribution of people in matters of culture and preservation
of cultural identity, either collectively or individually, is irreplaceable
and precious. Especially in regions where the activities of the
relevant authorities are almost non existing. The greatest strength
here is shared commitment.
Stephani is a place
rich in history where past, present and future can meet in our minds.
A place that can provide us with opportunities to promote well-being,
to deepen our understanding and to learn from our past. Our past
is open to different interpretations and sometimes gives up secrets
in unexpected ways- if we only allow ourselves to explore it. Creative
involvement with our heritage can give us passion for the place
and a lasting sense of its value.
We hope to inspire
everyone with a responsibility for our village and its heritage
and to actively engage everyone in the care of our cultural heritage
and the environment, thus conserving our past for the future.
& Cultural Association of Stephani