Welcome 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 and relaxation.

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.

Individual engagement 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.

The Educational & Cultural Association of Stephani


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