Barbakas - The Castle of Himara

The old village of Himara is built up on the hill of Barbakas. That is a monument of a 2.500 years of human presence in the region of Himara.At medieval, byzantine-romanian times, there was a small,but powerful, town-castle in this place of Barbakas. The byzantine castle has got two entrance gates, the north and the south one, which were locked at the end of the day.Except for Hellenistic Walls, some important historical monuments are mentioned below:
Episkopi: The byzantine church of Episkopi is in the south part of Himara and is considered to be one of the most important monuments of Barbakas along with Hellenistic Walls. It consists of the main church and a second roofless residence, where two bishops lie. The main entrance of the church is decorated with two, two-headed eagles wearing Imperial Byzantine Crowns.
Michailis: Archangel Michael [Michailis] is one of the oldest churches of Barbakas and is situated in the north part of the castle, in one of the two neighbourhoods of Himara, Litzinades. The other neighbourhood is Tsaknates.
Cassopitra: The Virgin Cassopitra church , situated in the south part of Barbakas, was built in the 18th centuty. The residents of Himara brought Our Lady's icon, which is considered to be miraculous, from Cassiopi [Corfu] , where a church of the same name exists.
The Balili square: This is a small square in the centre of Barbakas. There are stone gates, mansions, humble houses and small domes in the picturesque Balili square.
In Barbakas, a visitor could visit a lot of abandoned houses owned by the residents of Himara :
  • Anastasios Papas residence: The mansion of Anastasios Papas is situated at the top of the castle with a view at the grassland and the sea.
  • Giannakis Pilios residence: It had been a three- storeyed mansion at first , but it's residents demolished one of the storeys, not being able to keep it up.
  • Spiros Milios residence: It's a mansion with an amazing view and a rich decoration. It's a residence of great importance, where modern history events of Himara and Greece took place.
The Agios Dimitrrios square: In this square with a view at the area of Spilia, the small church of Agios Dimitrios dominated. That church does not exist anymore.
Agios Theodoros: The church of Agios Theodoros is situated near the church of Agios Dimitrios. The church was abandoned a lot of years ago and none of residents of Himara remembers a Mass at this church.
The Church - tower: The church - tower of Agious Pandes was built in 1878. It was restored after 1990, but changed a lot of the original church - tower. The same happened to the church of Agious Pandes.
Ai Pandes: The church of Agious Pandes is built in the area of Koleka. There was a Mass for the first time in 1775. It was built with blessings of Our Father Saint Kosmas of Etolia. Until then, the residents of Himara heard Mass as a family in private churches. This forced Saint Kosmas of Etolia to demolish some of these churches. Additionally, he prompted the residents of Himara to education by establishing the first school next to the church of Agious Pandes.
Agios Kosmas: The little church was built in Kambi , in the place , where Agios Kosmas of Etolia taught, but it was demolished by the regime of the dictatorship. The new little church, built after 1990, is situated a few metres away from the old one.