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Agrafa is the third largest community in Evrytania (evrytania.gr) after
Domnitsaand Karpenisi. Agrafa is accessed with the road linking with GR-38 and the northern villages with a poor road to the Karditsa Prefecture. Agrafa located WNW east of Karpenisi, ENE of Agrinio, south of Karditsaand ESE of Arta. The AgrafiotisRiver flows to the west and further east is the MegdovaRiver. Agrafa are part of the Pindus Mts (pindostrek.net) which is the Greek extension of the Alps. Today, many ski resorts are being planned for the region.
The Agrafa region has been populated for approximately 2,500 years. The fiercely independent spirit of its people, known as "Agrafiotes," is matched by a harsh and forbidding landscape. The central Agrafiotis River valley is surrounded on three sides by a steep 2,000-meter wall of mountains, and on its south side the river drains via a series of narrow and often impassable gorges into the man-made Lake
Most of the surrounding forests in the region were controlled by Greek Orthodox monasteries for many hundreds of years and throughout the Turkish occupation of the
Balkans. The residents of the Agrafa purchased tracts of land from the monasteries hundreds of years ago and these forests remain in the communal hands of the current inhabitants. Agrafa was a center of literacy during the 400 years of domination and slavery by the Turks. Since the monasteries were independent from the Sultan, it was here that the Greek languagewas kept alive; reading and writing were taught in secrecy, generation after generation as the Turks forbade the general population from learning how to read and write their own language. Unlike the majority of Greeks, many Agrafiotes can trace their family histories back for generations since they were free to read, write, and record births, baptisms, and deaths.
Before modernization, most people's occupations in the Agrafa involved harvesting nuts and fruits from orchards, farming, shepherding, and textile manufacturing. Most of the produce from the Agrafa are traditional cold weather crops or crops which can survive in poor soil. The beans grown in the Agrafa are second to none for flavor and quality. The proceeds of the timber sales from the forests purchased from the Greek Orthodox monasteries continue to benefit the community as a whole.
The most famous person from the Agrafa and the driving force behind modernization was General
Nikolaos Plastiras. It was General Plastiras' vision to create a hydroelectric damin the region so that nearly all of mainland Greece, excluding the Peloponese, would be supplied with electricity, particularly the many fractured villages and rural communities. A spin-off from this project was the mass irrigation system developed to supply the farmers in the plains of Thessaly with water and increase the yields of cash crops such as cotton. Construction began during the peaceful era of the 1950s after World War IIand the Greek Civil War. Once completed General Plastiras' hydroelectric dam propelled the Greek nation into the modern era. The majority of the workers on this project were Agrafiotes themselves. As a result of their years of dedication and sacrifice to the project, the residents of the region enjoy free water up until this day. The Agrafa, originally one of the poorest andmost isolated regions of Greece, is quickly becoming a hot tourist destination, as the area's beauty is reminiscent of the Alps of Austria and Switzerland.
Many Agrafiotes left their villages and settled in the major metropolitan cities in Greece as well as in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany, seeking an escape from the abject poverty and lack of opportunities which once haunted the area. The migration from the region first began in the 1920s and has nearly ceased after the military junta which had ruled Greece from 1967–1974 was toppled. Recently in the 1990s, the population like the rest of the prefecture boomed rapidly and was much above and nearly tripled and it restored a part of the population that was in the early 20th century, it was the fastest in the prefecture and one in Greece that it became the third largest community in Greece.
Agrafa has a school, a lyceum or a middle school, a gymnasium or a secondary school, churches, a post office, banks, and a few squares ("plateies").
* [http://www.gtp.gr/LocPage.asp?id=4741 Agrafa (municipality) on GTP Travel Pages] (in English and Greek)
* [http://www.gtp.gr/LocPage.asp?id=4742 Agrafa (community) on GTP Travel Pages] (in English and Greek)
*Map and aerial photos:
http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=39.1355&longitude=21.6502&zoom=6 Street map from Mapquest] , [http://maps.msn.com/map.aspx?&lats1=39.1355&lons1=21.6502&alts1=35 MapPoint] or [http://maps.google.com/maps?||=39.1355,21.6502 Google] or [http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?lat=39.1355&lon=21.6502&mag=2 Yahoo! Maps]
http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.1355,21.6502&spn=0.11,0.18&t=k Google] or [http://virtualearth.msn.com/default.aspx?cp=39.1355|21.6502&style=h&lvl=15&v=1 Microsoft Virtual Earth] - image now available
* [http://www.odigoslimnisplastira.gr Λίμνη Πλαστήρα - Lace Plastiras]
List of settlements in the Evrytania prefecture
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