Filiates is located in Greece
Location within the region
Coordinates: 39°36′N 20°19′E / 39.600°N 20.317°E / 39.600; 20.317
Administrative regionEpirus
Regional unitThesprotia
 • Municipality583.5 km2 (225.3 sq mi)
 • Municipal unit495.7 km2 (191.4 sq mi)
 • Municipality6,347
 • Density11/km2 (28/sq mi)
 • Municipal unit
 • Municipal unit density9.6/km2 (25/sq mi)
 • Community
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Vehicle registrationΗΝ

Filiates (Greek: Φιλιάτες; Albanian: Filat/-i) is a town and a municipality in Thesprotia, Greece. It is located in the northernmost part of the regional unit, bordering western Ioannina regional unit and southern Albania.


The region of Filiates was known as Cestrine prior to the Ottoman period. The region is named for the ancient town of Cestria, in ancient Epirus, other ancient names for which were Cammania, Ilion, Epirus, Troy, Epirus and Troia and Epirusis; the site of ancient Cestria is probably over the Albanian frontier.[2][3] The modern name Filiates is the result of the conversion of a surname. According to Johann Georg von Hahn,[4] Eqrem Çabej, Idriz Ajeti and Ali Dhrimo, the toponym Filat contains the Albanian suffix -at, widely used to form toponyms from personal names and surnames.[5][6][7] According to Konstantinos Giakoumis, it applies to a certain Filios (diminutive of Theofilos) with the addition of the Greek ending -άτες or -άταις.[8] Local tradition from the 19th century documents a person named Filios; he was a farrier and allegedly the first inhabitant of Filiates.[9] Athanasios Petrides and Dimitrios Kampouroglou opined that the name descends from the Latin word filius.[9][10]

Filiates is known as Filat in Albanian,[11] and as Filat in Ottoman Turkish.[12]


Filiates is located in a largely mountainous area. The Mourgana mountains lie to the north, on the border with Albania. Filiates is located southwest of Konitsa, west of Ioannina, northeast of Igoumenitsa and southeast of Sarandë, Albania. The Greek National Road 6 (Larissa - Ioannina - Igoumenitsa) and the Egnatia Odos motorway (Alexandroupoli - Thessaloniki - Ioannina - Igoumenitsa) pass south of the municipal unit.

The municipal unit Filiates has a land area of 495.727 km2[13] and a population of 4,676 (2021 census). The population of the community Filiates, one of the biggest towns in the area, was 2,244. The largest other villages in the municipal unit are Keramítsa (pop. 107), Palaiochóri (153), Vrysélla (253), Leptokaryá (171), Trikóryfon (174), Aetos (134), Keramitsa (107) and Kyparisso (118). The municipal unit has a total of 42 communities.[1]

Because of its high altitude (~850m) location on a west-facing slope, Filiates has one of the wettest climates in Greece.


The present municipality Filiates was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became municipal units (constituent communities in brackets):[14]

The municipality has an area of 583.530 km2, the municipal unit 495.727 km2.[13]

The province of Filiates (Greek: Επαρχία Φιλιατών) was one of the provinces of Thesprotia. It had the same territory as the present municipality.[15] It was abolished in 2006.


Ancient history

In antiquity, the area of Filiates was inhabited by the Epirot Greek tribe of the Chaonians. In antiquity the area round the city was known as Cestrine (or Kestrine) (Greek: Κεστρίνη), separated from Thesprotia by the River Thyamis.[16] The region was named from the ancient town of Cestria, which was also known as Cammania, Cestria, Filiates, Ilion, Epirus, Troy, Epirus and Troia, Epirus.[16] According to Pausanias (Description of Greece), Cestrine took its name from Cestrinus, the son of Helenus, having previously borne the appellation of Cammania. The site of the ancient town of Cestria probably lies over the Albanian border.[2][3]


Medieval and modern history

Officers of the Greek Army with local volunteers, during the Balkan Wars
Traditional dress from Agioi Pantes, Filiates municipality (PFF's collection).

In 15th century Filiates came under Ottoman rule and became part of Sanjak of Ioannina.[18][19] During 17th and 18th century Ottoman rule a significant part of the town's population converted to Islam.[20] According to Panagiotis Aravantinos (1856), who visited the region, there were 200 Muslim and 30 Christian families in Filiates.[21] Vassilis Zotos (1878), reported that there were about 500 Muslim families and 100 Christian families in Filiates with a total population of 4,000 people (3,000 Muslims and 1,000 Christians).[22]

During the suppression of the Greek revolt of 1854 in Epirus by the Ottoman authorities armed groups of Cham Albanians inflicted extensive damage to the town.[23]

In 1907, Qamil Çami also starting working as a teacher and teaching written Albanian secretly. On August 25, 1908, along with other rilindas opened the first Albanian-language school of Filiates and became its headmaster.[24][25] The funds were provided by the people of Filiates, such as Musa Demi, rilindas of the area and by other notable Cham Albanians like Rasih Dino, son of Abedin Dino.[24][25]

In 1911 during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Albanians of Filiates formed çetes, armed guerilla groups fighting for autonomy from the Ottoman Empire.[26] On the other hand, the local Greek population displayed tolerance towards actions by the Albanians that didn't reveal chauvinist inclinations.[27]

Population movements to the town that occurred from the middle of the 19th century weakened the Muslim elite and led to the gradual Hellenization of former Albanian-majority towns in the area such as Filiates in the 1920s.[28] During the interwar period, Filiates was mainly an Albanian-speaking small town that after 1939 increasingly became Greek-speaking.[29] In 1930, a Cham Albanian committee from Filiates requested to the Greek government for the use of Albanian in public schools, for its use to be allowed among students and for the right to open private schools in Filiates. The inhabitants of Filiates then went on and submitted their petition to the League of Nations without success.[30]

In 1928, representatives from the Cham Albanian communities in Paramythia, Karvounari and Filiates, requested the opening of two Muslim schools which they would fund themselves. The Greek authorities officially rejected the request, fearing that these Muslim schools would serve Albanian state propaganda by promoting an anti-Greek sentiment among the Chams of Greece. Regardless, the Greek government allowed their operation unofficially because it could close them as illegal at any time, and could also claim that their function fulfilled demands for Albanian schools in Chameria.[31]

During the Greek-Italian War the town of Filiates was burned by collaborationist Cham Albanian bands (October 28-November 14, 1940).[32] Filiates region was until 1944, home to a Cham Albanian community. Almost the entire population of them fled during the liberation of Greece, because a large part of the community collaborated with Nazi forces.[33] In September 1944, during the Axis withdrawal, the EDES resistance managed to quickly overcome the remaining Cham collaborator units stationed in the town. After the initial chaos and destruction that lasted for five days, the town's Cham community fled to Albania. The Cham leaders had managed to retreat together with the German troops.[34] Almost all Cham Albanian monuments of Filiates were destroyed during World War II.[35]


Year Village Community Municipal unit Municipality
1981 2,439 - - -
1991 2,591 - - -
2001 2,246 2,344 8,288 -
2011 2,512 2,639 5,970 7,710
2021 - 2,244 4,767 6,347

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "Αποτελέσματα Απογραφής Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2021, Μόνιμος Πληθυσμός κατά οικισμό" [Results of the 2021 Population - Housing Census, Permanent population by settlement] (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 29 March 2024.
  2. ^ a b Richard Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press. p. 54, and directory notes accompanying. ISBN 978-0-691-03169-9.
  3. ^ a b Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.
  4. ^ Ismajli, Rexhep (2018). Konferencë shkencore ndërkombëtare "Studimet albanistike në vendet ku flitet gjermanisht". Akademia e Shkencave dhe e Arteve e Kosovës. p. 37.
  5. ^ Çabej, Eqrem (1976). Studime gjuhësore: Hyrje në historinë e gjuhës shqipe. Fonetika historike. Parashtesat. Biblioteka Linguistikë (in Albanian). Rilindja. p. 210. Retrieved 2022-08-06.
  6. ^ Ajeti, Idriz (1969). Historia e gjuhës shqipe (morfologija historike). Enti i botimeve shkollore e Republikës Socialiste të Serbisë. p. 17. Janë për t'u vu në dukje edhe disa emna tëshqipes nga fusha e toponimisë që sosin me sufiksin — at , që linguistët e qesin të ardhun nga fondi i trashegimise indoeuropiane ... qe disa fjalë nga toponimia :Filat, Zhylat , Dukat , Deshat
  7. ^ Dhrimo, Ali (2008). Për shqipen dhe shqiptarët. Për shqipen dhe shqiptarët. Infbotues. p. 425. ISBN 978-99956-720-0-3.
  8. ^ Giakoumis, Konstantinos (2002). "The Monasteries of Jorgucat and Vanishtë in Dropull and of Spelaio in Lunxhëri as Monuments and Institutions During the Ottoman Period in Albania (16th-19th Centuries)". ResearchGate. University of Birmingham: 117. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b Πατσέλης, Νικόλαος Β. "Το Τιμαριωτικόν Σύστημα Εις Ήπειρον Επί Τουρκοκρατίας". In Μάνος, Μ. Χ., & Κόκκινος, Δ. (1967). Ηπειρωτική Εστία: μηνιαία επιθεώρησις εν Ιωαννίνοις, τεύχος 183-184-185 p. 174
  10. ^ Καμπούρογλου, Δημήτριος Γρ. (1891). Μνημεία της ιστορίας των Αθηναίων (in Greek). Εκ του τυπογραφείου Αλεξάνδρου Παπαγεωργίου. p. 122.
  11. ^ Stawowy-Kawka, Irena (2017). "Wpływ mniejszości narodowych–greckiej w Albanii i albańskiej w Grecji–na relacje grecko-albańskie po 1991 roku [The Influence of Minorities – Greek in Albania and Albanian in Greece – On Greek-Albanian Relations after 1991]". Studia Środkowoeuropejskie i Bałkanistyczne (XXIV): 156. "Filiates (alb. Filat)"
  12. ^ Gawrych, George (2006). The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874–1913. London: IB Tauris. p. 23. ISBN 9781845112875. "Filat"
  13. ^ a b "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.
  14. ^ "ΦΕΚ B 1292/2010, Kallikratis reform municipalities" (in Greek). Government Gazette.
  15. ^ "Detailed census results 1991" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016.  (39 MB) (in Greek and French)
  16. ^ a b Bell, Robert (1989). Place names in classical mythology. ABC-CLIO. p. 78. ISBN 9780874365078.
  17. ^ Samsaris, D.K.. (1994) Η ρωμαϊκή αποικία της Φωτικής στη Θεσπρωτία της Ηπείρου (Ιστορικογεωγραφική και επιγραφική συμβολή), University of Ioannina p. 88-89 (in Greek)
  18. ^ H. Karpat, Kemal (1985). Ottoman population, 1830-1914: demographic and social characteristics. p. 146. ISBN 9780299091606. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  19. ^ Motika, Raoul (1995). Türkische Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte (1071-1920). p. 297. ISBN 9783447036832. Retrieved 22 September 2011. Sancaks Yanya (Kazas: Yanya, Aydonat (Paramythia), Filat (Philiates), Meçova (Metsovo), Leskovik (war kurzzeitig Sancak) und Koniçe (Konitsa)
  20. ^ Kemal Karpat (1985), Ottoman Population, 1830-1914, Demographic and Social Characteristics, The University of Wisconsin Press, p. 146-147
  21. ^ Αραβαντίνος, Παναγιώτης. (1856) Χρονογραφία της Ηπείρου: των τε ομόρων ελληνικών και ιλλυρικών χωρών διατρέχουσα κατά σειράν τα εν αυταίς συμβάντα από του σωτηρίου έτους μέχρι του 1854. p. 320
  22. ^ Ζώτος, Βασίλης (1878) Ηπειρωτικαί Μελέται, Δρομολόγιον της Ελληνικής Χερσονήσου αρχαιολογικόν, ιστορικόν, γεωγραφικόν στρατιωτικόν, στατιστικόν και εμπορικόν, p. 30
  23. ^ Vakalopoulos, Kōnstantinos Apostolou (2003). Historia tēs Ēpeirou: apo tis arches tēs Othōmanokratias hōs tis meres mas (in Greek). Hērodotos. p. 373. ISBN 978-960-7290-97-7. "Η τρομοκρατία των Τσάμηδων κατά την εποχή εκείνη ξεπέρασε κάθε προηγούμενο μέχρι τα τέλη Μαρτίου του 1854. Η Παραμυθιά, η Πάργα, οι Φιλιάτες υπέστησαν μεγάλες καταστροφές. Στα χωριά Φοινίκη, Φανερωμένη, Σίδερη, Γηρομέρι, Κοκκινίτσα, Γούλα και Παλαιοχώρι κατασφάχθηκαν άντρες και γυναικόπαιδα και το μοναστήρι της Βέλλιανης Παραμυθιάς καταστράφηκε σε πολύ μεγάλο βαθμό.
  24. ^ a b Naska, Kaliopi (1999). Dokumente për Çamërinë: 1912-1939. General Directorate of Archives. Dituria. pp. 661–91. ISBN 99927-31-69-9.
  25. ^ a b Isufi, Hajredin (2002). Musa Demi dhe qëndresa çame: 1800-1947. Botimet Dudaj. pp. 200–210. ISBN 99927-50-10-3.
  26. ^ Gawrych, George (2006). The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913. I.B.Tauris. p. 188. ISBN 1-84511-287-3.
  27. ^ M. V. Sakellariou.Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon Archived 2010-06-14 at the Wayback Machine, 1997. ISBN 960-213-371-6. p 361: "The Greek population displayed toleration whenever the action taken did not reveal chauvinist inclinations, as in the case of establishment of Albanian "clubs" (in Konitsa, Philiates...".
  28. ^ Tsoutsoumpis, Spiros (2015). "Violence, resistance and collaboration in a Greek borderland: the case of the Muslim Chams of Epirus "Qualestoria" n. 2, dicembre 2015". Qualestoria. 2: 24–25. Retrieved 16 January 2018. Until the early 20th century, economic strength lay in the hands of the Muslim landowner class, many of whom were engaged in commerce and usury. This situation had been changing gradually since the mid-19th century as small numbers of individuals and later families from the province of Ioannina, settled in the principal towns of the region establishing business. By the 1920s, they were joined by local men who slowly came to constitute an elite that threatened to wrest economic control from the Muslim notables. The presence of these men led to a gradual Hellenization of formerly Albanian-majority towns, like Margariti and Filiates that was viewed with disdain by the Muslim peasantry
  29. ^ Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1967). Epirus: the Geography, the Ancient Remains, the History and Topography of Epirus and Adjacent Areas. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 27. ISBN 9780198142539. "The market towns of Filiates and Paramythia were mainly Albanian in speech before 1939, but Greek speech was beginning to flow back to them."; p. 83. The capital of the area is Filiates, a small Albanian speaking town."
  30. ^ Tsitselikis, Konstantinos (2012). Old and New Islam in Greece: From Historical Minorities to Immigrant Newcomers. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 442. ISBN 978-9004221529. (..) complaints filed by a committee of Chams of Filiates. The latter claimed that Albanian should be taught in public schools, and called for the free use of the Albanian language among students. Furthermore, they asked for permission to open private schools in Filiates and other villages. (..) The complaints of the inhabitants of Filiates ended up in a petition to the League of Nation, without success once more.
  31. ^ Fortna, Benjamin; Katsikas, Stefanos; Kamouzis, Dimitris; Konortas, Paraskevas (2012). State-Nationalisms in the Ottoman Empire, Greece and Turkey: Orthodox and Muslims, 1830-1945. Routledge. p. 161. ISBN 978-1136220524.
  32. ^ Georgia Kretsi. Verfolgungund Gedächtnis in Albanien: eine Analyse postsozialistischer Erinnerungsstrategien. Harrassowitz, 2007. ISBN 978-3-447-05544-4, p.283.
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  34. ^ Manta, Eleftheria (2009). "The Cams of Albania and the Greek State (1923 - 1945)". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 4 (9): 10. Retrieved 2 February 2016. On the 21st of September the German forces started to withdraw... destruction prevailed in the city.
  35. ^ Kiel, Machiel (1990). Ottoman architecture in Albania, 1385-1912. Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture. p. 3. ISBN 978-92-9063-330-3. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  36. ^ Μουσείο Ελληνικής Ιστορίας Παύλου Βρέλλη Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine.
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