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Administrative Region : Central Macedonia
Regional unit : Pella

Aetochori (Αετοχώρι) Pella

Aetochori is a traditional mountain settlement [1] in the mountains of Almopia in the former prefecture of Pella at an altitude of 680 meters. [2] It is located on the border with FYROM at a distance of 22 km NE. from Aridea (seat of the municipality) and 72 km NW. from Pella. To the northwest of the settlement is the mountain range "Pinovo", which together with its neighbor "Jenna" are areas of special alpine beauty, and are part of the Nature Network 2000 (NATURA2000). [3] The total area of ​​the special protection area amounts to 20066.86 hectares (ha). The mountain range of "Vora" together with the neighboring mountains of "Pinovo", "Jena" and "Paiko" compose the mountain range of Almopia, which until the mid-90s was not sufficiently researched. The ornithological importance of the area is great, as the existing data classify it as one of the most important areas for birds of prey in Greece, but also for other rare species. Among others, Carduelis carduelis, Carduelis spinus, Carduelis cannabina, Parus ater Parus (Cyanistes) caeruleus, Carduelis chloris, Corvus corone cornix etc. are found.

History

The village used to be called Tousiani [4], which belonged to the kaza of Gevgelija, an area of ​​Karatzova or Vlachomoglenon. Before the Balkan wars, about 1,050 exarch Macedonians lived there. Under the Treaty of Neuilly, 39 families from Tuscany immigrated to Bulgaria. Then, in 1923-24, the Greek Government settled 10 patriarchal refugee families in the village. In 1928 the population was 624 people of whom 29 were of refugee origin. In this village settled the brother of the Despot of Moglenon who became Turkish and his name was Dimitrios, ie Tousis, that is why the village with its old name is called Tushim or Tousiani but by decision of the Minister of Interior Georgios Kondylis it was renamed Aetokhorion8 ). [5] It became the village, where it is today, because it has water, the plain is closer and it is hit less by the north, and it was named Aetochori, because on the right side of the public road in the direction of the village Notia, in the plain, there are ruins from an older village. called Eagle. Around the settlement and within a radius of 500-700 meters are five chapels of Agios Symeon, Agios Athanasios, Agia Kyriaki, Panagia and Agia Paraskevi. In Aetochori, because the young people used to die, according to others, the newlyweds plowed the village around with twin heifers and a plow, led by a twin brother, and where the heifers stopped for rest, they also built a chapel. When the process was completed, they slaughtered the heifers, and placed them in the memorials of the Church of Agios Dimitrios, located on the left, entering the village, and placed on them a round stone, like a millstone, standing. In fact, tradition says that if the stone falls or turns, then evil will return. That's why they took care of her and put her back in her place, standing up, because otherwise the women would die. In 1912 Greek soldiers, after dismantling the exarchate icons from the chapel of Agios Athanasios, erased the inscriptions written in Cyrillic, gathered the inhabitants in the small square of the village, and threatened them to return to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. They captured and hanged five exarch priests, looted the village and slaughtered two residents. At the same time, they kept the population in a state of terror and agony, until many left the village and left for Bulgaria. In the civil war the village was bombed and so a sad ruin with few elders remained.
Source: "The presence of allied forces in the regions of Edessa-Almopia and its impact on these areas (1916-1919) pages 162, 163

The church of Agios Dimitrios
The church of Agios Dimitrios in Aetochori, Pella

The attraction of the village is the old church, of Agios Dimitrios, with the high four-storey tower-like bell tower with a height of 15 meters. [6] At that time the Turks had not allowed it to be built higher, because they claimed that from there they would see the wives of the Bey of Apsalos, a village located more than 50 km away, in the middle of the plain of Almopia, at the foot of the mountain to Edessa . So they filled it with wood and hung the bell, so of the five floors of the bell tower, four are made of stone and one, the fifth, is made of wood.

The church was built in 1842, as evidenced by the stone-carved chronology, and is a three-aisled basilica with a closed peristole. Inside the temple, above the entrance, there is the following inscription:

This church of Agios Dimitrios was consecrated in the time of the most revered metropolitan, especially Prokopios Moglenon (followed by the names of priests and Kotzabasids) by Anastasiou with my children Vangelis Nikolaou, Konstantini from the village of Krouseva66.

The hagiography of the church was done by a family of folk painters from Krusovo, who also hagiographed all the churches of Ano Almopia. The visitor will see scenes unfolding from the Old Testament, such as the creation of the Protoplasts, their life in Paradise, their sin, their expulsion, but also from the New Testament, such as the Birth of Christ, the Resurrection, etc. . All the scenes are memorized with elegant and legible Greek inscriptions that fully inform the visitor.

In the church of the village they came and celebrated, together with the locals and the Islamized Vlach-speaking inhabitants of the South, the Southerners as they were called, and they brought oils and candles for the Saint. And although the Aetochorites are locals, the Vlach-speaking Mohammedans of the South had close ties to them until the population exchange in 1923. In fact, it is said that the Islamized Southerners maintained their Christian customs and their wives after the kneading and baking of bread. to cover it, to succeed and inflate it crucified.

Administratively

It is mentioned as a settlement with the old name Tousin or Tousiani, after the liberation of Macedonia, in 1919 in the Government Gazette 80A - 14/04/1919 to be annexed to the then community of Notia (South). In 1925 with the Government Gazette 148A - 13/06/1925 it was renamed Aetochorion [7]. According to the Kallikratis plan, together with the South, they constitute the local community of Notia, which belongs to the municipal unit of Exaplatanos in the municipality of Almopia, and according to the 2011 census, they have a population of 25 inhabitants.

References

(Government Gazette D 691/1992)
Encyclopedia Nea Domi. Tegopoulos - Maniateas. 1996. p. 11, vol. 2.
"NatureBank - NATURA habitat - ORI TZENA". filotis.itia.ntua.gr. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
"Pandektis: Tousin - Aetochori". pandektis.ekt.gr. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
"EETAA-Hellenic Society for Local Development and Local Government SA". www.eetaa.gr. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
"Eastern Almopia hides" treasures "!" Pozar Baths | Tourist Guide. November 13, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
"EETAA-Hellenic Society for Local Development and Local Government SA". www.eetaa.gr. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
"Official Gazette of results of the PERMANENT population of the 2011 census", p. 10520 (p. 46 of pdf)

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Aetochori Arkadia
Aetochori Evros
Aetochori Karditsa
Aetochori Pella

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