Taken in 2010 during a week holiday in Corfu, this is the old deserted village of Ano Périthia (which means Old Périthia to distinguish it from more modern Périthia which lies nearer to the coast).
The old village lies high within the slopes of Pantokrator, the highest mountain in Corfu at just under 1000m. The drive up there, along twisty narrow badly-surfaced roads with steep drops to the side, was fun for me but a bit too scary for Yvonne.
Périthia was built in Byzantine times around the 14th century when people fled their coastal homes in fear of the pirates raiding the coastal villages. Even when this threat subsided the villagers were still not able to return to their original villages and homes due to outbreaks of malaria-carrying mosquitoes which bred in coastal lakes. Old Périthia grew and boasted eight churches, each one belonging to a different family in the village. There was a school, a police station and even a court. Over 1,500 people lived in Périthia.
In 1912 the village was made part of the Municipality of Kassiopi. As tourism developed down on the coast, more of the village inhabitants and families moved down to the 'new' coastal resorts. By 1955 the village was occupied only during the summer months. After these months the remaining villagers would come down to their olive groves to harvest their crops. By 1975 most of the villagers had moved further down the mountain and only a few remained.
Today there are apparently only six people who live in the old village throughout the whole year: they tend the local crops and look after live stock. However, there are a few little tavernas which cater for tourists and we ate the best beefburgers I have ever tasted in a little taverna called, appropriately enough, "Old Périthia" - according to the "Rough Guide", this place also serves up succulent roasted goat - a definite to try next time!
In the meantime, some restoration work is being carried out here but it is a fascinating place to visit for anyone wishing to escape the busy coastal areas in Corfu. If you're really interested and fancy yourself as a restorer of ancient buildings, there are a few derelict properties in the village for sale as you can find out here.
Critiques | Translate
bayno (18344) 2012-02-12 17:47
beautiful village that is almost completely abandoned, I see two people, maybe they are the only two inhabitants of the village ehehe, very good your POV that shows us the village surrounded by green vegetation, I really like the tones and textures of the houses that contrast well with trees, very nice shot,
have a good day,
delpeoples (58314) 2012-02-12 21:05
Ah the trust 20D never lets us don eh? What a cute little village you've found - you seem to have a knack of doing so. The colours are lovely despite the overcast weather and I like the square format alot. Is it a tad over-sharpened? It could be my dodgy monitor which often picks tht up in the brighter areas. The darker areas look fine though. Very strange.
Nevertheless a beautiful photo, thanks for sharing your Corfusian adventures with us
jadesgran (5423) 2012-02-12 22:25
My! What a long interesting note!.My brain can hardly cope ,this time of the day.
I thought it all looked deserted,apart from the two people out walking, (the one in red I presumed was your wife `planted in the centre for extra impact)
How sad there are just a handful of inhabitants there, and the buildings going into disrepair.But I see there is a gardener living in the house on the left with each of the three windows having a potted plant in them.
SnapRJW (31629) 2012-02-12 22:40
Hello John - What a shame that such a beautiful location should be almost deserted. Progress? Perhaps.
I have looked at the shot and love the detail which is finely captured and I don't see signs of over-sharpening although I can see what Lisa refers to, the FG vegetation is tricky but I think it is the contrast maybe. I do find the crop a little unbalanced and had a look at cropping out the FG a bit but that didn't help so I ended up cropping out some of the sky too. I'm still not sure. I'll post it to the WS and you can have a look. By the way --- I am just too old to take on a building project! Warm regards Rosemary
jester5 (2024) 2012-02-13 0:58
The roast goat is very good John and your photograph, as usual, is excellent. I so very much want to go here now I have seen this.
People are in the right places for balance and those small pots of herbs on the window sills really do add the finishing touch.
dta (78558) 2012-02-13 2:47
Hello John ,
What a splendid place , rich in atmosphere and old architecture . I must remember it if i go to Corfu . You have placed the attractive white church tower at the best focal point of the composition in this square format .
I can see that this island is rich in vegetation , too .
rmajum (1205) 2012-02-13 4:23
To me the most interesting is the fact that only six people are there yet the place caters for tourists and serves a few fete for a foodie.
The picture is a well done documentation with the old,few derelict houses but a relatively maintained white church tower. The vegetation around corroborates the lack of population in the village.The two people are either residents or tourists, I believe. Nice shot in good light. Regards
timecapturer (49288) 2012-02-13 5:43
this looks like a wonderful place to explore and you have captured its beauty perfectly. Love the rich textures which stand out so well in this light, as do the fg trees. A captivating image and presentation.
Have a great week - Brian.
emilbo (22616) 2012-02-13 6:17
Une photo de qualité et très intéressante. Un village abandonné qui me rappelle le village San Sebastian que j'ai visité dans les montagnes du Mexique. J'aime bien ces vieilles maisons de pierres bien montées par un bel éclairage, un endroit qu'il ne faut pas manquer de visiter. Les détails sont excellents et beau contraste de couleurs avec la belle végétation. Dur pour les pieds les rues pavées de roches.
Félicitations!... et toutes mes amitiés,
holmertz (53510) 2012-02-13 7:50
There seems to be a lot of these villages in Greece, which has seen a huge internal migration in recent decades from old villages built partly for defence purposes no longer needed. An understandable but slightly sad "development". Looking closely I see a lot of diagonals giving the composition an interesting dynamism. Two persons indicate that at least for the moment the village is not entirely deserted. A few years ago I visited a small island of three villages, one of which had two permanent residents.
mesutilgim (95380) 2012-02-13 9:22
Nice capture of this Greek village; good pov and many interesting details.
My favorite is the alone stanting white belltower in the foreground.
Many interesting and educative notes.
TFS and best regards
saxo042 (37888) 2012-02-13 10:06
A beautifully composed picture, with a kind of Cézanne approach. A cubistic view and I enjoy the lines that are crossed just on the white tower (?). Even a red eye-catcher is included! A very interesting note.
Royaldevon (39344) 2012-02-13 10:55
I remember travelling up that steep, winding, pitted road, with the long drops, when we were in Corfu. We were so surprised to see the village on top of the mountain; not only that, there was a huge cement lorry in one of the streets. We were never sure how it had got there!
A fine, high vantage point allows you to place the tower strongly in the frame, with the cobbled path leading beyond it, to the tiered houses mounting the hilside like steps.
The figures add interest and life to the shot, and one of them is wearing red! (I have, in my mind, this idea of photographers esconced around the world, cameras at the ready, waiting for the red dressed person to venture into their line of vision!)
You have a fine dof to maintain the details for the viewer's interest.
My warm regards,
lousat (92050) 2012-02-13 15:06
Hi John,a beautiful pic from the earth of Greece,far from the touristic circuits and very very nice,i like the rich composition and the perfect light balance and details too.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
npecanhuk (75502) 2012-02-13 15:13
What a beautiful and interesting place!
What a lovely and attractive picture!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, chosen pov, large vertical format, contrasts and composition are all excellent!
So many details to be seen and enjoyed!
TFS - congrats,
emka (98830) 2012-02-13 22:03
Hi John, it would be nice to have a property there, probably the prize is not very high, but I won't buy. Only six persons living in a village? But even if it is sad, this is reality, everyone, specially you ng people, look for the place where they can live better. beautiful shot and many very nice small details, like flowers in windows or corfotians walking. Nice white tower contrasting with the brick buildings.
RhodieIke (11744) 2012-02-14 1:45
Hi John, Super photo of this near deserted village, like your Pov, and the Tower stands out well, splendid management, like the square format, Trust you are wearing your heart on you sleeve today, Cheers Iain.
Ricx (13495) 2012-02-14 12:05
Hi John, your notes provide such great bg information .. It amazing that you manage to get two of the six inhabitants in one image- It looks like their paths are likely to meet.. Could it be their destiny.. or has destimy already been and gone.. keep in touch .. from an old hermit .. R
macjake (68480) 2012-02-15 21:02
at first glance, and even 2nd and 3rd glances, i would sware this is taken in Italy somewhere - it just has that feel to it.
great note you wrote.
hard to believe only approx 6 people live here year round, you'd think the place is haunted or something. seems to me there is alot of charm and history here worth keeping alive.
love the building facing us with the 3 windows and potted plants. the 1 person we see seems so alone - oh wait, i just notices a 2nd person along the bottom!
this is like playing 'where's Waldo!".
I really enjoy viewing this scene, and the note is even better. Love to visit here one day :)
have a great one
InasiaJones (31566) 2012-03-27 16:02
The irresistible attraction of old villages.
It's even truer when the buildings are decayed, as if the sign of time was adding esthetic value and richness.
I have visited Stromboli island years ago and I was flabbergasted to see houses in the same state as when the eruption destroyed them, decades before. Still, villagers where living next to these ruins, reminding them the constant menace standing above their head.
Walking in these abandoned villages always conveys a sense of mystery, like being surrounded by invisible ghosts and the feeling often stays long after leaving these grounds.
I think that your photo translate that feeling efficiently, although it is reassuring to see people walking around, unless they are apparitions...
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (25328)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-09-29
- Categories: Nature, Architecture, Ruins
- Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP AF, HOYA 67mm HMC SUPER UV(0)
- Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-02-12 16:22