Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"All Epirus is under Ottoman control, except for one small village in Souli, whose inhabitants are made invincible by a magic potion."

The Greek story begins in the 1700s, when the village of Souli (Epirus region) was under the control of Ali Pasha (1740–1822), ruler   of Epirus, Thessaly and Macedonia. At that time, Souli was wealthy and semi autonomous, run by 150 families which made up for 47 clans, represented at the village’s Parliament, which gave orders to a local form of government. Ali Pasha attempted to take over Souli, three times. During the third siege (1803), the village gathered enough food, ammunition and created a water system based on 400 wells, another kind of ‘magic potion.’

The village eventually surrendered to Ali Pasha after many months. Before the final surrender, some of the village people lured the enemy inside an ammunition depot which they set on fire, with them inside and many women jumped off the cliff holding hands and singing their swan song.

Nowadays, the Ministry of Culture has announced it will restore the 67 remaining wells of the village, together with some landmark houses which belonged to some of the most important local families.