PRESPES (Municipality) FLORINA
The lakes and their importance
Lakes Megali and Mikri Prespa were once a single lake. Along the centuries, an isthmus was created with the accumulation of sediment carried into the lake by the Agios Germanos stream. Now days a channel located at Koula connects the two lakes. Allowing the waters from Mikri Prespa to Megali Prespa. About 90% of the 47.4 km2 of the surface area of Lake Mikri Prespa belongs to the Greek territory, while Megali Prespa 259.4 km2 is shared by Greece, Albania and FYROM's territories. Mikri Prespa is a relatively shallow lake; with a mean depth of 4.1 m. Megali Prespa is deeper, with an average depth of 18 m and maximum depth of 55 m.
The whole area belongs to the NATURA 2000 Network and Mikri Prespa is also protected by the RAMSAR Convention, as one of the ten Greek Wetlands of International Importance. This is so due to the exceptional biodiversity of the lake related to one of its main biotopes, the wet meadows.
These are areas around the lake with low aquatic vegetation seasonally inundated as the lake's water level fluctuates. Reed beds are very important plant formations in this area, as they provide shelter and nesting sites and wintering areas to a big number of species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects, many of them vulnerable or threatened in other parts of the world.
On the occasion of the World Wetlands Day, 2nd February 2000, the Prime Ministers of Greece, FYROM and Albania met in Agios Germanos and declared the creation of the Prespa Park as a Tran boundary protected area. The target to be achieved is the environmental protection and sustainable development protection of the Prespa Lakes and their surroundings in the three neighboring countries.
After the declaration, a 10-membered Co-ordinations Committee was established to promote cooperation among the competent from the government, the Mayor and a representative of a non-governmental organization from each country plus one observer from the Ramsar Bureau. Additionally, a Secretariat of the Prespa Park, composed by the three participating NGO's, has been established to provide technical support to the trilateral cooperation on an every day basis.
This text is cited September 2004 from the Municipality of Prespes URL below, which contains images
Ruins of this church are found in the south-west bank of the lake. It dates back to the 11th-12th century A.D.
One-aisled, wooden-roofed church, which is still used as a cemetery church. There are murals dating back to the 15th century A.D.
This monastery is located in the southern part of the islet and dates back to the mid 16th century.
Small, single-aisled church with barrel-vaulted roof, built in a cavity
of the rock. The sanctuary is decorated with wall paintings which can be dated
to the end of the 14th century. Some of the representations preserved are the
Virgin Vlachernitissa, the Melismos with the co-officiating bishops, and the Pentecost.
The vault of the sanctuary is covered with a representation of the Ascension of
Restoration of the monument began in 1994 and is still in progress.
Το κείμενο παρατίθεται τον Σεπτέμβριο 2003 από την ακόλουθη ιστοσελίδα του Υπουργείου Πολιτισμού, η οποία περιλαμβάνει και φωτογραφίες.
The small lakeland vale of Prespes in Macedonia jealously conceals
its Byzantine treasures that have survived the centuries into our own day. The
massive ruins of the great triple-aisled basilica of Ayios Achilleios on the islet
named after him in Lake Small Prespa stand tall in a magnificent landscape.
The basilica was built in about 1000. The small church of Ayios Germanos, an early 11th century building in the village of that name, still preserves the second layer of its wall-paintings, executed in 1743. The rich tile decoration of the exterior of the late 13th or early 14th century church of Ayios Nikolaos near the village of Pyli is an astounding spectacle.
The hermitage of Panayia (Virgin) Eleousa, set in the mouth of a huge cave on the banks of Lake Great Prespa, lies on the very frontier of the Greek state. It is decorated with wall-paintings of 1410, works of primitive beauty. There are other monuments besides these, with 15th and 16th century painting.
By kind permission of:Ekdotike Athenon
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Macedonian Heritage URL below, which contains image.
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