Also called Ipsous, Stemnitsa is one of the most beautiful towns in southern Greece, wondrously perched 3,444 feet above sea level amid a forest of fir and chestnut trees. For centuries the stone village was one of the Balkans' best-known metalworking centers, and today a minuscule school is still staffed by local artisans. Above the lively square rises the bell tower of the church of Ayios Giorgios, and at the top of a nearby hill is the monument to fighters in the 1821 War of Independence against the Turks. Stemnitsa, in fact, claims to have been the capital of Greece for a few weeks in 1821, when it was the center for rebels who successfully routed the Turks. The views throughout the town are phenomenal, and at night the village lies beneath a canopy of bright stars.
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