Zalongo Memorial

Above the village of Kamarina, known for its wild forest, and not far from the archaeological site of Kassopi, stands the historic rock of Zalongo. It is the historical site where, in 1803, 63 Souliot women with their children danced their way to their death, falling off the cliff, because they did not want to be captured by the men of Ali Pasha (1788-1822), when Souli finally surrendered after years of fighting.

In honour of these heroines, who chose death over disgrace and misery, a memorial was erected at the top of this cliff as a symbol of commemoration and self-sacrifice. This monument was placed there in 1961, a work by sculptor Georgios Zongolopoulos and architect Patroklos Karantinos. The renowned sculptor managed to articulate the dance which was connected with salvation, love of freedom, and struggle for life. Holding hands as they did in dance, the female figures gradually grow in size, becoming gigantic at the edge of the cliff, thus becoming huge, heroic figures, eternal symbols of sacrifice and love of freedom, a love for which they did not hesitate to sacrifice not only their own life but also the life of their children.

The monument, 18 m long and 13m high, is on a stone base on top of which the six gigantic abstract female figures of the Souliot women have been placed. The figures are made of reinforced concrete, lined with about 4,300 limestone blocks, 50x30cm, of off-white color.

A great number of visitors arrive each year to pay tribute to these heroic women who have passed into eternity as symbols of self-sacrifice and free spirit. In memory of their sacrifice, on the second Sunday of August every year, a celebration takes place in Kamarina, “Zalongia”, with visitors from around the country.

The monument is near the settlement of Kamarina, about 29 km from Preveza. Access to the top of the cliff is by a stone-paved path of about 400 steps, which starts at the Monastery of Agios Dimitrios, near the archaeological site of ancient Kassopi.