Karpenisi, Greece

Population: 10,100

Area: 22.79 sq mi

Leadership: Mayor, Nikos Souliotis (New Democracy)

Although Asheville and Karpenisi have been sister cities since 2004, the connection between the two goes back some 60 years or more, as inhabitants of Karpenisi and the surrounding villages settled in Asheville, drawn by the mountainous terrain and climate that so resembled their original home.

These original immigrants have made a huge contribution to Western North Carolina, especially in bringing Greek food to our area. In 1958, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church was built as the Greek community in Asheville continued to grow  – there are now over 100 families in Asheville of Greek descent with 80% having ties to Karpenisi – and to this day retains many Greek traditions, offered to the Asheville community at large in the Palm Sunday and Mothers’ day lunch annual Greek Festival in Montford in September.

  • Karpenisi is the capital of Evrytania in Central Greece.
  • Ruggedly beautiful mountain region, and is known as the “Switzerland of Greece” since it boasts abundant snow in winter and hosts an impressive ski resort.
  • Because of its relative remoteness, the town is far better known to Greeks seeking winter sports than it is to non-Greek tourists, and as such, it is full of the warm hospitality to xeni (strangers) that is so typical of traditional Greece.
  • The area is well-known for its local meat, honey, grapes and organic products.
  • In 1991, the area was named a UNESCO Research Site for being one of the most environmentally clean locations in all of Europe. Karpenisi is considered to have “a zero pollution rate.”

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