An important part of the cultural heritage of the region is the local traditional architecture. Today’s Prespa has a designated ‘traditional settlement’, Psaradhes and a ‘protected settlement’, Agios Germanos. In both villages there are buildings preserved that date mainly to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were built with stone, wood, soil and reeds, materials that people could easily find in their natural environment. Houses with large outdoor spaces on the first floor, gabled houses, and houses with large inner courtyards are the main architectural types found in the area.
The maintenance and renovation of these buildings can present problems, including an incomplete knowledge of traditional building methods and the fact that the cost of their restoration is often too high. The lack of guidelines for the correct renovation of traditional buildings without altering their character has been a serious inhibiting factor for their preservation. For this reason, residents often try to find their own solutions to repair problems or prefer to build new houses rather than renovate old ones.
For the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP), traditional settlements and buildings in Prespa are one of the most important cultural elements of the region. Thus, in the 1990s, within the framework of the European CADISPA project, the SPP commissioned a qualified architect to write two publications on the methods and appropriate ways of renovating traditional buildings. They contain a detailed description of the architectural types of the traditional houses of Prespa, instructions for their renovation and repair, as well as plans and dimensions of their special features.