Ioannina often called Jannena within Greece, is the largest city of Epirus,and also the capital city of Epirus, north-western Greece, with a population of 111.740 (in 2011). It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 meters above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis . It is located within the Ioannina municipality, and is the capital of Ioannina regional unit and the region of Epirus. Ioannina is located 450 km northwest of Athens, 290 km southwest of Thessaloniki and 80 km east of the port of Igoumenitsa in the Ionian Sea.
Founded by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, Ioannina flourished following the Fourth Crusade, when many wealthy Byzantine families fled there in the early 13th century following the sack of Constantinople. It was the capital of the Despotate of Epirus from 1358 to 1416, before surrendering to the Ottomans in 1430. Between 1430 and 1868 the city was the administrative center of the Pashalik of Yanina. In the period between the 16th and 19th centuries, the city was a major center of the modern Greek Enlightenment. Ioannina joined Greece in 1913 following the Balkan Wars.
The city has both a General and a University Hospital, and is the seat of the University of Ioannina (situated 5 km south of the city, with 17 departments and 20,000 students) as well as several departments of the Τechnological Educational Institute of Epirus, the headquarters of which are located in Arta.
The city's emblem consists of the portrait of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian crowned by a stylized depiction of the nearby ancient theater of Dodona