Santorini, the island of contrasts

shutterstock 131774408 Santorini, the island of contrasts

Santorini, or Thera or Stroggyli, as it used to be called, is the southernmost Cycladic Island. It is actually a group of smaller islands consisting of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni. The island is most known because of its active volcano. It is probably the only volcano in the world, whose crater is in the sea. The eruption of the Santorini volcano, also referred to as the Minoan eruption of Thera, is allegedly the cause of the destruction of the Minoan Civilization.

The landscape of Thera, along with its archaeological sites Thera and Akrotiri, and the colorful beaches with the deep blue waters, that come in contrast with the little white houses, turned Santorini into one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide.

The pop art colour beaches in shiny white, furious red or deep black sand, the volcanic rocks formed from volcanic eruptions and scattered around the island create an imaginative and cinematographic landscape for the visitor, unique to the world!

The location of the island, a junction of commerce and communication between Crete and mainland Greece as well as its volcanic soil have defined the exceptional cultural development from the antiquity up to now. The ancient settlement of Akrotiri was one of the major cities and ports of the Aegean Sea during the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th century BC). However it was completely disappeared by the great eruption of Thera and brought to the light again during the excavations, led by Professor Spyridon Marinatos.

The buildings of Akrotiri, or the “Greek Pompeii” as it is called, are a unique example of impressive architecture. Magnificent frescoes decorate almost all the building complexes. The “Spring” fresco, as well as the “Saffron-Gatherers”, the “Potnia Theron” and  the “Antelopes”, are exquisite to the eye of the visitor, The “Boxing Boys” wall painting, the “Fisherman” fresco and “the Flotilla” wall painting are some of the oldest samples of monumental painting in the Hellenic world, which provide us with information about the history, the everyday and social life of Akrotiri inhabitants. They are also a living proof of the link to the Minoan Crete and other Greek islands, Continental Greece, as well as Egypt and Syria.

“Escape” to the beautiful beaches of Santorini, “dive” into the crystal waters of the Aegean Sea and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Visit Ancient Thera and the archaeological site of Akrotiri and admire one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. Walk through the narrow streets between the white houses of Caldera and try to find your own lost “Atlantis”. You will be in Santorini and you will feel for a moment that you are in the most beautiful place on earth!

Article by Museum Masters

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