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Santorini – a Brief History

Santorini is an island located in south of Aegean Sea with an area of approximately 73 km2. It’s the largest island of a small, archipelago which has the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. It’s part of the Cyclades group of islands. This island was partially gutted by an enormous volcanic eruption on 1627 BC at the height of the Minoan civilization, which has left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash and  through a gigantic tsunami  110 km to the south may have caused the collapse of the Minoan civilization on Crete. . Some people think that the eruption of Thera is the source of the legend of Atlantis. A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km. On its fourth side the lagoon is separated from the sea by a smaller island called Therasia; the island is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest.The Latin Empire have given the name Santorini to this island in the thirteenth century, and is a reference to Saint Irene, from the name of the old cathedral in Perissa, the name Santorini is a contraction of the name Santa Irini. Before then, it was known as Thēra. In the nineteenth century the name “Thera “was given as the official name of the island,but some people also use the name Santorini

Its capital is Fira, located at the edge of the caldera gives a breathtaking view of the volcano. It’s full of traditional houses blended with the pretty venetian characteristics like the arches and vaults and the colorful stairs. The sunset at Fira is what brings so many people at the island. The two main museums of interest are the Archaeological Museum of Thera, and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera.

Santorini architecture is so impressive. White painted villages that stand on the top of the high red-coloured cliff, in complete harmony with its volcanic scenery. Santorini has been voted as one of the most beautiful islands of the world at the 2015 Travelers Choice Awards and at the Reader’s Choice Awards.

Santorini’s volcano

The Cyclades are part of the Cycladic Massif, formed during the Miocene period and metamorphosed 60 million years ago with the Alpine Orogeny. Thera is built upon a little non-volcanic basement which represents the former non-volcanic island (9 by 6 km). The basement rock is composed by metamorphosed limestone and schist. Santorini’s volcanism is due to the Hellenic Trench subduction in the south of Crete. The island is the result of repeated sequences of the volcano construction followed by caldera collapse. Santorini has erupted so many times, at least twelve large explosive eruptions which at least four were caldera-forming, with varying degrees of explosivity.

 

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