SANTORINI

The island of Santorini is probably the most intriguing island of Greece. Simply its name is more than enough to unfold in mind stunning sunsets and scenery, white, red and black sand beaches, impressive traditional houses, balconies with view to the Volcano and lively night life. All the above, along with the remains of the antiquity and the myth of the Lost Atlantis justify the words which the tourists determine this wonderful island.

 

It was the time when the inhabitants of the old capital of the island, the castle of Skaros which was just underneath the village of Imerovigli, began to abandon it because it was heavily damaged by the earthquakes. In the early 19th century, Fira became the capital of the island, and had access to the sea through the port of Fira that is used until today mainly for cruise ships. Anyway Skaros today reminds nothing of the famous Upper Castle (Epano Kastro) fortified citadel, built in 1207 by the Venetian nobleman Giacomo Barrosi when he got Santorini island from Marco Sanudo. Barrosi had chosen an awesome location; pirates fought for years to conquer the city and usually they broke their heads on the citadel’s walls and the frightening cliffs.

 

Earthquakes during the years 1650, 1701 and 1711 (and after 1866 till 1870) did in Skaros all that damage that the pirates did not. And so the Catholic families fled slowly during the 17th century to build Fira city, at a better location; flatter, safer and without rocks falling on their heads. Skaros was finally abandoned during the 18th century. The houses literally evaporated, crumbled into stones that fell off the cliff. Today you can see traces them with tremendous difficulty. Only the tiny chapel of Agios Ioannis stands on the rock.