Facts about Santorini

27 facts about Santorini

Saint Irene island

Santorini is a magical island, part of the Cyclades archipelago located in the Aegean Sea. A small but impressive piece of land with breathtaking landscape and architecture.

The island is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth. Almost everyone recognizes characteristic white buildings, narrow streets and blue dome-shaped roofs, even people who have never visited the island recollect its features for sure. Santorini is a must-see for Greek couples or honeymooners, but tourists from other countries are also warmly welcomed.

Santorini is a volcanic island.
Together with four smaller islets (Tirasia, Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni, Aspronisi), it forms a small archipelago called Santorini, located in the Cyclades.
This Greek island is located 175 km (109 mi) southeast of the Greek coast in the Aegean Sea.
Modern Santorini originated as a result of a powerful volcanic eruption.
Around 1600 BC, the island, which was probably named Strongili at that time, was sunk due to a strong volcanic eruption. The volcanic explosion was so violent that it resulted in one of the world's largest calderas with a diameter of 10 km (6,2 mi). Only side fragments of the previous island remained.

The caldera is a huge depression in the top part of the volcano, resulting from a violent eruption destroying the upper part of the volcanic cone.
The island's capital is Fira, located on the west coast of the island, on a cliff rising to a height of 260 m (0,16 mi) above sea level.
Fira is a picturesque town on the bay, located on the caldera banks. It looks like it was carved out of a rock. It became the capital of the island in the 19th century.
Part of the traditional buildings of Fira was destroyed during the earthquake in 1956.
Luckily most of the historic buildings have survived to this day. The city is the administrative center of Santorini.
The name of the island of Santorini comes from the thirteenth century from the character of St. Irene.
Previously the island was called Kallisti, Strongili, Tera.
An advanced civilization lived on the island before the catastrophic eruption.
It was one of the oldest civilizations of the Bronze Age (Minoan, Cretan culture) in the Mediterranean. It began to rise around 3000 BC in Crete and peaked in the so-called period of younger palaces, around 1675-1450 BC.
Before the volcano eruption, an earthquake occurred. Scared inhabitants left the island just in time to avoid the worst.
The volcanic eruption caused significant damage to Crete, 110 km away, destroying Knossos Palace.
Researchers claim that the volcano's eruption in the 17th century BC and its collapse 300-400 m below the surface of the sea level caused a gigantic tsunami wave up to 200 m high.
Because of the explosion, a lot of ash escaped from the crater. Ash clouds obstructed sunlight to the entire Mediterranean region, about 300,000 km² (115 830.648 sq mi).
According to the hypothesis, the volcano ejected 60 km3 (14.39 cu mi) of magma from the crater.