+ Cycladia | History of Santorini Greece



Santorini Island names

Santorini was originally named:"Kallisti" because it was considered as one of the most beautiful island of Cyclades.

Afterwards, the island was called “Thira” : the name of Thebes’ hero who left Sparta where he was reigning to settle in Santorini with a group of noblemen. Nowadays, the main town of the island has kept this name.

Before the earthquake, Santorini’ shape was particularly rounded and most of inhabitants would call it “Strogylli” meaning the round shaped.

Today, the island’s shape looks like a croissant, showing clearly the new contours created by the Volcano’s eruption 1600BC.

Santorini’s Island actual name derived from Santa Irini, the Latin name of Agia Irini Byzantine church.

The Minoan Civilization

The Minoans Civilizations turned Santorini Island into the greatest center of the Minoan Civilization and built the Minoan Settlement of Akrotiri.The Akrotiri is known as the Lost Continent of Atlantis, were lived Santorini’s most influential early inhabitants, followed by the Island’s occupation by Dorians, Venetians and Turks.

The Volcanic Eruption

Around 1600 BC, a colossal volcanic eruption, amongst the most powerful in the world’s history, completely destroyed and sunk the center of the Island, creating the Caldera and changing the history of Santorini forever since it is believed that it destroyed the Minoan Civilization.

It has been said that after the eruption, the island was uninhabited for nearly two centuries. Santorini Island was integrated to the newly established Greek State in 1830, a date that marked the beginning of a new and prosper commercial era.

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