The unique Geology and the characteristic Cycladian Architecture make Santorini one of the Most Beautiful islands of the World and a Top Destination in Greece!
A magic place
3,600 years ago, Santorini was a circular island, cone-shaped as usual volcanoes. It was then called Strongili “the circular one”. The island had been created during millions of years of active volcanism. Again and again, eruptions took place and the lava-stone caldera, ash and pumice kept own growing on the rock base. Still today there are some regions which have no volcanic origin, especially next to Profitis Ilias. This region is therefore much older than the volcanic rest of the island.
The Excavation of Akrotiri
In the southwest, there is the most important archaeological site of Santorini: the Greek Pompeii. It was first considered in 1867, when the French geologist Ferdinand Fouqué found prehistoric remains of a wall. Only a few years afterwards, other French geologists and the German Robert Zahn made more but piecemeal discoveries. Almost a hundred years had to pass until the sensational discovery of the wondrously conserved buildings, because spectacular discoveries at Crete distracted the scientists’ interest in Santorini.
Ancient Thera is situated on a foreland in the east of Santorini. A first settlement might have taken place before the 9th century. Remains from the 7th and 6th century have been discovered, but most of the ruins are from the Ptolemaic era. The excavation site is situated on the Mesavouno ridge. The Church of Agios Stephanos welcomes the visitor at the entrance. It was built on the remains of an early Christian basilica from the 5th century b.C. The Ptolemaic theatre, with space for about 1,500 spectators, has been redesigned in Roman times. The orchestra remains well recognizable.
The museum of Prehistoric Thera in Fira is considered as one of the most important museums in Greece. Its special contents are masterpieces of art in the prehistoric Aegean, such as the famous wall paintings and the unique gold ibex figurine. The museum houses finds from the excavations at Akrtotiri, conducted under the auspices of the Archaeological Society at Athens, the earlier excavations at Potamos, made by members of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens, and rescue excavations at various other sites on the island, carried out by the 21st Ephorate of Antiquities.