Souvenirs from Santorini, Greece
The splendid Santorini is located in the South of the Aegean Sea and is the largest island of the Santorini archipelago part of the Cyclades. The history of the island was shaped by one of the most devastating natural calamity ever to be recorded in Ancient history, a volcanic eruption which occurred 3600 years ago and is believed to have destroyed Crete’s Minoan civilization. Huge amounts of volcanic ash covered all human traces but created a caldera and a lagoon of unique splendor. Be charmed by Santorini’s rustic white houses, bright colors and rich flavors in a perfectly balanced landscape of mountain and sea. This magical beauty is now captured by a resin fridge magnet souvenir.
An Island’s Volcanic Birth
The caldera within which minor volcano eruptions created the small islands of Palea and Nea Kameni is a splendid natural structure offering ideal sunshine for a perfect holiday or photo session. The interior part of the volcano can also be reached by boat making this an unforgettable visit. The island was affected by another volcano eruption at the beginning of the 18th century and in 1956 strong earthquakes shattered the land once again. In 1967, local archeologists discovered a large system of Ancient constructions and roads in today’s Santorini’s Akrotiri, suggesting that this was a center of Minoan culture despite its location outside Crete. Preserved under enormous amounts of ash, the old town displayed beautiful frescos, sophisticated pottery and an advanced piping system. Akrotiri’s description resembles Plato's depiction of legendary Atlantis and may offer further suggestions that the myth of the lost land is actually the true story of the Minoans.
Santorini, a Land of Myth and Legend
The name of ‘Santorini’ was given by the Latin Empire officials in the 13th century to replace the old Greek Kalliste or Thera. According to historian Herodotus, after a seven year drought locals from the city of Thera went to Northern Africa to built new towns. In the 5th century BC, Thera refused to be part of Athens’ Delian League and during the Peloponnesian War it supported Sparta, Athens’ rival, the latter taking over the island in the end. During its Hellenistic era, the island of Santorini was used by the Egyptian ships and after a period under Roman administration, it became part of the Byzantine Empire. During this time, a written record mentions a volcano eruption around 727; in the Middle Ages, Santorini was colonized by the Franks and in the 13th century it was integrated in the Duchy of Naxos. The Ottoman Empire conquered the land in the 16th century and Santorini gained its independence at the beginning of the 19th century only to get back to its roots in 1830, when it united with Greece.
A Sunny Island of Contrasts
Santorini still keeps its charming traditional cubical houses with bright white stone walls and cool pumice extensions (called hypóskapha) built for storing precious wines from the grapevines of the island. But the real reason behind the color of Santorini’s famous houses is actually practical: it was used as a disinfector and also as protector against the powerful sunshine. Don’t forget to enjoy a glass of Santorini’s famous Aegean wine made of three unique types of grapes or the sweetness of Vinsanto, a dark amber colored wine which takes up to 25 years to release its gorgeous flavors of citrus, fruit and minerals. Visually the island is a superb mixture of colors and textures with white and blue set against the profile of a rocky landscape: a romantic inspiring paradise or simply an island of pure tranquility.