Photographer's Note

The history of Santorini is closely linked to the geophysical characteristics of the island. The form and progress of the island throughout the centuries is the outcome of its intense volcanic activity, especially of the massive prehistoric eruption that left the island deserted for some centuries. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the first people to reach the island again were the Phoenicians in the 13th century BC, who gave it the name Kallisti (=the most beautiful) as they were mesmerized by its extraordinary beauty. About one century later, Dorians from Sparta settled in the island and they name it Thera after their king, Theras. During the 9th century BC, Santorini was a Dorian colony and the settlement of Ancient Thera in Mesa Vouno Mountain was its center. During the Byzantine years the island was embodied in the Byzantine Empire but it did not play a significant political or military role. Christianity first appeared on Santorini during the 3rd or 4th century AC when the first church was constructed, Episkopi of Thera that had its own bishop. After the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders of the 4th Crusade in 1204, Santorini and the rest of the islands of the Aegean Sea were under the rule of Marco Sanudo, who created the Duchy of Naxos. From 1579 to 1821 the island was under the Turkish rule and the Turks named it Dermetzik, which means small mill, probably because of the numerous windmills on the island. Santorinians were given a fair amount of autonomy but they had to pay a tax. During the Ottoman rule the piracy ceased and as a result the merchant navy developed when the island acquired its own fleet. Santorini was finally annexed to Greece in 1912.
Until the end of the 19th century Santorini had a flourishing shipping trade and the export of goods included cotton, textiles, agricultural products and, of course, its famed wine. This prosperity reached to an end in 1956, after a catalytic earthquake and a volcanic eruption that followed, which caused incalculable damage. Decline and desertion pervaded the island until 1970 with the introduction of the tourism industry, when the reconstruction of the island started and more and more people visited it. (from

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Additional Photos by Ecmel Erlat (ecmel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 127 W: 0 N: 241] (1710)
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