Pic­ture of the month

Santorini Traveler - - EDITORIAL -

Walk around vil­lages like Oia or Fira and dis­cover along the way the lit­tle shops that give colourful tones to the white tra­di­tional build­ings and paths.

The daz­zling white houses which con­trast against the deep blue of the sea in San­torini and the Cy­clades in gen­eral is cer­tainly an in­te­gral part of the set­tle­ments. The pic­turesque build­ings def­i­nitely en­sure low tem­per­a­ture in the sum­mer, as the white re­duces the heat inside. But, was it al­ways like this?

It seems that, since an­cient times, the is­lan­ders had color in their lives: the walls, var­i­ous con­struc­tions, even the fa­mous fres­coes of Akrotiri are full of color: blue, ocher, and gen­er­ally earthy col­ors. How­ever, dur­ing Me­taxas’ dic­ta­tor­ship, in the early 20th cen­tury, it was or­dered that all houses should be white­washed, mainly due to dis­eases preva­lent in those days, as the ma­te­rial lime was con­sid­ered suit­able for de­con­tam­i­na­tion. Shortly af­ter­wards, the image of the white house with the Aegean blue on the back­ground be­comes the Cy­clades’ trade­mark!

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