Visit Fira in Santorini Greece Part 1/2
Join Shepherd entertainment on a trip to visit Fira in Santorini Greece part 1/2
Visit Fira in Santorini Greece Part 1/2
When we talk about Greece, characteristic of white-washed houses appear in our minds. Each curve with the narrow winding alleys interrupted by stairs provides us with new wonders. The flat roof of each house forms the terrace of the one above offering a fascinating view of the incredibly blue surface of the Agean Sea. The blue screens, evoke the color of the cloudless sky. The long line of arch-squared houses is broken only by - Church or fetch window.
Some of the terraces are restaurants covered by arbors from where we can admire a beautiful sunset while sitting at the top side. The windows of the houses are alive with Regiranians. We can listen to bouzouki in cafes; smell the irresistible gyros in the windows of the buffets. And on the sea below, ships flow towards their unknown destinations. The sunshine, the salty flavor of the sea can be smelled, seagulls walk.
How many postcards, magazines, calendars, or films have transmitted this image so that we can recall the pictures of Greece almost effortlessly? These pictures however are not necessarily characteristic of Greece or the majority of the islands. This is a unique view of Santorini that offers that essence of Hellas. Those who have not yet visited this place have not seen Greece.
From an airplane, the all together 1425 islands of the Cyclades, Sporades, and Dodecanes look like shiny precious stones laid on velvet. The majority of the islands are similar to each other and they have different features. There are some which impress with a rich, lush, green floral, some with the amazing site of barren rocks. Some which are memorable due to their past, their real history or the mysterious legend is hidden in obscurity.
There are islands that tourists visit because of their classical buildings, monuments, and excavations and some that attract the visitors with busy, lively, exotic towns and friendly colorful harbors. A lot of people look for beaches, water sports, and the pleasures of an active holiday while others seek calm and peaceful rest. Some gird by gastronomy, some, by the beauty of nature.
It’s admirable that Greece can protect its traditions, uniqueness and the image of its settlements even in the crunch of 21st century treadmill-like the tourism. Such individuality is possessed by the island of Santorini or Fira. Because of its relative nearness to Crete, the big island, it is a fashionable destination for one day cruises. These are perfectly suitable for arousing the desire in tourists to spend more time here so the immediately consequence would be dispend the next one or two weeks summer holiday there.
The only 73 square-kilometer islands with 6000 inhabitants are situated in the Aegean Sea, a 120 kilometers north of Crete. As the excavation is in Akrotiri have proven the two islands had strong relations to each other even in Minoan Culture. The capital city of the island was built on the rising edge of the cliffs of Caldera. The appearance of the 18th century Roman Catholic Church, the Immaculate Conception built by Venetians interestingly mingles with the architectural motives of Greek orthodox and European churches. The decorated interior provides interested visitors with several attractions; crystal chandeliers, car valeters and beautiful frescos make it majestic.
Santorini was called “Strongyle” round and, “Çalıştay” beautiful in ancient times. Today only the latter exists. The once around the islands shriveled to a crescent shaped due to a volcanic eruption in Minoan Times. Where today, the sea shines in the bay of the crescent, an active volcano uses to stand frequently spiting lava and ashes. In the 15th century B.C., this active monument reached its high point and the volcano exploded. At that time, the mountain disappeared and the biggest part of the island sank creating the current form of Santorini.
Skala is the harbor of the capital city stretching 300 meters into the sea. Those who do not want to walk up the 587 stairs can choose to ride a donkey or to take the slightly more expensive cable railway. The ladder was built at the end of the 80’s by the donation of an elderly couple who lived abroad and has become the pride of Fira. Its structure is the same as the cabled railways operating in the Austrian Alps.
Pleasure boats leaving from the harbor of Skala take tourists mostly to southern and southeastern islands as well as the smaller and lesser known therefore intact island of the Cyclades. Castle arising above the harbor based on its form could even be a Myrakan or Saharan Fortress. In this way, it is largely different from the other buildings of the city.
In 1956, an earthquake seriously damaged the island. All the houses of Fira were built after this successfully preserving their original form. The little streets winding along the edge of the crater are framed by small snow white flat roof for barebellied to houses. Today, some tradition breaking the pastel and colored building also appear in some places.
The majority of the terraces are framed by wooden Ladas fences and decorated with sun umbrellas and flowers. The terraces of taverns, confectionaries and the restaurants offer an ever fascinating view of the water playing in different shades of blue and tiny little boats that seemed like toys. The medieval capital city of the island was Carros built on a steep piton above Fira and was later destroyed by an earthquake. Below the 14th century of Venetians ruins, their remains or forsaken monasteries can be seen.
Fira, established 1810 has merged with the two neighboring villages that Firostefani and Imerovigli. This long stretching settlement is the result of the amazingly fast development to the last 20 years. The tourist center of the island has been created here. Plenty of shops, banks, hotels, post offices, hospitals, and entertainment facilities have been built on the steep side of the Caldera.
Because of the dangerous of the earthquake, every house has to be built on a reinforced concrete base and none of them can be higher than three floors. The view from Fira opens off to two little island, Vallejo ca Marini and Nei Camirini in the middle of the Caldera which often emits smoke even today.
The archeological museum of the capital has gained its fame by exhibiting archaic vases and clay sculptures discovered during excavation of the Doric Era. Besides fossils of the Minos, we can see idle sculptures from Cycladic Times and Hellenistic embossments.
The excavated relics of Akrotiri that did not remained on the spot are kept by the national archeological museum in Athens. The building with the longest history of the city center, Megaron Gizi is in the old district of Kato Fira. The ethnic graphic exhibition which describes the history of the island in pictures, photos, traditional folk clothes and articles for personal use has been set up here.
The carpet weaving manufacture is established by Queen Frederica used to operate here. The most beautiful pieces that made here can still be admired. The name Imerovigli means ‘Day Guard’. Little towers operating with fire signal once guarded the island incase of pirate attacks. The most well known building of the settlement, the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple Of Malta was named for an icon from Malta.
The most interesting factor is however, the infrequently designed environment. The mixture of our artistically decorated snow white houses, terraces, and stairs that shine even in the Fira. We can find here of several little craft workshops manufactures of art galleries as if the cultural life of the island had centralized in this place.
The Bohemian-like little cafes and pubs enhanced this atmosphere. A certain part of luxurious hotels are under foreign authority as well as many of the luxurious apartments. One side of Fira Stefanie is the oldest monastery of the island, Agios Nikolaos that was built in 1651.
Visit Fira in Santorini Greece Part 1/2
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