The history of Santorini is not just the history of people. It is the history of a place which has the unrealistic distinction of constantly evolving and taking shape by itself.
History of Santorini
In order to understand this, try thinking back an Aegean with Cyclades but without Santorini. Then imagine the island one day emerging from the seabed, rising, drying out and gradually being inhabited to become the home of a major culture.
Next, picture another day on which half the island founders, taking its people and their achievements with it inder the ashes and the waves. When the turmoil dies down, new inhabitants come to the island, give it a name of their own and start again from the beginning . Now imagine another island rising from the sea, little by little, and taking the place of that which shank.
The history of Santorini is the history of a place which is not to be taken for granted and whose map must, from time to time, be scrapped and redrawn from the start. The first inhabitants of Santorini were pre- Hellenes who arrived around 3.000 BC.
The influence from Minoan Crete became clear when the excavations at Akrotiri began and an entire settlement with two - storey houses containing wall paintings similar to those of Minoan palaces, was revealed beneath a thick layer of volcanic ash.
When this settlement was built, the island was called Calliste (Most Charming) or Strongyle (Round) because of its shape - the volcano had not yet begun its catastrophic upheavals.
During the 13th Century there was a Venetian occupation on the island.
The Venetians fortified 5 different places on the island with Imerovigli as the capital. They chose Imerovigli because it is the highest point of the Caldera.
There is also a strange rock formation in the front of the village, called Skaros. Here is where they built their strongest of the five castles. The castle was destroyed in 1956 during a terrible earthquake that registered 7.8 on the Richter scale.