History of Santorini
Santorini emerges from the depths of the sea and is called “Stroggili” (round in Greek) because of her shape. In the 3rd millennium BC a city with a commercial port develops at Akrotiri. Following a perion of social and economic flourishing, earthquakes and a big volcanic eruption (ca 1600 BC) totally destroys and buries the city.
In the late 13th c. BC Santorini is re-inhabited by the Phoenicians and later on by the Lacedaemonians (8th c BC) who gave her the name “Thera”.
The Ptolemies in the Hellenistic Times use Thera as their headquarters during war, whereas during the Byzantine Times, Alexios Komninos founds the Chrch of Pangia Episkopi (11th c AC) which is still standing at Mesa Gonia.
After the Crusades, Thera gets intergraded in the Duchy of the Aegean Sea. The Venetians gave her the name of “Santorini” deriving from “Santa Irini”, the Church of Saint Irene.
During the Turkish Occupation (1579-1821) Santorini becomes a commercial port, connecting to the ports of the Eastern Mediterranean. The integration of Santorini to the newly established Greek State (1830) signals a new period of commercial prosperity. The World Wars of 20th century and the destructive earthquake of 1956 leads Santorini to decline and depopulation.
At the end of the 1970s the growth of tourism brings the island back to life and to the top of the biggest travel destinations of the world. Santorini welcomes every year more than 1.500.000 tourists from all over the world.