The Houses Of Santorini

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A distinct feature of Santorini is its traditional architecture that varies featuring an unusual freedom of expression, since different building types are found depending on the area. The island’s terrain peculiarity allows the existence of caved houses with land being cultivated over them or others hanging over the cliffs of the caldera, usually built so close to each other that it’s not quite visible where one house ends and the other one begins. From Foinikia and Oia, to Imerovigli, Pyrgos and Akrotiri, the unbreakable bond of the island and the sea is obvious, featured with low doors, steep and narrow stairs as well as small spaces just like the boats of local captains. Besides the ergonomics, the villagers’ daily activities led to the construction of several house types, one of which is the farm house. It’s usually found at the borders of a village or in meadows, featuring a large yard and a series of auxiliary spaces around it such as a stable, an oven, a chickens’ pen and a basin. The latter existed in every house in order to collect rain water since this is a dry island. Next, is the urban folk house that is found in the densely populated center of Santorinian villages, it has an irregular shape with different levels for space economy, of which the proper function and access requires an exquisite constructive resourcefulness. The manors are also found in central regions, featuring Renaissance origins dating back to the 19th century. They are two-storey square houses with elaborate decorations and nice, stone-fenced yards, mainly found in Pyrgos along with captains’ houses. Finally, there are the caved houses, built underground and featuring a narrow forefront and deep structure. They have a front space for the day quarters and a back space for sleeping as well as a wagon ceiling for temperature preservation, a roof light for ventilation and the ability to cultivate the land over the house. So, explore this island where each side has something different to offer.

Article by John Makrynoris

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