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~ Santorini history 2 ~

~ by katherine & anastasios ~

Santorini was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions which affected the whole Aegean , all the way to Crete .
Originally , the island was named Kallisti ( the beautiful one ) and Strogyli ( the round one ) .
Many people inhabited the island , starting from the Pre-Hellenes , then the Phoenicians and the Dorians , who named the island Thira , after their King Thiras .
During the 16th century B.C. , the Minoans settled on the island , which became an important center of the Minoan civilization .
Around 1550 - 1500 B.C. a violent volcanic explosion caused the submergence of the central part of Santorini , creating a huge basin of 83 square miles , called the Caldera .
During the Persian wars , the island sided with the Athenian Alliance .
Later Santorini came under the rule of Sparta .
In the Byzantine Era and under the rule of Constantinople , Santorini adopted the Christian faith and appointed its own bishop and organized its Christian church .
In 1204 A.C. , after the Fall of Constantinople , the Venetians took over the island and it was during this time that the island was named Santorini , after Santa Irini .
In 1207 , Santorini was handed over to the Duke of Naxos and although it was taken by the Greeks for a short while , it remained under Venetian rule until 1579 , when the island came under Ottoman rule .
It had relative autonomy during this period , to the point that Santorini had an elected delegate who represented the Santorinians before the Turkish authorities .
The island finally gained its independence in 1821 and joined the Greek Republic in 1830 with the shining of the London protocol .
In 1956 , another severe volcanic eruption caused much destruction on Santorini , but the island has managed to re-build and to develop into one of the most popular and well-loved vacation spots in the world .
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