The Religious Architecture in the Island of Santorini from the Thirteenth Century up to the Twentieth Century
The interesting history of Santorini after the Byzantine era and the diverse religious activities that took place in its grounds endowed the island with a unique ecclesiastical architecture. The Venetian era (thirteenth to sixteenth century) bonds Santorini to the Duchy of Naxos and leaves a legacy of a few but important samples of churches. Venetocracy is succeeded by the Ottoman era, a turbulent period, during which both catholic and orthodox Christians, despite the Ottoman’s prohibitions, express their power and spirituality with both impressive and humble temples. The idea of the Modern Greek state’s revival emerges after the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca in 1774 and is vividly expressed through the construction of imposing orthodox churches. These activities take place at the same time with those of the missionary orders which import a radiant religious architecture in the heart of the island. The aim of this paper is the study and documentation of Santorini’s ecclesiastical architecture and construction evolution by means of (a) the division of the long period between 1207 and the twentieth century in the Venetian, the Ottoman, and the Modern Greek period, (b) the in situ visit and documentation of the existent churches of the island, (c) the gathering of written resources (pictures, drawings), and (d) the historical documentation of each church under study. All the religious buildings have been analyzed in terms of their architecture. The results of this study offer a panorama of Santorini’s religious architecture, which vividly imprints the island’s religious and social history.
KeywordsReligious architecture Santorini Venetocracy Cyclades Aegean Sea
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