The Religious Architecture in the Island of Santorini from the Thirteenth Century up to the Twentieth Century

  • Katerina Ritzouli


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.


Religious architecture Santorini Venetocracy Cyclades Aegean Sea 


  1. 1.
    Vavatsioulas O (2007) The castle of Naxos. The Construction History (13th – 18th c.). Dissertation. National Technical University of AthensGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dimitropoulos D (2010) The Aegean islands during the transition from Latin to Ottoman sovereignty 15th – 17th c. Μ.Ι.Ε.Τ., Athens, p 33Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kokkalakis I (2013) Catholic Churches and Monasteries in Santorini 1600–2000, 2nd edn, G. Kokkalakis, Athens, p 25, 26–28Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ritzouli K (2016) The evolution of the architecture and building construction of Santorini from Venetocracy (1204) until the earthquake of 1956. Dissertation. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, p 80, 229, 331, 397Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Koumanoudis IN (1960) The vernacular ecclesiastical architecture of the island Thera. Dissertation. National Technical University of Athens, p 83Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katerina Ritzouli
    • 1
  1. 1.Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Service of Modern Monuments and Technical Works, Eastern Macedonia and ThraceDemocritus University of ThraceXanthiGreece

Personalised recommendations