The Ruins of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini
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The history of a place tends to have a double vision: on the one hand, it is the history of the people who lived there and their achievements; On the other hand, it is the history of the place itself.
Santorini has a very rich history in both parts. It is the cradle where a civilization was born, a civilization so advanced that it perplexes us, even after 3700 years. But it is also a constant evolution of the earth, which was born, has died and has come back to life several times.
It is not by chance that this land has been related to several myths and legends and that, for some scholars, has been associated with lost Atlantis.
Like Pompeii, Akrotiri has been perfectly preserved under volcanic debris. But Akrotiri has been forgotten, while Pompeii was a prosperous Roman city. Akrotiri was a close ally of the Minoan culture in Crete, which flourished about 3.500 years ago.
The remains are impressive: two and three storey houses, pleasantly decorated with mural paintings, witnesses of a prosperity that has only recently returned to Santorini. In addition, the city was built by the sea, showing that people enjoyed a security that subsequent generations have lacked for thousands of years. The high level of development reached by these people more than three millennia ago is truly impressive.
The city is being rebuilt from the cataclysm that happened in the 17th century BC, but the discoveries show that the site was occupied from the Middle Neolithic period (in the middle of the fifth millennium before Christ). Only the 3% of the site has been excavated so far. Many of the site's glorious remains can be visited in the Museum of Prehistory Thira in Fira (8.30 to 14.30, closed on Mondays).
The tickets cost 5 euros and you can take pictures without flash throughout the excavation. If you want to take a flash or video you must request a permit. For get to the ruins, you have to do it from the village of Akrotiri or Red Beach.