buildings in santorini

i’m sure many people in the world have seen the characteristic buildings of santorini somewhere in magazines, instagram, television, or other media. they may not be exclusive to only santorini, but the first time i saw the sort of building was in a travel magazine several years ago. since then i have always remembered that photo from time to time.


a scattering of buildings on the steep cliffs of oia, similar to what i saw in that said magazine.

monasteries in kamari, where my hotel was located

during the tour of the santorini caldera, our tour guide told us why the buildings were mainly white and blue. there aren’t necessarily any rules on what colors they HAVE to be. in the days before electricity, the white walls would reflect the moon at night, providing light for residents to find their way home. the blue paint for the roofs were actually quite expensive–as one of the ingredients of the paint included silver–and are seen on many of the monasteries.


a monastery in firaフィラの修道院

i was intrigued to see some foundations of buildings while riding the bus. thira’s tourism industry is still new and building at a rapid pace. i had visited at the very beginning of the tourist season and some hotels were still closed, preparing for the coming months. i saw many foundations that will become hotels (or homes and/or stores) as well. on the cliffs of fira and oia, there were many constructors working on hotels there, also.


whether it was mid-construction pre-season, some almost look abandoned (see the photos below). unlike the concrete and steel grid foundations of skyscrapers in booming cities, these foundations are so basic, simple, clean, and even aesthetically pleasing–my father is an architect and it seems that i have taken a liking for geometric shapes.