Oia

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Oia is a community on the island of Thera, Santorini, in the Cyclades, Greece. Population 1,230 (2001). Along the cliff of Oia, houses have been delved into the porous volcanic rock (left over from a large volcanic explosion many years ago that sunk the center of the island). Parts of these houses are visible and the scenery that results from it is generally perceived as being typically Greek. The town is noted for its picturesque architecture, unique for its blend of relatively large (for the town's space) medieval Venetian houses (dubbed "kapetanea" gr: "καπετανέα" -- as they belonged to the captains) with small incave village homes, called "yposkafa" (gr: "υπόσκαφα", caved-in) which were the housing form of the rest of the town's population. This is a reminiscent of the age of Venetian rule over the island. Other attributes of this era are the large Catholic population as well as the medieval fortifications to protect from pirates. To this day laws protect the natural and architectural beauty of the town from modern manifestations, such as public electrical wires. Oia remains one of the foremost tourist attractions of the Aegean Sea. The famous Oia sunset, considered by many as one of the most beautiful in the world, keeps tourists flocking down to the castle, waiting for the moment when the sun slips down on the calm sea of the caldera. Tourists are often told that the fishing docks at Oia are the oldest continually used docks in the world, supposedly being in service for 3000 years. While an interesting bit of tourist trivia, no evidence is supplied to validate the claim. In 2004, it was used for the location of a few scenes in the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

 

 

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Taken on July 30, 2007
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