Sep 22, 2014

The white of the Cyclades

The dazzling white houses which contrast against the deep blue of the sea in Santorini and the Cyclades in general is certainly an integral image of the settlements. The picturesque buildings definitely ensure low temperature in the summer, as the white reduces the heat inside. But, was it always like this?
It seems from ancient times that the islanders had color in their lives: the walls, various constructions, even the famous frescoes of Akrotiri are full of color: blue, ocher, and generally earthy colors. However, during Metaxas’ dictatorship, in the early 20th century, it was ordered that all houses should be whitewashed, mainly due to diseases prevalent in those days, as the material lime was considered suitable for decontamination. Shortly afterwards, the image of the white house with the Aegean blue on the background becomes the Cyclades’ trademark!