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21.05.19


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Fira


History

The name Fira is considered to be a corruption of the word Thera. The original site of the settlement was the Goulas (tower) of the Bozzi family. The tower had defensive battlements and embrasures above the entrance for the fear of invaders.

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According tο Dr Dora Monioudi-Gavala, in the 1745 drawing by Barskij, the Goulas appears, the name "Fyra" marked by him defines the place, but there is no settlement. In the position Fira takes place today, there used to be vineyards and kanaves (wine storing rooms), where wine was produced and where they lived during the summer.
In late 18th century, people from Skaros castle (the capital of the island until then), as well as from other castles and villages, resettled here. As I. Delendas comments "...Both populations, Orthodox and Roman Catholics, convened and agreed on the need of a new capital, a new city suitable to the novel demands life presented them with. They could not stay and, what is more, there was no reason any longer for their remaining secluded in towers and castles...Moreover, Fira's position is most recommended for the new city, due to the fact that it lies near the port through which the island communicates. Since the end of the 18th century Fira has ceased to the regarded as a simple settlement. Many comfortable for the time buildings have been constructed...The more progress Fira makes, the more Skaros becomes deserted. Everything in the old castle witness abandonment. From most houses floors, frames and whatever can be used elsewhere has been removed...".
The town belongs to the type of linear settlements, as it developed along a main axis towards the mouth of the Caldera, clustering around Catholic and Orthodox churches and monasteries according to the origin of the population but without any planning as far as quarters were concerned. Round the point where the circulation axis constructed with steps leading from the port to the town ended there was created a market place. The Catholics took up residence in an area called Fragomachalas (neighborhood of the Franks), in the north side of the village.
Buildings that stood in Fira until the 1956 earthquake dated back to late 18th century. That is when Vincentian, Lazarist, and Dominican monasteries were built, along with the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. According to Dr Dora Monioudi-Gavala "other important buildings were the orthodox Cathedral –Holly Virgin of Bellonias- the Archaeological museum, the building of the eye-hospital of Thera "St Barbara" and several dwellings. The social status of the owners of the latter led to differences in size, the multiplicity of space and the equipment that could be found either inside or outside them".

INFO

Prewar, Goulas housed Petros Delendas' exhibition of Theraic products.

Φηρά οικισμός - Ιστορία
Φηρά οικισμός - Ιστορία

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