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Rock-hewn buildings

"If according to Le Corbusier, architecture is the wise, right and wonderful game of assembled volumes under the light, then in the old settlements of Santorini you have one of the most authentic revelations of the power of architecture's creation. On this imperious island with a landscape marked by its great geological adventure, the roads, the houses the courtyards and all the other human residential elements compose unprecedented sculptural complexes, stereometrical formations where exquisite equilibriums of light appear during the day as if they were predesigned. And they are as many as the eye can see and count, flawless in their plastic perfection, with so much magic between them that you may forget for a moment and think that they are pictures of a fictional world, or creations of a modern artist working in the context of abstract geometry...".
Savas Kontaratos, architect, from the book "Santorini" by Michael Danezis/1971. Editor in chief Emm. A. Lignos.

Hewn vertically into the volcanic soil, these houses are narrow-fronted and built in the rocks without any foundations. Built areas are roofed by domes, or groin vaults in a kind of mould-cast structure. They are made of stone (red or black) and Terra Theraic (Theraic earth). These, along with lime, form a very strong plaster. The Theraic earth has insulating qualities, keeping rock-hewn houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In addition, this construction method allows for the creation of diverse, yet harmonious forms.
In the villages of the Caldera, private and public spaces are connected or even overlapping.
An old Cycladic saying goes: "Have a house to fit your needs and a small view of the fields". Thus, defying the incline of the rocky soil, rock-hewn houses try to fit it all: At the front is the parlour, while the bedroom is at the back, lighted and aired through the parlour. The separating wall has openings similar to the outside wall, i.e. a door in the middle, windows on the right and left and a lunette over the door. A small, low corner connected to the parlour forms the kitchen. In the old days, the toilet was out in the yard. The rest of the architectural elements, such as staircases and chimneys, are equally intriguing.
Rock-hewn houses are often identified with Oia; however, such structures can also be found in FinikiaVothonasKarterados, and Pyrgos.

Information was taken also from Kadio Kolymva's text about Oia/ Publication of the Community of Oia.

Αρχιτεκτονική - Υπόσκαφα
Αρχιτεκτονική - Υπόσκαφα



Έτος Γαστρονομίας 2013