City Orientation Tour in Thira

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1 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 1 - City Orientation Tour in Thira The Santorini Island is a true wonder in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. A catastrophe that erased the Minoan civilization gave birth to this truly unique and beautiful place. Thanks to its beauty, this destination is very popular among international celebrities; it was even chosen as the main stage for some Hollywood movies. Although known throughout the modern day world as Santorini, the island's official name is Thira or Thera. Guide Location: Greece» Santorini # of Attractions: 8 Tour Duration: 2 hour(s) Travel Distance: 4.5 km Please note: This walk is also featured in the ios app "GPSmyCity: Walks and Articles with Offline Maps" on itunes App Store and the Android app "Santorini Map and Walks" on Google Play. The apps provide GPS navigation to guide you from one tour stop to the next, so you will never be lost. The apps offer additional walking tours in Santorini. Check them out! GPSmyCity offers self-guided walking tours in over 1,000 city around the world. Please visit gpsmycity.com for more walking tour offers. List of attractions included in this self-guided walking tour: A) Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi B) Catholic Cathedral of Santorini C) Archaeological Museum of Thira D) The Old Port E) Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral F) Museum of Prehistoric Thira G) Nte Sigala Street H) Folklore Museum of Santorini Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 1 -

2 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 2 - Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 2 -

3 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 3 - A) Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi (must see) Housed in a seventeenth century mansion that formerly belonged to the Venetian family Gyzi, the Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi features a rich collection of objects that reflect local life from the fifteenth, sixteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. It was founded in 1980 by the Catholic Episcopate of Thera. Among the treasures visitors will enjoy there are fifteenth century engravings that depict Cycladic landscapes, private documents from the Catholic Episcopate of Thera archives, pictures from the 1930s through the 1950s by photographer Vikentios Pintos, geological findings, and paintings from well-known Greek artists. The centre hosts concerts, theatrical performances, and films. It is also home to exhibitions, such as the Greek Orthodox Katerina Ioannido Icons Workshop. One of the most prominent events that take place at the centre is the International Piano Recital. The best time to visit is during the Megano Gyzi Festival, which occurs annually in August. The event features a series of music concerts, art, painting exhibitions, and theatrical performances. For those who wish to take a little bit of the Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi home with them, the local museum shop sells replicas of the many books, photography albums, art, and lithographs. Operation hours: May 1 - October 31: Monday - Saturday: 10:30 am - 1:30 pm; 5 pm - 8 pm; Sunday: 10:30 am - 4:30 pm Address: The Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi, Thira, Santorini, Greece Image Courtesy of The Cultural Centre MEGARO GYZI B) Catholic Cathedral of Santorini (must see) One cannot help but notice the beautiful and grand churches and cathedrals that decorate the landscape of the island, known as Thira or Thera. They are as much part of the community as are the many lava remnants. The Catholic Cathedral of Santorini is a handsome and unique place of worship. Its peach exterior contrasts with the many white and blue domed churches that dot the landscape of this quaint, yet beautiful town. It Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 3 -

4 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 4 - was built in the seventeenth century by the Jesuit monks, missionaries of the Apostolic Order. Santorini has experienced a lot of seismic activity throughout its existence. An earthquake in 1956 completely destroyed the previous church. The house of worship, that we enjoy today, was restored and opened in You will be impressed by the exquisiteness of the structure with its magnificent clock tower and accompanying bells. Once you enter the place of worship, you will find the confessional that is located to the side. The interior is eye-catching and features blue, orange, and cream accents throughout the building. A striking chandelier hangs below a religious painting, which is featured on a domed ceiling, and spectacular arches border the framed portraits of religious figures. Located on an island that the crusaders visited, the cathedral is simply stunning. Address: Catholic Cathedral of Santorini, Thira, Santorini, Greece Image Courtesy of Flickr and David Spender C) Archaeological Museum of Thira (must see) No one can deny the richness of Greek culture or the influence it has had on the civilizations of the world. Western philosophy, art, science, education, and sports all have roots in ancient Greece. The Archaeological Museum of Thira is an exhibition hall that features sculptures and inscriptions from the Archaic to the Roman periods. When you visit, you will take a trip back in time and experience history at its finest. It also has a collection of vases and clay figurines from the Geometric to the Hellenistic periods. The gallery was established in 1902 by the Ministry of Public Works. In 1960, the building was reconstructed to replace the structure that collapsed during the 1956 earthquake. Although not as stunning as the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the museum is nonetheless special and interesting. What makes the gallery unique is that its vast and fine collection comes from excavations on the island. Some of the most important items from the museum s exhibitions include the Theran Amphora with Geometric Decoration, the Volcanic (Trachyte) Boulder, the Upper Part of an Archaic Funerary Kouros, the Torso of an Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 4 -

5 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 5 - Archaic Funerary Kouros, the Clay Daedalic Figurine, and the Attic Black-Figure Kylix. Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 8:30 am - 3 pm Address: The Archaeological Museum of Thira, Thira, Sartorini, Greece Image Courtesy of Flickr and Zaqarbal D) The Old Port The Old Port was formed by volcanic activity in 1650 BC. It used to serve all of Santorini until the Athinos Port was established. The nautical haven is a harbour for cruise ship travellers, while the other harbour handles ferry and commercial boats. Originally, the only way one could reach the harbour was by travelling the hundreds of steps that lead to it. The most affordable way to travel to Old Port, in first class style, is by the Blue Star Ferry. The trip will take nine hours. Passengers will be picked up from the transport and delivered to their destination by smaller vessels, since cruise ships do not anchor at the harbour. The waterfront has many shops, restaurants, and taverns that you will enjoy. The best way to travel to the top is by cable car, which takes no more than five minutes and offers a pleasant view of the area. Donkeys, a tradition from the past, are also available for those who are afraid of heights. For the truly fit, a hike up the mountain s 580 steps is a healthy adventure. During the summer months, tours are offered to the nearby volcano and hot springs. The spot is a popular destination, with an average of 80,000 visitors travelling through the port each day. Address: The Old Port, Thira, Santorini, Greece Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Yoo Chung Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 5 -

6 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 6 - E) Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral (must see) Greek Orthodox churches are known for their detailed design, distinctive iconography, and beauty. When you enter a house of worship, you will feel as if you have stepped into a world of vibrant colour and light that is accented by icons, art, and stained glass. The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Fira, also known as the Church of Ypapantis, was originally built in the nineteenth century by M. Bellonia in The house of worship, that we see today, was rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of Beautiful white arches and arcades decorate the building that sits atop a cliff. The pièce de résistance is the white dome that tops the building and the bell tower. The building is a prominent landmark that can be seen by all from many other Santorini landmarks. Two works of art that one should view, when they visit, are the frescoes by local artist, Christofores Assimis, and the beautiful mosaics, added to the building in The place of worship is often the site of weddings for local and international couples. Accommodations, close to the cathedral, include the Santorini Island Hotels, the Panorama Studios and Suites, the Pantelia, the Anemomilos Villa, the Blue Angel, the Reverie Traditional Apartments, the Vallas, the Golden Star, the Pavlina, and the Evgenia. Address: The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, Thira, Santorini, Greece Image Courtesy of Flickr and David Spender F) Museum of Prehistoric Thira (must see) The Museum of Prehistoric Thira allows an individual to take a step back in time to explore ancient civilizations. The exhibition hall s collection comes from excavations of ancient Akrotiri and other sites around the Aegean Islands. If you have a strong interest in prehistoric history, this is the place for you. The exhibition hall opened in The museum s collection is organized into four areas, research, geology, the history of the island from the early 17th century BC, and the mature Late Cycladic I period. Although the gallery is very small, it manages to present an interesting mix of artifacts. Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 6 -

7 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 7 - Pottery cups, plant fossils, jewelry, jars, marble figures, and plaster casts of furniture, household equipment, tools, and weapons are some of the many items that you will see when you visit. Two recommend items to not miss are the frescoes, that show Minoans gathering saffron stamens from blooming crocuses, and the painted swallows, who migrated to the cliffs each year. Other impressive items include wall paintings of the Ladies and Papyri and the Blue Monkeys. For those who wish to visit more than one museum, it is recommended to purchase a special access ticket. The voucher will allow you free entry into three additional museums. Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 8:30 am - 3 pm Address: Museum of Prehistoric Thira, Santorini, Greece Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Olaf Tausch G) Nte Sigala Street (must see) Thira is famous for its small stores, boutiques, workshops, souvenir and gift shops. This neighborhood is teeming with venues that offer unique handcrafted masterpieces or cheap souvenirs. Multitudes of postcards and souvenirs of all kinds can be found almost anywhere on the streets of this neighborhood in Thira. Address: Nte Sigala Street, Thira, Santorini, Greece Image Courtesy of Flickr and Klearchos Kapoutsis H) Folklore Museum of Santorini The Folklore Museum of Santorini is a six room exhibition hall that allows visitors to have a glimpse of life as it was in the early twentieth century. It was established in 1974 by journalist Emmauel A. Lignos and is located in Fira at Kontohir in a cave that was built in Although the museum is small, it contains a lot of historical data. Visitors will enjoy the traditional winery complete with treading vats, barrels, wine press, linens and utensils. There is a garden with a seating area and a cavern that shows evidence of volcanic activity. The historical archive Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 7 -

8 Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 8 - contains valuable manuscripts, costumes, embroidery, lithographs, marriage contracts, rare photographs, and other items. The front room of the museum is preserved the way the previous owner left it and is complete with furniture, decorations, and other items in use at that time. The gallery also has an exhibit of traditional workshops for carpenters, barrel makers, shoemakers, and tinsmiths. In addition, the Agios Konstantinos Chapel contains artwork from popular artists, Nikos Hatzikiriakos - Gikas, Panagiotis Gravalos, Paris Prekas, and Valias Semertidis. Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 4 pm Address: The Folkore Museum of Santorini, Thira, Santorini, Greece Image Courtesy of Flickr and joaoa Copyright by GPSmyCity.com - Page 8 -

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