Santorini and the rest of the islands that form the group of Cyclades in the Aegean Sea are known for their beauty and astonishing architecture. The Cycladic architecture is characterized by simplicity and grace, free from palaver and complex additions. It comes in proportion with the surroundings and the aura of the Greek islands. The architecture of Santorini likewise is accordant to the environment and the conditions of the island and tailored to the needs of its residents.

The first thing that catches your attention when you set eyes on a Cycladic island is the whitewashed houses, usually accompanied by blue doors and windows. The houses are evidently in absolute concordance with the light blue sky and the vast Aegean Sea. This harmony has been established many years ago for various purposes. Nowadays, these colors constitute the hallmark of Cyclades and represent Greece, as they also match its flag.

As for utility reasons, the white color of the houses is of paramount importance. The ideal climate of Santorini offers hot summers and the bright sun is present several months of the year. The inhabitants, in order to confine the heat in the interior to a significant extent, had to construct their houses accordingly. The white color reflects the biggest part of the dazzling light, preventing the houses from getting warm and that was a basic goal of the traditional architecture. Making the houses heat resistant, the summers are much more tolerable and pleasant.

According to historical sources, there is one more explanation to what led to the prevalence of the whitewashed houses. At the beginning of the 20th century, during the war, serious deceases, like cholera, plagued the Greek islands. Whitewash is a cheap, disinfectant material that was used regularly to limit the contagion. Back to that era, it was probably the most effective or even the only medium available for disinfection.

Regardless of the various reasons, white remained the dominant color and trademark of Santorini and Cyclades and creates an awe-inspiring spectacle. The island radiates a beaming light and so a sense of optimism, brightness and tranquility overwhelms visitors. The white color, especially in Santorini, complements the wild beauty, brings balance and is attuned to the details of other colors that simply highlight it.
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