Oia is a traditional village of Santorini and is the seat of Oia community. Oia is located 11 km away from Fira, Santorini's capital and dominates the northwest side of the island. Oia welcomes guests with a unique combination of colors and the magnificent landscape. The peculiar architecture (as explained below) causes the admiration of all the visitors and serves the most spectacular sunset all over the world. Find all the information you want below about Oia (or Ia) village to help you enhance your trip.
Traditionally Oia was a place of ship owners: for example in 1890, when the total population of the island was less than 2,500 inhabitants, in Oia was a small yard and 130 boats belonging to residents. The local merchant marine fleet is the main reason of the economic boom of Oia in the late 19th century to early 20th century, as well as growing transit trade of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The weather conditions of the island, the seismic environment, available materials and topography were the basic design parameters of the settlement. Due to the peculiarity of the volcanic soil of Santorini, the excavation ease of pumice slopes of the caldera and in torrents, but also protect the village from strong winds, local residents of Oia manufactured cave houses. The basic construction difficulty, even today, is to transport construction materials to the rocky points. The dominant design rules was the economy in every aspect. Thus, the special ergonomic scale of the settlement and housing in particular, is similar to the ships: low doors, narrow and steep stairs, tiny internal and external areas.The earthquake that took place in 1956 conducted extensive damage to buildings in linear cave along the caldera where the soil is generally more unstable and parts of the village were demolished to the sea of the caldera. Magnificent churches, such as St. George and Panagia Platsani completely destroyed. The villages were abandoned but gradually restructured later for tourist use and attractions.