An interdisciplinary creative platform, a non-for-profit foundation, a traditional musical organs' workshop and an alternative summer school: what do all these establishments have in common, besides being located in Santorini? They have set their goals on learning all there is to know about this one-of-a-kind island and invite its visitors to share in the knowledge.
Housed in one of the most prominent villas in Fira, the Santozeum Museum is a unique example of an open, creative space that fosters dialogues between the arts, humanities and sciences in the local and international communities, connecting a global network of art professionals and academics with Santorini island.
The place itself is magnificent. The Santozeum Villa, almost destroyed by the 1956 earthquakes, has been renovated twice. Originally, the great Greek architect Constantinos Decavallas undertook to restore the villa to its original glory, by creating a sequence of open spaces, half carved into the rocks and half facing streets and pathways, opening up to spectacular views of the caldera. For the 2011 refurbishment, Swiss architect Jörg Stollmann opted to keep the private and public spaces separated, but encorporated a skyline and an electric installation of changeable light to allow the space adaptability. As a result, the Santozeum can now be used for housing, exhibitions, laboratories, seminars, even parties!
There are many interesting projects evolving each season at the museum, with “Ambient Santorini” remaining ongoing at any time. An integral part of Santozeum's mission, this project invites visitors and associates to relate to all the unusual and inspiring natural wonders of the island. Indicative activities include tracking volcanic movements, discovering the island's flora and fauna in relation to weather patterns and studying geological formations.
In Stollmann's words: “Santozeum is an ever changing space, in which ephemeral and eternal, everyday and extraordinary take place.”
Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00 (from May until October)
+30 22860 21722
Benefactors Loukas and Evangellos Bellonia created this non-for-profit foundation under their family name back in 1994 to support the needs of the island's research community. Bellonio has since evolved into one of Santorini's most prominent educational and cultural centres.
The foundation houses an impressive library, counting more than 35.000 titles covering all areas of human interest in general, as well as manuals on special subjects, focusing on Theran and Cycladic history and old rare books. All titles can be studied in the premises and most can be let out.
Every year, Bellonio hosts a fine art exhibition with works by Greek artists, in an effort to promote the public's appreciation of contemporary art. The Foundation also hosts conferences, seminars, workshops, theatre performances and concerts by local and international performers.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 – 15:00
Tuesday 11:00 – 19:00
+30 22860 24960,-2
Just minutes away from the archeological site of Akrotiri, La Ponta is housed in a 13th century Venetian Tower within the Akrotiri Castle. Its creator is an avid researcher and maker of the traditional folk music instrument 'tsabouna', a type of wind pipe simiral to the gaida.
When visiting La Ponta, one may marvel at the organ maker's skills and the authenticity of the instruments he creates. Besides the tsabouna, the in-house workshop also produces traditional percussions and flutes, as well as the cycladic folk drum 'doubaki', with a strong emphasis on sound quality, stability of pitch and aesthetic appearance. Most of the instruments produced are available for purchase.
Daily guided tours are organized to allow the visitors to explore the history of the tower and the origins of the tsabouna, attend a live interactive presentation of the organs produced in the workshop and learn about the technical differencies and techniques used by region (Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete).
If you happen to be around for one of their evening concert series “Sounds from the Castle”, you'll get the chance to watch all these traditional instruments in action, in one of the most idyllic concert spaces of the Aegean.
Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 14:00 & 17:00 – 20:00 (from April until October)
+30 22860 85374
The Hellenic Culture Centre is a private organization specialized in teaching Greek as a second or foreign language, promoting the Greek culture and developing linguistic and intercultural skills. They first started organizing summer schools on the island of Ikaria, then their headquarters were moved to Athens and their activity today reaches as far as Lesvos in Greece and Brussels in Europe.
Their popular Summer School is now held annualy in the village of Megalochori in Santorini. A team of experienced educators and specialized staff (philologists, linguists, translators) offer the students the chance to speak, sing, dance and participate in the cultural life of the island. There is choice between simple Greek language lessons, crash cources for beginners or the integrated programme of Greek language and culture, which dives into the rich local history, tradition, tastes and dances of Santorini.
+30 210 5238149