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Fair Atlantis

GREECE | Sunday, 4 July 2010 | Views [510]

Way down below the ocean, below the caldera and the sparkling waters of the Aegean lies the lost city of Atlantis…..so the story goes, as told by the ancient Greeks, and passed down from father to son, generation to generation, and  re-told by the famous philosopher Plato in about 375 BC.

He tells of a series of islands, 9 rings of water and land, and in the centre was a hill on which stood a city of red and black stone. Today Santorini (from the name of the island’s patron saint St Irene) grows vines and tomatoes amongst the red and black stone of its ancient hills.

The people of the legend were wealthy and content, and there were two beautiful temples, one surrounded by a golden wall and the other by a silver wall. There were gold pinnacles and a roof made of ivory.

Around 1450 BC a huge volcanic eruption caused this island to sink. All that was left were the surrounding walls of stone which formed the caldera admired today by visitors from near and far. The force of this eruption was so great that it created a tidal wave of 250m (820 feet) which travelled at a speed of 217 miles an hour.

It reached Crete in less than half an hour, and destroyed the great Minoan civilization thriving on the island. Many more volcanic eruptions occurred in the following centuries and destroyed much of the island in 1956. Re-construction began once again.

A buried city was discovered in 1967 - many archaeologists believe this city could be Atlantis. Work is still being carried out to find out more about these incredible ruins and the stories that lie buried with them.

Tags: atlantis, greek islands, santorini

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