Architecture in the Aegean

Architecture in the Aegean

Architecture in the aegean sea

The Aegean Islands are quite well-known around the globe thanks to its Mediterranean weather, which makes them a perfect destination for holidays the most part of the year, and their stunning beaches of clear sand and bright blue waters. 

But apart from the incredible natural surroundings of the islands, home to many digital nomads and bloggers who live there but work online, the great gastronomy, and welcoming locals, their unique architecture is also quite famous around the world.

It is so singular that many myths and stories try to explain the origin of these curved buildings.

Some say that the wind was so jealous of the curved forms the sea had built in the shore that he tried to do the same with the human constructions. Others think it was the gods who created those forms, while others say that the locals understood that there were no straight lines in nature and that they wanted to camouflage themselves with the surroundings.

There is no way to prove these stories right or wrong, so all we can do is enjoy the beautiful scenery of Gaudi-like building lines we have ahead.

Architecture characteristics

The towns were built without an urban plan, so the distribution of the buildings is more intuitive than any other thing. Builders tried to take the most out of the limited space they had in mind while joining the buildings with the forms of nature.

Nevertheless, we can’t say there is a unique and homogeneous architectural style in every single one of the different islands. Although they share the basic characteristics, each island’s architecture has its own particularities, motivated by their own history, nature, resources available, landscapes and so on.

Beauty resides in simplicity and variety

The Aegean Island is also known as the Cyclades because they form a perfect circle in whose center there is the island of Delos, the land of Milk Thistle, the therapeutic herb. Those who decide to visit the Cyclades are astonished when they discover every single island is a unique universe.

From the caves of Santorini or the tile-roofs of Kea and Kythono to the traditional settlements of Tinos and the towers of Naxos. Every one of the islands has its own local architecture that can’t be compared to any other, although they do seem to share their love for curved lines.

And if we are going to talk about the differences among the islands, it is worth mention the peculiarities of the Eastern Aegean Islands. They are farm from the Archipelagos and far from their neighboring islands, so they have developed a bit differently.

Some of the most remarkable architectural pieces of these islands are their oil houses, which were built during the first years of the industrial period. Most of them show a neoclassical style. It is worth mentioning as well as the great number of medieval castles that crown the islands, and the stunning mixture of the Byzantine and modern architectures.

Talking about the origin

In its origin, Aegean settlements chose places near the coast. Nevertheless, the menace of being attacked by the pirates was very high living by the sea, so people moved their houses to the inside of the island. The normal structure of the Mycenean period was a circle of houses around a castle, forming a second protective wall. In many cases, this protective wall made out of houses was due to the lack of space of the islands, which made locals build their houses very close to one another.

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