History of Oia

Oia is a place with a long and rich history. The turn of the century is considered to be the time of the peak of its prosperity, and its economy was largely based on maritime trade – many owners of merchant ships lived in Oia.

TIMELINE

the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries
Oia is first mentioned in numerous travel diaries from this period
the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries
the end of the 15th century
during the Venetian rule, the castle of Agios Nikolaos in Oia was built (one of five similar on the island) - more information: Castle of Agios Nikolaos in Oia
the end of the 15th century
1579
The Duchy of Aegean (and with it Oia) was transferred to the Turks. Oia has been plagued by pirate attacks for decades
1579
1650
outbreak of the underwater volcano Columbo (located northeast of Oia). Its volcanic activity, eruptions, ash bursts and the earthquakes that followed it lasted for two months
1650
16th - 19th century
Oia was marked on the maps as Apanomeria (Greek Απανωμερία)
16th - 19th century
late 19th century
The economic boom of Oia
Ships from Oia sailed throughout the Mediterranean, North, Black and Red Seas, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, sailing out of the Strait of Gibraltar. Traded with Western Europe, Russia, as well as the Middle East and Africa. The sea trade route between Alexandria and Russia played a particularly important role. One of the exported good was inland produced wine (among others to France). In 1890, Oia had about 2,500 inhabitants and about 130 sailing ships, making it the third city with the largest fleet in all of Greece. The port was in Armeni. - more information: Armeni Bay
late 19th century
the beginning of the 20th century
a gradual decline in the importance of Oia, caused by the economic crisis, wars, and increased emigration of the local population. Maritime trade declined mainly due to the popularization of steam ships and the gradual increase in the importance of the port of Piraeus
the beginning of the 20th century
July 9, 1956
an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale destroyed a significant part of the town (the epicenter of the shock was just in the northern part of the island of Santorini, where Oia lies). Among others, the Castle of Agios Nikolaos, the churches of Panagia Platsani and Agios Georgios as well as many residential buildings collapsed. Some have not been rebuilt to this day
July 9, 1956
1960s and 1970s
mass emigration of local people, mainly to Piraeus and Lavrio
1960s and 1970s
the 1980s
the gradual increase in the importance of Oia as a tourist attraction and the return of residents who had previously emigrated to other regions of Greece. The Greek Tourism Organization had undoubtedly contributed to the restoration of Oia's splendor, thanks to the efforts of which several dozen traditional buildings in the city were rebuilt
the 1980s