Churches of Santorini...
The churches of Santorini, although very much part of the cubist architectural style, show a Western influence in their relatively large size. The volcano's eruptions and the catastrophic earthquakes that shattered the island from time to time strengthened the religious fervour of the locals, which intensified when they were confronted with Catholicism during the Frankish occupation.
Thus before the 1956 earthquake, the island boasted some 260 churches. Most of those that have survived are of the one-aisled basilica type with dome, while others are cruciform in shape with dome.
The dome, which may be white, as in most churches, or blue, is frequently ridged rather thansmooth. Sometimes it is capped by a lantern, a clearly Renaissance touch. The facade of the churches and cathedrals alike is dominated by the presence of twin bell towers. Santorini's monasteries are massive, often reminiscent of fortresses, such as the monastery of Profitis Ilias. They have an inner courtyard, arcades and impressive bell towers.
The Church of Panagia Episkopi
Located in the village of Mesa Gonia is the beautiful Byzantine church of Panagia Episkopi. Built in the end of 11th century by the empire of Byzantium Alexios Comninos. Some of the Byzantine paintings and hagiography can be seen even today as well as the marble temple of the church.
The Monastery of Profitis Elias
High atop the Profitis Elias peak, in Pyrgos village, is the monastery with the same name. The museum of the Monastery, contains all types of ecclesiastic items, Byzantine documents, sacred vestments of archbishops and bishops. It also hosts displays on shoemaking, printing, candle making and wine making.
Aghios Nicholaos Marmarites
To the left of the road from Megalochori to Emboreion stands a rectangular temple. The monument dates from the 3rd century BC. Today it is used as a chapel consecrated to Saint Nicholas. (Saint Nicholas is the Saint who protects seamen)