The island of Santorini holds an archaeological wealth that visitors, especially those interested in history and culture, can admire and become acquainted with in the various exemplary museums.
Prehistoric Thera Museum
One of the most important museums of Greece is the spectacular Museum of Prehistoric Thera that lies in the capital of Santorini, Fira.
The finds that are on display on the Prehistoric Museum of Thera come from the various excavations that were carried out on the island, such as at the settlements of Akrotiri and Potamos, rescue excavations at different sites on the island as well as some objects that were discovered by chance or handed over. The exhibits date back to the Late Neolithic Era up until the Cycladic Periods and are in excellent condition. Through the exhibits visitors can witness the progress of Thera in the Prehistoric Times unfolding before their eyes, as they bear testament to a brilliant course that made Thera on of the most significant islands of the Aegean during the 18th and 17th centuries BC.
Archaeological Museum of Thera
An extraordinary and very interesting museum lies in the centre of Fira.
A significant part of the exhibits comes from the excavations carried out on “Mesa Vouno” where a settlement of the Hellenistic Period was discovered. The majority of them was found in the cemetery of Ancient Thera and includes ceramic objects, pots, amphorae as well as ancient statues, like the representative nude male statue called kouros. The rest of the finds can be admired in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. It is recommended that visitors visit both the archaeological site of Ancient Thera and then the Archaeological Museum in order to gain an understanding on the history and evolution of the island.
The Wine Museum is located in Kamari.
Visitors can unravel the history behind vining, the traditional process of wine cultivation, harvesting and trade as well as experience typical scenes from the life of vine growers from 1660 until 1950. One can also find a rich display of photographs, newspaper cuttings referring to the islands wine¬making, antiques such as tools used in the construction of barrels or baskets, and house- ware products.
Museum of Icons and Ecclesiastical Relics
The Museum of Icons and Ecclesiastical Relics of Pyrgos village is housed inside the church of the Holy Trinity, a renovated chapel that used to be a small Catholic convent.
This exhibition includes precious Byzantine icons by local and Cretan hagiographers, potteries, metallic artworks, woodcarvings, ecclesiastical embroideries and vestments, holy books, brassware and other items for ecclesiastic use. The majority of the exhibits dates back to the 17th and 18th century and indicates the long religious tradition of Santorini and a bygone period of prosperity on the island. Rare photographs and original objects that represent different local crafts, such as winemaking, shoemaking, candle making and local food processing, are also on display.