The village of Ia (Greek Οία ( f sg ); often transcribed as Oia ) in the north of the Greek island of Thira has 665 inhabitants, along with the surrounding settlements 1226 inhabitants. The residents are still referred to as Apanomerites ( Απανωμερίτες ), according to the earlier designation Apano Meria ( Απάνω Μεριά, also Επάνω Μεριά ) of the village. The surviving from the ancient town of Oia was one of two ports Alt- Thera and was at today's Kamari in the southeast of the island.
Ia extends from 70 to 100 meters over nearly two kilometers along the northern caldera rim of the Cyclades island Thira. Directly east of the settlement Finika connects. About 500 meters north lies Tholos. The small fishing village Ormos Armeni ( Όρμος Αρμένης ) is located south below and is accessed via a stairway. From the small harbor village of Ormos Ammoudi ( Όρμος Αμμουδιού ) in the west ferry connections to Thirasia. The Südwestkap is upstream of the small island of Agios Nikolaos.
Even before the Venetian domination the village in various travel reports was mentioned. With the establishment of the Duchy of Naxos in 1207 by Marco Sanudo, the Venetians built a feudal system in Santorini. The Agios Nikolaos Castle ( Καστέλι του Αγίου Νικολάου ) also called Apanomeria ( Απανωμερία ), was among the Corogna as one of five forts of Santorini. At the southwestern edge of the village are now the residential tower " Goulas " with the oldest residential area.
In 1537 Khair ad-Din Barbarossa conquered the Aegean islands and made them tributary against Sultan Selim II. However Santorini remained until 1566 under the rule of the Crispo family, arrived in the meantime on Joseph Nasi and after his death in 1579 to the Ottoman Empire.
In maps of the 16th century to the 19th century, the settlement is referred to as Apanomeria. Mid-17th century used the name Thevenot Castelli San Nicolas. The name change to Ia occurred in the second half of the 19th century. The late 19th century and early 20th century saw a period of prosperity Ia. The prosperity was based on maritime trade throughout the eastern Mediterranean, particularly in the transit trade of Russia to Alexandria. In 1890, about 2,500 people lived in the village, there were about 130 sailing ships, a shipyard in the Bay of Armeni.
The surrounding area produced large amounts wines of excellent quality, even after France was exported. The advent of the steamship and the concentration of shipping in Piraeus led to a sharp decline in maritime trade. With the increasing emigration particularly to Piraeus and Lavrio the abandonment of farming went hand in hand, in 1940 the village had 1,348 inhabitants.
On 9 July 1956, the tsunami in Amorgos caused great damage to the magnitude of 7.4. The epicenter of the strongest aftershock ( magnitude 7.2 ) was directly off the northeast coast of Thira. After the earthquake, the village was again threatened by high levels of emigration, in 1977 the population was only 306 people.
In 1976, Ia was included in the program for the conservation and development of traditional settlements of the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT ), headed by Aris Konstantinidis. The aim of the 15-year program was the preservation and restoration of selected houses and building ensembles of traditional architecture in conjunction with a change in use. From the dwellings of ordinary seamen, the caves comparable yposkafa Spitia ( υπόσκαφα σπίτια ) on the caldera rim, were guest houses, hotels, restaurants in the higher price segment. Today, the land prices are among the highest in Greece.
For the work in Ia the Greek National Tourism 1979 Europa Nostra prize in 1986 and the price of the Architecture Biennale in Sofia received.
Remarkable are the built often right on the crater rim, typical Cycladic whitewashed houses. They take turns in the cityscape of Ia with its winding, narrow streets, blue domed churches covered, blumenumkränzten verandas and terraces, as well as individual houses from neoclassical captain. At the central crater rim alley of Ia are many hotels, taverns, cafes, bars and shops with arts and crafts, fashion and souvenirs to be found.
Something full of it, however the evening when many tourists come to Ia to experience its famous sunset over the sea.
In addition to many small art galleries, the church of Panagia and a windmill, however, has no real grand more, can be found in Ia a maritime museum, which exhibits on two floors ship models, old nautical equipment such as compasses and anchors, nautical charts and historical photographs of the former sailors place.
The ruins of the castle of Argyri, also called Londsa Castle, was during the Venetian rule in the Middle Ages residence of the noble family Argyri and now serves as a lookout.
In the southwest of the Ia Armeni Bay, to which you can descend on foot or by mule is. Once a major boat building center, there is the port of Armeni today only a single shipyard that performs minor repair work. From here, there are boats for tours along the caldera or to Thirasia.
Another port is located in the west of the city in the Bay of Ammoudi. This can be reached via a steep climb from the north of the castle and Londsa also possesses several taverns and a small pebble beach.
With the exception of the period 1840-1851 Ia made since October 1, 1834 ( ΦΕΚ 4/1835 ) was a separate municipality ( Dimos Ias Δήμος Οίας ). The implementation of local government reform after the Kapodistrias program in 1997 led to the amalgamation of the municipalities Ia with Thirasia as rural commune Ia ( Kinotita Ias Κοινότητα Οίας ). Due to the administrative reform in 2010 January 1, 2011 carried the inclusion in the newly created municipality of Thira ( Dimos Tiras Δήμος Θήρας ) as district Ia ( Δημοτική Κοινότητα Οιας ).