This post is my second response to Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare. Please also see my first response: Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare –Architecture Without Architects: Telč, a City in Czech Republic, and my very old posts in another earlier Blog Exploring Turkey and Greece – Santorini.
The four colorful pictures posted here were taken by my friend Link Lee . The two black and white pictures were old pictures published in the book “Architecture without Architects” by Bernard Rudofsky, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1965.
When I published the blog Exploring Turkey and Greece 4 years ago, my mind was only thinking of the beautiful Greek island which was the photographer’s paradise. This is what I wrote on that Blog:
Santorini is also known as ‘Thira”. It is one of the small Greek islands, with rich variety of landscapes and villages. At the highest point of the island is the classic Sanitorininian town or la, also spelled as Oia, with its white washed walls houses and blue domed churches. The stunning view from this village has attracted lots of tourists, including celebrities. Most of us want to come back again and stay for at least a week. The sunset view from this village is said to be among the world’s most beautiful. Unfortunately, we had to go back to our ship, and missed the sunset view.
After reading Bernard Rudofsky’s book, pages 31 to 32, I realized that there are much more to “see” behind the beautiful scenery. This beautiful island was mentioned under the title “The choice of site”. Rudofsky said that Man has the freedom to choose where he wants to live. This island’s capital Thera (or Thira) which towers 660 feet high, is on the brink of an ancient volcanic crater. This area had been devastated by earthquakes a few times. Houses were destroyed and rebuilt, but the island has never been abandoned. “Today, Santorini is the only inhabited Caldera (volcano cauldron) in the world.” (www.in2greece.com). No doubt this is rare!
I want to end this post with a quote from the first page of this book: “Vernacular Architecture does not go through fashion cycles. It is nearly immutable, indeed unimprovable, since it serves its purpose to perfection. As a rule, the origin of indigenous building forms and construction methods is lost in the distant past.”
Indeed, why did the residents of this island choose blue and white color to paint their houses? The forms of these houses remained the same throughout these years, though modern facilities like toilets and cooking facilities must have been added. Is this a good example of conservation of vernacular buildings? The curious mind will appreciate your responses!