05 Μαΐ Santorini: Is this Atlantis?
A mythical question
Santorini is a magical island. From the sunset to the natural setting, everything has a vibrating energy that mystifies you. Enjoy the magic by staying in Esperas Hotel, which is situated in one of the most remarkable sites in Santorini, overlooking its famous Caldera. One of the most popular legends related to the Santorini Caldera, is that on the ocean floor lays the lost city of Atlantis. Jacques-Yves Cousteau started an expedition in finding the long lost Golden City and visited Santorini in an effort to prove this theory.
The story of Atlantis comes to us from Plato; the greek philosopher who used dialogues with arguments and reasons to demonstrate his political and social thoughts. In one of his works Critias and Timaeus discuss stories of Athens and its relationship to other cities. One of the cities mentioned is Atlantis. According to Plato, it is situated at the front of the “Pillars of Hercules” (it is said that it is the Straits of Gibraltar) and that it was a powerful naval empire. The city or nation of Atlantis managed to attack and siege a lot of other cities surrounding it but never managed to conquer Athens, according to Plato. Atlantis was lost in one day and one night because a massive explosion and tsunami vanished it literally from the face of the earth. Plato wrote his story around 360 B.C. but Atlantis has destroyed thousands of years prior to Plato’s time.
The fact that a land, a whole city, has never been mentioned before and is first discussed thousands of years after it disappeared, causes a lot of debate. Was Atlantis fictional or not? Another debate is whether it was in Santorini, or Spain or even if the Atlantians were the Minoan civilization of Crete. Which in fact, was destroyed by a great tsunami created after a volcanic eruption in Santorini. The same volcanic eruption that sunk a big part of Santorini itself and left it in the ocean floor.
A popular theory is that in Santorini’s ocean floor lays the true Atlantis. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a great fan of this mystery and searched passionately for it during his career. One of his stops was the magical Santorini. The Calypso research ship, his crew and greek divers spent months researching the bottom of the Santorini Caldera. Jacques-Yves Cousteau fell in love with the island and was initially convinced Atlantis was here. He was dedicated to finding (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1532476/) what the world was looking for centuries. Eventually, he did not find robust evidence that of that theory and continued his quest in other places. However, his love for Santorini, his noble character and the respect for underwater life and history left an impact on all parties involved.
His son Pierre-Yves Cousteau alongside with a group of divers placed a memorial plaque on the sea floor of Kamari in the name of his father Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Later in time, the team Cousteau Divers, led by Pierre-Yves Cousteau started the projected of a Maritime protected Area, which is supported by the professional fishermen of Santorini.Jacques-Yves Cousteau passed his love to the sea and Santorini to his son, who is now following the legacy of his father and wishes to protect the maritime life of the island.
The tantalizing mystery of Atlantis is yet to be resolved, many believe it did not exist and others are still looking trying to interpret the only reference there is, that of Plato. Whether you believe that Atlantis really existed or not, it is worth visiting the mystifying island that is as rich and as powerful as Atlantis was. Santorini is a jewel in the Aegean sea and it is worth staying in Esperas Hotel, watching the sunset and the Caldera, learning and thinking of all the legends and important figures that were drawn to this island.
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