Santorini used to be a round island, but during the earthquake in the 15th century BC took the form it has today. This is one of the reasons why many believe that Santorini really was Atlantis once.
The Minoan civilization was destroyed after this explosion, but apparently most people managed to escape.
The island has changed names throughout history. It was originally named Round, as this was the shape of the island. When the Phoenicians came, they named her Kallisti and finally took the name Thera from its first ruler, Thira.
Thiras was the son of the Theban hero Aphthesion who was a descendant of Kadmos. He was regent of Sparta and responsible for the twin nieces of Proclus and Eurysthenes. When his nieces grew up, Thiras along with other aristocrats left Sparta and settled in Santorini.
The Romans initially used the island as a place for exiles, but later helped build the island. The Christianization of Santorini took place between the 2nd and 5th century. The island was frequently looted and destroyed by pirates, in 1204 it was conquered by the Venetians. It was around this time that the island got its current name. The patron saint of the island was Agia Irini -Santa Irini- and the Catholic sailors called it Santarini – so it eventually became Santorini.
The island was destroyed by the Venetians in 1354, and once again in 1397, this time by the Turkish conquest. In 1821 Santorini joined forces with the Greek revolution and then the island was liberated from the Turkish yoke. In 1956 a terrible earthquake occurred that caused huge damage to the island. Many residents in Kamari come from a village that was completely destroyed then.