The Greek archipelago of about 90 km² (also Sandorini or Santorini) is the southernmost of the Cyclades group and lies in the Aegean Sea about 100 km north of Crete. The crescent-shaped main island is called Thira and forms a cauldron with the two opposite small islands Aspronisi (0.14 km²) and Thirasia (9 km²). The ring-shaped island was formed by a violent volcanic explosion around 1500 BC, which destroyed the Minoan culture (Bronze Age culture of Crete). From the beginning of the 13th to the end of the 16th century, the island was strongly under the influence of Venice, which led to the development of a significant viticultural culture. At that time it was named Santorini after Santa Irene (St. Irene). The sweet wines, which were strong in alcohol, were particularly prized for their storability and transportability and were shipped to many European countries via the port city of Monemvasia (Peloponnese) at that time. Although the island was conquered by the Turks in 1579, there were no restrictions on viticulture. Ottoman rule lasted until the Greek revolution in 1821.