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The Greek archipelago (also known as Sandorini or Santorini), which covers about 90 km², 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 is the result of a huge 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 particularly strong in alcohol, were highly prized for their storability and transportability, and were then shipped to many European countries via the port city of Monemvasia (Peloponnese). Although the island was conquered by the Turks in 1579, there was no restriction on viticulture. Ottoman rule lasted until the Greek Revolution in 1821.

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