Emporio is the largest village of Santorini and has most residents’ aprox. 2,000, according to the census 2001. It is located on the south side of the island at a distance of 12 kilometers from Fira. The traditional settlement was one of the castles of the island, as in medieval times, the houses were built next to each other so that the residents to be protected from the pirates invasions.
There are several theories about the origin of the name. The prevailing theory is that the name comes from the word trade, because of the fact that the region was the ancient trading port called Elefsina.
The tower of Goulas is the characteristic of the village, it is a square tower at the northern part of the village, which was built during the Venetian rule, around the 15th century. Tradition says that the tower has been built by the monks of the Monastery of St. John in Patmos, and it is where they kept the treasures of the monastery. In fact some sources say that before the monastery belonged to the family Dargenta. Inside the tower there was a church that no longer exists, built by Osios Christodoulos, the founder of the Monastery of Patmos. From the tower there was a tunnel which led to the castle.
The castle of Emporio
It is interesting to visit the internal part of the castle where one can see that the houses were built in series glued to each other in circumferential arrangement of windows and entrances from the inside of the settlement. This protected the inhabitants from the enemy invasions. Usually every castle had a single entrance. The entrance to the castle of Emporio exists today and the locals call it “the Door”.
In all the castles of the island, just outside the entrance, or close to it, there was a temple of Saint Theodosia.