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Oia Village - Architecture of Oia
Architecture of Oia

The unique architecture of Oia is characterized by two kinds of buildings: kapetanospita and hyposkapha. The first term refers to the captains' and masters' residences and the second one to the houses the rest of the Oia population lived in. The main street of Oia serves as a natural boundary between them.

Oia Village Architecture - Kapetanospita

The kapetanospita are the two-storey neoclassical houses that were built in the late 19th-early 20th centuries. The kitchen and the bedrooms were at the ground floor. In the same place, there were also the cistern, where the rainwater was collected, and the kanava, the cellar where the wine was produced and the tomatoes and fava were processed.

The upper floor was used as a sala (parlor and reception room), it had cross-vaulted ceiling and was elegantly furnished. In the garden, herbs and flowers were cultivated.

The upper floor of many of kapetanospita collapsed during the 1956 earthquake.

Oia Kapetanospita Oia Kapetanospita

Oia Village Architecture - Hyposkapha

The hyposkapha are the houses of the less well-off, usually the crew of the ships. They are carved in the rocky, volcanic cliff, one on top of or inside the other. They are long and narrow, with vaulted roofs. The vaults were constructed with stones, earth, twigs and branches of vines and were cemented with the addition of lime.

At the entrance was the sala and, behind it, was the bedroom. Those two were separated by a wall that had the door and the windows exactly at the same place as on the façade in order to allow the best possible ventilation and lighting. The floor was made of earth and the walls were plastered. The kitchen and the storeroom were also hyposkapha.

The toilet was located outside the house and was vaulted too. All these spaces were accessed through a tiny yard, from where a staircase often began. In the yard, the alitana was also found, that is a small garden where flowers and herbs grew.

Among the white and pink buildings of Oia with the blue, green or grey windows, several churches with blue domes and ornate bell towers are scattered. A labyrinth of paved streets unites everything and leads to the neighborhoods and the sea.

Oia Hyposkapha Oia Hyposkapha