Do you know why houses in Greece are painted white and blue?

Characteristic houses in white and blue colors are the hallmark of fairytale Greek destinations such as Mykonos and Santorini. Just looking at a photo with architecture in the colors of the Greek flag makes us want to enjoy beautiful beaches and Mediterranean cuisine, but do you know what the characteristic colors of the clear sky and sea symbolize?

The colors of Greek island houses arose for practical reasons. The stone available in places like Mykonos, Paros and Naxos had one drawback – a dark, earthy color that attracted the sun and made life in the houses unbearable due to the high temperature.

To cool down, the Greeks painted the stone white, and after such a method proved successful, it eventually became part of the tradition. In the middle of the 20th century, the disease became involved in architecture, and in order to prevent the spread of cholera, the Greek authorities demanded that houses be painted with lime, which also serves as a disinfectant.

Just like the white color – blue has its “whys and wherefores”. Greek fishermen and sailors painted doors and windows with the color left over from painting the ship, blue being the most available due to its composition. The distinctive blue paint used for ships and houses in the Greek islands was made from a mixture of limestone and the cleaning agent “loulaki”, which was readily available to most people at home. So it was very easy to make blue for them.

PHOTO: Pixabay

The beautiful colors of homes on the Greek islands ceased to be merely practical and desirable and became a must during the 1960s. The regime at the time believed that recognizable colors would encourage patriotism and nationalism, and soon a law was passed requiring houses on the Greek islands to be painted blue and white.
Although today’s regulations are more relaxed, the colors of the Greek islands attract tourists, so the tradition has continued for that reason.

Wandering the Cyclades, visitors can find homes with original stones in the color of the earth or slightly different colors. However, the Greek islands are still dominated by blue and white, for which they are known throughout the world.

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