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Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s

Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s - Tripatricks linking people to adventure

In this stunning collection of photographs from the 1950s and 1960s, Robert McCabe captures the hard, but simple, the life of an era that has passed irrevocably.

 

Port workers, mules and travelers in the port of Gialos. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 1 - tripatricks linking people to adventure

Port workers, mules and travelers in the port of Gialos. 

 

Today Santorini has about 2.5 million visitors a year. But when photographer Robert McCabe and his brother arrived there in 1954, they were the only visitors to the island. In this stunning collection of photographs from the 1950s and 1960s, McCabe captures the harsh but simple life of an era that never goes back, as the changes that took place on the island were rapid and relentless.


McCabe's contact with our country began when he was studying in Princeton with his older brother. The second had a friend, a Greek, Petros Nomikos, originally from Santorini, who invited them to come to Greece for ten days.

 

 

We quickly realized that we were the only visitors to the island. This sounds unrealistic today, but in 1954 it was not at all strange to be the only visitor to an Aegean island.

 

"When Charles and I first arrived on the island, we were told that its population was about 12,000, mostly rural families who grew grapes, tomatoes or wheat, as well as fishermen, quarrymen and sailors, who worked as snouts or captains. who travelled around the world under the Greek flag. 

 

We climbed to Fira, the capital of the island –244 meters above sea level–, through a tedious stepped, almost vertical, stone path; (They say that in the rest of Greece they threatened their mules to take their feet, otherwise they would send them to Santorini.) Arriving in Fira we realized that the villages we saw were not only a thin strip of buildings at the edge of the Caldera, but also extended towards back, on the back of the ancient volcano. 

 

We quickly realized that we were the only visitors to the island. This sounds unrealistic today, but in 1954 it was not at all strange to be the only visitor to an Aegean island. That year, 8,000 visitors arrived across the country, " 

notes McCabe in the album's preface.

 

McCabe's photographs are complemented by two essays by journalist Margarita Pournara. One poetically recalls her grandmother's childhood in Santorini and the other explains the geological forces that gave this volcanic island its dramatic form.

 

Baptisms in Nimborio. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 2 - tripatricks linking people to adventure

Baptisms in Emborio.

Christoforos Zorzos or "Karoutsos" from Pyrgos in Santo deals with his donkey and the tomato harvest. He was president of the cooperative for many years. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 3 - tripatricks linking people to adventure

Christoforos Zorzos or "Karoutsos" from Pyrgos in Santo deals with his donkey and the tomato harvest. He was president of the cooperative for many years.
The Aegean anchored in Gialos. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 4 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
The Aegean anchored in Gialos.
A sailboat arrives by motorbike in Gialos just before sunset. A small conveyor is tied to an arodo buoy. In the background Thirasia and a part of the volcano on the left. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 5 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
A sailboat arrives by motorbike in Gialos just before sunset. A small conveyor is tied to an arodo buoy. In the background Thirasia and a part of the volcano on the left.
The first bus of the island, from Perissa to Fira. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 6 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
The first bus of the island, from Perissa to Fira.
Charles McCabe at the Atlantis Hotel in 1963. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 7 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
Charles McCabe at the Atlantis Hotel in 1963.
Kato Fira. Agios Minas and the emblematic "house of the archaeologist". In the early 1960s the house with the dome was the residence of Chris Dumas. Later it was bought by Charalambos Sigalas. Both men excavated the island. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 8 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
Kato Fira. Agios Minas and the emblematic "house of the archaeologist". In the early 1960s the house with the dome was the residence of Chris Dumas. Later it was bought by Charalambos Sigalas. Both men excavated the island.
 
In "Skala" from the port to Fira. The mules had their own language to communicate with their animals. One of the phrases he often repeated was something like "deluxe berry". The hardships of the donkeys and mules of Santorini were known all over Greece and the mules in other places threatened their animals that they would send them to Santorini if ​​they were unruly. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 9 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
In "Skala" from the port to Fira. The mules had their own language to communicate with their animals. One of the phrases he often repeated was something like "deluxe berry". The hardships of the donkeys and mules of Santorini were known all over Greece and the mules in other places threatened their animals that they would send them to Santorini if ​​they were unruly.
The different layers on the walls of the Caldera testify to the history of thousands of years of volcanic eruptions. In the background Skaros and from behind Oia. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 10 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
The different layers on the walls of the Caldera testify to the history of thousands of years of volcanic eruptions. In the background Skaros and from behind Oia.
At Luke's restaurant. In the center his son. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 11 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
At Luke's restaurant. In the center his son.
Outside Lucas restaurant. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 12 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
Outside Lucas restaurant.
The jeep used by Adenauer on the road to ancient Thira. Below Kamari. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 13 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
The jeep used by Adenauer on the road to ancient Thira. Below Kamari.
The veranda of the house of Nomikon after its reconstruction. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 14 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
The veranda of the house of Nomikon after its reconstruction.
Fira with pumice mines in the background. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 9 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
Fira with pumice mines in the background.
Two girls are weaving a rug at the Carpet School in the old catholic neighborhood of Fira. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 15 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
Two girls are weaving a rug at the Carpet School in the old catholic neighborhood of Fira.
Kalliopi Moudatsou returns from the bakery to the catholic neighborhood with Fira in the background. Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s 17 - tripatricks linking people to adventure
Kalliopi Moudatsou returns from the bakery to the catholic neighborhood with Fira in the background.
Source LIFO (translated and  republished) 
Robert McCabe The simplistic Santorini of the '50s - Tripatricks linking people to adventure

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