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Explore Symposion: Santorini’s unique music and cultural center

Symposion is a place that should be on any ‘must-visit’ list for music lovers visiting Santorini, history buffs and anyone interested in the fascinating story of music making in Greece.

A one-of-a-kind cultural center mixing mythology and music, Symposion (the word comes from the Greek – sympinein – meaning ‘to drink together’) was conceived by Argy Kakissis and Yannis Pantazis and comprises a performance space, a cafe (the Homeric Wine Café), a herb garden (where visitors can enjoy plants and herbs from Greek mythology), and an instrument-making studio and art shop.

Yannis is both a wind instrument constructor and award-winning musician with a special interest in mythology and the music of ancient Greece. His musical career began at the Conservatoire Delidemos Lazaros (Thessaloniki) and the Conservatoire Christos Papoulakos (Larissa), where Yannis studied music theory and saxophone. From there he joined the ethno-Greek ensemble Namaste and became inspired to seek out his roots in the traditional sounds of Greece. He was especially captivated by a childhood memory, one particular sound, the keening of the ancient Greek bagpipe, the tsabouna.

In 2005 Yannis travelled to Naxos to learn how to construct and play the tsabouna from a local shepherd. Traveling on to Santorini he began playing the instrument at traditional village festivals, reawakening interest in an instrument that had not been heard in a generation. In 2012 together with his partner Argy Kakissis, they established La Ponta, the Greek Bagpipe Exhibition Workshop in the Castle of Akrotiri. Six years later La Ponta expanded and relocated to the traditional village of Megalochori, and opened its doors as Symposion.

Here Yannis performs on the tsabouna and an array of instruments he constructs in his workshop. He also runs instrument-making workshops for adults and children and gives daily presentations and performances. It’s hardly surprising that Yannis’ unique role in the reinvigoration of the Greek bagpipe has received international attention, and been regularly featured by global media.

Argy Kakissis told the Santo Maris blog: “Our mission as a cultural centre is influenced by Greek mythology’s timeless relevance to life as it is lived today. Inspired by the nine muses, our work is about encouraging people to think differently about music, its history and the links between ancient and modern times.”

For Yannis, music is a toy for learning. “It’s not a coincidence that we say ‘to play’ an instrument”, says Yannis. “Symposion is our celebration of music and mythology, and we very much look forward to welcoming you – to learn, to listen, to enjoy, and even to make your own instrument!”

Symposion is open between April and October. For more details go to www.symposionsantorini.com

Cover photo: Antonis Eleftherakis, www.symposionsantorini.com

The Lost Atlantis Experience

The Lost Atlantis Experience – an exciting state-of-the-art digital interactive experience exploring the myth of Atlantis – is a new and stunning addition to Santorini’s visitor attractions.

For thousands of years the story of the lost city of Atlantis, written by ancient Greece’s most famous philosopher Plato, has gripped the world. Capturing the imagination of millions, the tale of how an ancient island city, (believed by some to be Santorini), was created and then destroyed, is one of the great legends.

The founders of Atlantis were said to be half god, half man, a race who created a rich and powerful civilisation, but the city at the heart of the myth would be destroyed in a cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami – which, as the legend goes – was punishment by the gods for greed and immorality.

Now the story of Atlantis is being presented in a truly extraordinary way in Santorini itself, and it makes a stunning excursion for all the family. Using the latest interactive technology, visitors to the Lost Atlantis Experience Museum can experience everyday life in the mythical city through virtual ‘windows in time’, discover how the Minoan civilisation may well be at the heart of the Atlantis story, and even relive the earthquake, volcanic eruption and tsunami that caused the destruction of the city, using the latest ‘9D’ virtual reality.

Through its high-tech wonders the Experience allows visitors to explore Plato’s life journey through an interactive fresco, and engage with the famous philosopher, to find out more about the legendary city, and the theories surrounding its existence. This is history exploration with the accent on fun.

Having only opened its doors in May 2019, already the Lost Atlantis Experience has already received acclaim, with early visitors expressing their delight at this new and pioneering addition to Santorini’s attractions.

USEFUL INFORMATION:
The Lost Atlantis Experience is open daily, 09:00 – 21:00. 12€ adults, 6€ children (7-12). Children under 6 admitted free.

Please ask our Guest Experience Specialist in the reception of Santo Maris Oia for details about the best way to arrange your visit.

The Lost Atlantis Experience

2286 085076
Megalochori 84700