The island’s capital on the rim of the caldera proudly dominates, while at the same inciting, the volcano which stands imposing in front of it. The lower part of Fira is the best preserved quarter in Fira. Framed by two masterpieces of ecclesiastical architecture, Agios Mina’s and Christos, it also harbors noteworthy examples of lay architecture. The carved wooden altar screen (templon) and episcopal throne in Christos are fine examples of the art of anonymous artisans.
In another neighborhood of Fira, on the borders of the Catholic and the Orthodox quarters, stands the Archaeological Museum in which are housed finds representative of the island’s long history.
The town of Fira is built on the rim of the caldera, the busy town proudly faces the volcano. On the top of Fira stands overwhelming the Venetian castle (koulas) and the brick-red Neoclassical mansion below it, now a superb conference facility.
The church of Saint Minas in the lower neighborhood of Fira is one of the best known and most picturesque in Santorini. The close-packed houses in Fira are either dug out of the volcanic ash (hyposkapha) or built one on top of the other. Doors, courtyards, staircases, terraces and narrow streets all compose a harmonious unity.