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by Archaeology Newsroom

Design Proposals for Open-Air Shrines at Remote Island Coasts in Greece

This article deals with the question of innovative development within the context of local tradition in Greece and with constructions for re¬mote island sites in particular. However, the emphasis is not on the constructions themselves, but on the deserted sites and the way they can be approached.

The constructions belong to three types, lookouts, steps-leading nowhere and open-air shrines, and must be ruled by two major principles: the spiritual dimension of the deserted place -the landscape or the seascape itself-, and the special constraints, dictated by the physiognomy of each construction. These constraints are the following: the site chosen, the shelter capability, the path of the sun and the direction of the prevailing wind. In addition, as regards the open-air shrines type, it must also be taken into consideration that these constructions afford access to their visitors.

In terms of policy, it is suggested: a. The opening of motor roads to be avoided, so that the remoteness of chapels/shrines to be preserved, b. Tourist or other relevant developmental facilities that necessitate an access by car to be discouraged, so that the continuity of the natural landscape to remain intact, c. The use of high technology for communal use —medical facilities, educational units, internet-cafe, local administration office— to be encouraged, rather than the countless individual phone connections to be promoted.

The aforementioned construction and policy proposals contribute to the cultural survival and the social coherence of the remote Greek islands.