Why are the houses in the Cyclades blue and white?

John KarkalatosFebruary 9, 2023

White church with blue domes

During the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas in the 1930s Greece suffered from a cholera epidemic. In order to protect the people, the government ordered all houses to be whitewashed with lime which with its disinfectant properties would limit the disease. Blue was due to the dictatorial government, it was an expression of admiration and respect for the motherland. After all blue and white are the colours of our flag, in the concept of whitewashed houses, white symbolizes light, clarity and purity, and blue is the color of the sea and the sky.

This harmonious combination is believed to be in perfect balance with the surrounding nature as the decades passed the blue and white became part of the Cyclades islands' architecture and culture. Today's branding and image of the Cyclades islands is greatly influenced by this combination and what it represents.