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The name Santorini, a reference to Saint Irene, was given to the Island by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century. Before then it was known as Kallíst? (the most beautiful one) or Th?ra. The name Th?ra was revived in the nineteenth century as the official name of the island, but the colloquial name Santorini is most popular. The island has a uniquely wild and mystical beauty unlike any other Greek island, with bright white buildings rising from the sharp volcanic cliffs.