Do You Know What Produces the Color Blue in Mediterranean Architecture?

Santorini GreeceThroughout the Mediterranean, especially along the coast, one can see the beautiful, refreshing colors of bright white and azure blue.

These buildings [as well as clothing] were dyed this beautiful color of blue going back to ancient times. But how did ancient Mediterranean people produce this color of blue? It didn’t come from a plant, pigments, resin, solvent or additives but from the secretion of a snail called the Murex Trunculus. According to Wikipedia, the dye originally appears as purple but it fades into blue the more that it is in the sun. Because so many snails are needed to make this dye, it was highly prized. The beautiful white is the result of “whitewashing”, which is a wash or paint made from calcium hydroxide (“lime”) and calcium carbonate (“chalk”).

This vacation season would be a great time to begin making plans (whether actual or for someday in the future) to see new and exotic places like Greece and the rest of the Mediterranean. Assembling a Ceaco jigsaw puzzle like this one entitled “Bon Voyage: Greece” would be a great time to discuss and dream.

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