The church of Saint Christophoros, Pistofanton. Source

Santa (Gr: Σάντα, Tr: Dumanli) was a Greek town in Pontus in the province of Argyroupolis (Gümüşhane) situated 52km south east of Trebizond (today Trabzon). Prior to 1923 it was made up of 7 settlements, (Pistofanton, Zournatzanton, Tsakalanton, Ischananton. Kozlaranton, Pinetanton and Terzanton) and was inhabited entirely by Greeks, approximately 6,000 in number.

Around the end of the 19th century Santa had 15 priests, 8 churches, 7 chapels, 5 schools, 9 teachers and some 260 students. Administratively Santa belonged to the vilayet of Trebizond while ecclesiastically it originally belonged to the Diocese of Argyroupolis, then later to the Exarchate of Panagia Sumela, and lastly it was transferred to the Diocese  of Rhodopolis (Livera). Santa has been described as as a rocky, barren and cold place surrounded by tall mountains that are covered in fog year-round.

It's believed Santa became established just after 1461 when Trebizond fell to the Ottoman Turks. Christians from surrounding regions of Trebizond such as Platana, Tonya and Mouzena fled to the mountains to avoid Turkish persecution and harassment.

The end for the Greeks of Santa came after 1918 when the Russians exited Trebizond and the Santaians, despite arming themselves, were victims alongside many other Greeks during the Greek Genocide. Those who survived massacre and deportation were forcibly expelled to Greece.

 A school in the Pistofanton settlement. Source

 

Santa. Source

 

 Map of Santa. Source

 

See also: A list of the Greek settlements of Santa in the Trebizond region

 

 

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