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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 it belonged to the vilayet of Trebizond while ecclesiastically it originally belonged to the Metropolis of Argyroupolis, then later to the Exarchate of Panagia Sumela, and lastly it was transferred to the Metropolis of Rhodopolis (Livera). Santa has been described as as a rocky, barren and cold place surrounded by tall mountains 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 Muzena fled to the mountains to avoid Turkish persecution and harassment.

The final curtain for the Greeks of Santa came after 1918 when the Russians withdrew from Trebizond during WW1 and the Santaians, despite arming themselves, fell victim along with many other Greeks during the Greek Genocide. Those who survived massacre and deportation were forcibly expelled to Greece. Many of the Greeks from Santa settled in the village Nea Santa in the prefecture of Kilkis in northern Greece.

 A school in the Pistofanton settlement. Source

 

Santa. Source

 

 Map of Santa. Source

 

See also: A list of the Greek settlements of Santa