Spinalonga Island was used by the Greeks as a leper colony for over 54 years. They were so afraid of the disease that they shipped people to the uninhabited island to live in a separate community. People with leprosy were exiled to live in the ruins of houses and workshops, but the leper community was strong in adversity and many marriages were sealed in the unique church which they created. Over 30 healthy babies were born on the island, but were taken to the mainland to live with relatives because of fear the disease would be spread to them. During the Second World War the island was virtually unscathed as the Germans were terrified of leprosy. The island is now a tourist attraction; an eerie, atmospheric place and a poignant reminder of the poor souls whose fate was sealed upon contraction of the disease.