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Kamares Cave

Caves

Rethymnon

One of the most important cult caves in Crete, it is about three to four hours’ difficult climb from the village of Kamares, at an altitude of 1530 m.

Right above the cave is Mavri Korfi (Black Peak), one of the twin peaks forming the legendary Saddle of Digenis. The cave is about 40 m long and runs down into a small chamber decorated with stalactites and stalagmites.

In the Kamares Cave, as well in as other parts of the Mesara Plain, Phaistos and elsewhere, were found some of the most beautiful pottery vessels of the Minoan period, decorated in what is known as the Kamares Style after the cave.

According to archaeologist Paul Faure, the cave was originally a temporary shelter for a brief time in the Neolithic period, later becoming a place of chthonic worship at the end of the Early Minoan period. During the Late Minoan period and the early Iron Age, it was visited by warriors who buried spearheads here. The cave was excavated by looters at the turn of the 20th century.

According to local tradition, it is inhabited by fairies. Today it has many visitors in summer.


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