Melidoni Cave

The Melidoni cave, situated 2 klm away from the village of Melidoni, was formerly used for cult worship during the Minoan and Archaic periods. Later during the Turkish occupation on the island, a tragic event took place that associated this cave with the Cretans’ struggle for freedom. About 400 people – most of them women and children – suffered a tragic death when they refused to surrender and sought refuge in the cave. The Turks lit a fire at the cave’s entrance and all the people inside died of suffocation. A tomb in the middle of the main hall contains the remains of those who were sacrificed in the name of liberation.

The cave consists of a huge chamber which is called the Heroes’ chamber and other smaller ones, with impressive clusters of stalactites and stalagmites can be found inside. According to the legend, the Melidoni cave was the mythical home of Talos – the bronze giant – protector of Crete. The myth says about Medea, the which who took off his protective thorn and let him bleed to death.