Caves in Crete



Trapeza Cave (Kronion)
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The cave Trapeza, also known as Kronion Cave, is located between the village Marmaketo and Tzermiado, in Lassithi Plateau, at an altitude of 860m. It’s located near the secondary road that connects Marmaketo with Tzermiado highschool; there are signs leading to the cave both in Tzermiado and Marmaketo. From the soccer field of Tzermiado, a trail hidden in trees, leads to the cave after ascending for 5'. The entrance to the cave is quite indiscernible and the view to Lassithi plateau from there is magnificent.

Cave Kronio consists of two rooms with side extensions. The entrance is quite narrow and a corridor with moisture-green sidewalls leads to a small hall. In this room, there are broken stalactites and stalagmites, destroyed by human intervention. A large stalagmite in the middle of the cave leaves two passages on its sides. Also, small niches and columns are hosted in the side of the cave. The wrinkled walls of the cave are beautiful. Right in the first room, a hole leads to another room at a lower level. One stalagmite there, resembles of a comfortable armchair.

Traces of habitation from the Neolithic era have been found in the cave. Kronio was firstly used as a place of residence. Later, when the residents moved to the nearby hill Kastellos, at the eastern end of Tzermiado, Kronion was used as a place of burials and worship. Excavations have revealed important objects from all periods, from Neolithic to Byzantine. Gold leafs, one faience figurine and one ivory figurine are some of the most important findings. Among the excavated idols, there are some Egyptian beetles of the 11th Dynasty, which indicate the ancient strong relations between Crete and Egypt.

Psychro Cave and Trapeza Cave, the two most historic caves of the Lasithi Plateau, have been linked to the myth of the birth of Zeus. According to legend, Saturn (Kronos - from whom the cave Kronio is named) ate his children in order to prevent the prophecy that he would lose world dominion from his offspring. Once, when Rea born, she banished baby Zeus across the Cave of Psychro in order not to be eaten by Saturn.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Horizontal Cave, With archaeological importance
  • Water: Generally dry
  • Accessibility: Walking

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