Milos Catacombs

Milos catacombs are located near the Ancient City, South-South West of Tripiti. They are situated 150 meters above sea level on a steep hillside.

The Catacombs were the meeting place of the early Christians. They held ceremonies and buried their dead here. It was the perfect hideout from the pagans and persecutors. The catacombs of Milos are the largest in Greece and as famous as the Catacombs in the Holy Land and Rome.

Catacombs were dug out of volcanic rock (tufa) and are an example of an early Christian monument. They prove that Christianity was established on the island in the 1st century A.D. The Christianity developed greatly during the 3rd and 4th century A.D. when the commerce with Rome was prosperous.

The monument was discovered by illicit antique dealers and became famous after they were pillaged in 1840. The Milos Catacombs comprise chambers linked by corridors (5) and a dead end passage which make a total of 185 meters long labyrinth. However, only the second chamber, called “presbytery” can be visited by the public.

The walls and floors are filled with vaults that contain graves. Recorded to date are 126 vaults (1972) but it’s estimated that thousands of people were buried here. In the past each grave was lit by an oil lamp. Today the lighting is electrical, but it’s very discrete, evoking the old atmosphere.

In the “presbytery”, there is also a tomb of carved rock which is believed to be the burial place of a Christian martyr. The tomb as used as altar by Christians in their celebrations.

Milos catacombs were a secret place of worship until religious freedom became legal.

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