Diktaion Antron or Psychro Cave

Cave of Psychro is also known as the Diktaion Antron Cave is located on the north slopes of Mt Dicte in Crete, 1025 metres above sea level, is the famous.

psychro cave in crete greece

This is a very ancient place of worship, one of the most important and fascinating in the whole of Crete.

The Diktaion Antron cave is divided into two parts:

  • The upper cave, which looks like a rocky cave with no stalagmite decoration
  • The lower cave, which is divided into five large and small chambers.

Deep inside the lower cave is a small pool surrounded by huge, imposing columns of stalagmites and stalactites.

From the very beginning of the excavation, the Cave of Psychro was called the Diktaion Antron, as legend has it that this was where Rhea hid to give birth to Zeus, the Father of Gods and Men, safe from Cronus’s infanticidal tendencies. The goat Amalthea, who according to a different myth was actually a Nymph, nursed Zeus, while the Curetes (mythical daemons and followers of a deity) drowned out his cries by dancing and clashing their spears on their shields. Another legend has it that Zeus was nursed by peaceful bees.

The chance finds and excavation artefacts from the caves are now in various museums, although most are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Finds include an altar, offering tables, many votive offerings, figurines, weapons, double axes, pottery, rings, sealstones and gems.

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