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Greece Crete Rethymnon Prefecture Rethymnon Sightseeing Cave of Melidoni
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Cave of Melidoni

The cave of Melidoni, or Gerontospilios as the locals use to call it is found at a distance of 31 kilometers far from Rethymnon at the East and 2 kilometers far from the village of Melidoni at the Northwest. The cave is open to visitors and presents both spelaeological and archaeological interest.

It used to be an important ritual place in the Neolithic, whereas during the Minoan period it was dedicated to the mythological bronze giant Talos. An inscription found during the excavations in the cave shows that in the Roman era the place was dedicated to the worship of Hermes (Mercury).
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The cave played an important role during the revolts of Cretan people against the Ottoman domination as it served as a place to hide for the warriors and a refuge for the weak population. It is in such an occasion in January of 1824 that 370 people from the area, mainly women and children, were extinguished by the Ottomans. A memorial sarcophagus, containing the skeletal remains of these people is found in the first hall of the cave.

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