Antiparos Dry Cave
In Antiparos also you can find the oldest Dry Cave in Europe, where you can see the biggest stalagmite in Europe. The Cave of Antiparos is among the most beautiful and most significant in the world; this because, in addition to being an enchanting natural site worth seeing, it is inextricably linked to the history of the area and generates great archaeological interest, owing to the findings from the Stone Age discovered in its interior. The engraved inscriptions that ‘adorn’ it are also an inexhaustible source of stories, legends and information concerning famous—and more anonymous—visitors, like a kind of guest book, whose first page was written hundreds of year before the birth of Christ.
Stalactites and stalagmites, which change form according to the inspiration and imagination of the individual visitor, adorn the ‘Katafygi’ [shelter], as locals used to call the Cave. It is located some 171 metres above sea level, is precipitous, and its interior temperature in wintertime is at about 15 degrees Celsius. It has an area of approximately 5,600 square metres. Its maximum depth reaches some 85 metres and the descent takes place easily and securely, by way of a cement staircase made up of 411 steps.
The exceptional visibility makes possible the observation of details created by ‘Nature, the artist’, and also permits the search for human presence from the times of the Parian poet Archilochus (c. 680 – c. 645 BC) up to the 20th century.
Photo: Stratis Kas.
- 171 meters above sea level
- Max Depth 89 meters
- Size: 5,600 square metres
- Length 89 meters
- Width 60 meters
- By a cement staircase made up of 411 steps
- The Cave is divided into the ‘Antechamber’ and three additional halls: ‘The Chamber of the Stone Waterfalls’; ‘The Chamber of the Cathedral’; and, ‘The Royal Chamber’.
- The huge stalagmite found at the entrance is 45 million years old, the most ancient in Europe, and is called ‘The Huge Central Column’.
- ‘The Royal Chamber’ was ‘christened’ as such on account of the visit paid there by King Otto and Queen Amalia. Its adornment is not impressive, but it is commanding nonetheless.
- The two picturesque little churches at the entrance are named Agios Ioannis (Ai Yiannis) Spiliotis and Zoodohos Pigi.
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