Cave of Agia Sophia
A jewel of nature in Kythira
The cave of Agia Sophia Mylopotamou in Kythira is the first scientifically that has been studied in Greece in 1930 by the Patriarch of the Greek potholing John Petrohilos, who was hailing from the island of Kythira. The location is on the west coast of the island at 60m altitude from the sea, in the cove Kokales. Use has tourism in the 70 after a study conducted with the help and guidance of Anna Petrochilou in 1970.
The cave is aged about 4 million years, has an area of 2,200 square meters and a total length of 500 meters, of which 220 are visitable. Immediately after the entrance there is a stone temple with frescoes of the 13th century, dedicated to Agia Sophia (Wisdom) and her daughters Elpida (Hope), Pisti (Faith) and Agapi (Love). The frescoes of the temple is considered as the oldest sample configuration in cave church on the island, and is painted in the fresco technique (fresco), which may explain their preservation.
Immediately after the temple on the left into a large hall with stunning decor, is a small church of Hagia Sophia was built in 1875 by residents of Milopotamos.
The basic color of the cave are tons of gray with bright colors of yellow and red, derived from erosion of the oxides of iron and manganese. The average temperature of the cave is 17oC and the humidity is about 75 ° C.
The cave of Agia Sophia has high biological value because in the interior of the biologist Caloust Paragamian, member of the Greek Speleological Society, discovered a unique in the world blind isopod, which was named in his honor Kythironiscus Paragamiani.
Many myths have been associated with the cave, as the legend wants to cave was the love nest of Paris and Helen during their stay in Kythira, or rumors like the pirate Barbarossa has to hide his treasures there.
The cave has 10 halls with stalactites and stalagmites, which the folk fantasy has given various names such as the Baths of Aphrodite, Amber Hall (with stalactites in red due to the iron), Plate, Hall of Cypresses or prince, of Jaws shark, Octopus. The cave even today produces stalactites and stalagmites.
The cave is open to the public from 1 July to 31 August, and hours 11.00 am - 19.00 pm with accompaniment of guider. Entrance 5€, children and student 2€.
Castle Kato Chora.