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Category: Church
Prefecture: Lassithi
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Places near church


Psychro
Psychro 2784 hits

Psychro village is one of the 18 villages of Lassithi Plateau, and located southwest of the plateau at the foot of Mountain Touba Moutsouna.

 

It is perhaps the best known village of the plateau since above it there is the famous cave Dikteon Andron where according to mythology, the Olympian god Zeus was born. The Psychro village altitude is 828 meters and dates back to the Venetian period, like the other villages of the plateau.

The village despite the few inhabitants which according to the census of 2011 amounted to 133 inhabitants, benefits of the presence of the active Cultural Association of village which organizes numerous of cultural events and ensures the preservation of local traditions and the cleanliness of the village.

Dikti Range
Dikti Range 2770 hits

Dikti or Dicte or Lassithiotika Ori, is a mountain range on the east of the island of Crete in the prefecture of Lassithi. On the west it extends to the prefecture of Heraklio. According to the Greek Mythology, Zeus was reared on this mountain in a cave called Dikteon Andron (Psychro Cave). On the north of the main massif, the plateau of Lassithi is located.

The topology of the mountain range is rich with a lot of plateaus (Lassithi, Katharo, Omalos Viannou, Limnakaro), valleys and secondary peaks. Some important peaks are Spathi 2148m, Afentis Christos/Psari Madara 2141m, Lazaros 2085m, Katharo Tsivi 1665m, Afentis 1571m, Selena 1559m, Platia Korfi 1489m.

The main masif forms a horse-shoe around the valley of Selakano. Large part of the mountain area, including the Selakano valley, are forested with pines (pinus brutia), kermes oaks (quercus coccifera), cypresses (cupressus sempervirens), holm oaks (quercus ilex) and Cretan maples (acer sempervirens). The fertile valleys and plateaus of Dikti/Dicte are of significant importance in the local economy.Dominant feature of Dikti is the Lasithi Plateau, the largest and prettiest plateau in Crete. It is a place with a long history. Diktaion Antron, is located here, a cave where -according to the Mythology- Zeus was born. In a different myth, Dias (Zeus) was born in Idaion Antron in Mt Idi. A third myth is a compromize of the two, claiming that Zeus was born in Dikteon Andron but raised in Idaion.

 
The Lasithi Plateau is a nice place for pleasant excursions. If you are more ambitious and want to climb to the summit of Mt Spathi, then ask at the village of Agios Georgios for the path leading to the small plateau of Limnakaro. The distance is 2 hrs long.

At Limnakaro there is a dirty track leading to the shelter of the Mountaineering Club of Lassithi (30 minutes). Do not follow this road; try to locate the E4 path which leads to the top. The ground is not very solid, and special care is necessary. Go all the way up to the crest of the mountain and then keep moving to the left for the next 2 hours.

Kaminaki
Kaminaki 2765 hits
Kaminaki is a traditional village located at the southern end of Lassithi Plateau and it is 9km far from Tzermiado, the main village of the plateau and 46 from Heraklion. The village itself has a Square and cafenenion and is easily connected to all other villages on the Plateau.A very nice route begins at the village, crosses the wild mountainside of southwest Dikti Mountains at a great height and finishes at the village of  Katofigi. From here you continue on an even more impressive route towards the Plateau of Omalos and Kato Symi and come out on the coast road to Ierapetra.To start off on this route, go to Kaminaki village and turn left (south) on the asphalt road you will see in the centre of the village, 300 metres after the sign giving its name and is pasted at the eastern entrance to the village. The road climbs the slope and after 1,200 metres becomes a good dirt road. Several hotels and rooms to let are available for accommodation in the Lassithi Plateau area. You will find good food and drink in any tavern of the plateau, which is an area of breathtaking beauty. The place is so amazing, that the visitor may forget that the sea is so close (only 30 kilometers far away) and prefer to stay there to enjoy this excellent landscape.
Diktaion Antron
Diktaion Antron 2681 hits
Working hours: 08:00 - 20:00


The cave of Psychro is one of the most important cult places of Minoan Crete. The use of caves as cult places was one of the basic characteristics of the religious beliefs of the ancient Cretans. Cult practice probably begins in the Early Minoan period (2800-2300 B.C.) - although in the antechamber are preserved traces of an even earlier occupation - but the most important finds date from the Middle Minoan period (1800 B.C.) and later, as it was used for many centuries, until the Geometric (8th century B.C.) and the Orientalising-Archaic period (7th-6th century B.C.). The finds prove that it was visited as late as the Roman period. Pilgrims dedicated many offerings, such as figurines of humans, gods, animals, double axes etc. The excavators and several scholars identify the cave as the famous "Diktaian Cave", where Zeus was born and brought up with the aid of Amaltheia and the Kouretes, and which is connected with myths as this of the seer Epimenides who "slept" here, or the coupling of Zeus with Europa. 

In the last decades of the previous century, inhabitants of the area found ancient items inside the cave; this fact led in 1886, the archaeologists Joseph Chatzidakis and F. Halbherr to the site, where they conducted an excavation, but not on a large scale. The cave was also investigated by A. Evans in 1897, by J. Demargne, and by G. Hogarth in 1899, but systematic excavation has not taken place yet. The finds uncovered during legal and illegal excavations were almost all published in 1961 by J. Boardman. The numerous offerings to the cave are now exhibited in the Herakleion Museum and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. 

At 1,025 m. a.s.l., a steep path leads up to a plateau in front of the narrow entrance to the cave. On the right side is an antechamber (42 x 19 m.) with a rectangular altar, 1m. high, built of field stones; this area yielded Neolithic potsherds, Early Minoan burials (2800-2200 B.C.), and offerings of the Middle Minoan period (2200-1550 B.C.). In the northern part of the antechamber, at a lower level, a chamber is formed, which included an irregular enclosure with patches of roughly paved floor, forming a sort of a temenos. 

The large hall (84 x 38 m.) has an inclined floor and a small chamber opening to the left end; one of its niches is called the "liknon" of Zeus. A larger chamber (25 x 12 m.) formed on the right side is divided into two parts: one has a small pool, and the other a very impressive stalactite, known as "the mantle of Zeus". Inside the main chamber had been deposited many offerings, mostly bronze figurines and sheets (1, 2), daggers, arrowheads, and double axes.

Author
V. Zografaki, archaeologist


Telephone: +30 28410 22462, +30 28410 24943, +30 28410 22382
Fax: +30 28410 22462
http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/2/eh255.jsp?obj_id=1628