The small stalactite cave Melidoni is located on a mountainside about 2 km outside the small village of Melidoni in the district of Milopotamos Rethymno.
The cave is well signposted and can be reached via a good asphalt road. For the Cretans it is a national monument.
In 1824, between 250 and 370 men, women and children hid in this cave from the Turks. They besieged the cave for three months. Because the Cretans did not give up, they finally piled wood and brushwood in its entrance and set it on fire. Those who fled into the cave died an agonising death by suffocation. Only the Cretan Manolis Kirmizakis survived the massacre, but did not enter the cave again until 1834. The remains of the dead were recovered and buried in a sarcophagus in the cave. Today it is atmospherically illuminated, stalagmites and stalactites look like the pillars of a cathedral built for the dead.
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