Chainospilios or Marmarospilios cave

Chainospilios or Marmarospilios cave

The Cave Chainospilios is located 200 meters away from the village Kamaraki. The cave is also called Marmarospilios, while many locals call it "Labyrinth".

The entrance of the cave is on a steep cliff. It is a long narrow cave with galleries that are part of an old underground river bed. The cave is still active in most parts. Its length is 200 meters and there is a parallel gallery with a length of 120 meters, which is richly decorated. The cave is developed in limestone of the Miocene (12 million years ago).

The narrow and descending entrance makes the access to the cave difficult for inexperienced cavers.However, the impressive decor inside rewards the visitor. Massive stalagmite columns with more than 6m height, but also many small and large stalagmites, adorn the cave.

Chainospilios means the Cave of Chainides, the Cretan rebels, who used it as their base (in Turkish “chain” means insurgent - rebellious). The cave was the shelter of the famous rebel Captain Palmetis (1790-1834) from Kamaraki, who was an awesome terminator of the Turks and used the cave as a hideout.

The cave served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the region during the Turkish occupation. A local story says that a priest from Kamariotis revealed the cave position to the Turks. They opened a hole in the roof and set fire, but the residents moved to the back of the cave and smoke could not affect them.

In 1866, the revolutionary committee of the fight for freedom and the Provisional Government of Crete (which was set by the General Assembly of Crete in February 1867) settled in the cave. In December 1868, Turks surrounded the cave to capture members of the committee and take over the village. They captured and killed many, but did not manage to occupy the village. Once again, during the German Occupation, Chainospilios served the national resistance.