Crete

Crete is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Greece, with a long history and plenty of must-visit attractions associated with some of the most fascinating ancient Greek myths. And one of the most noteworthy sites on the island is Knossos; the palace that became the center of the Minoan civilization. The myth says that King Minos, looking for a way to retain this half-man half-bull son, turned to Daedalus to ask for help. And Daedalus made him the labyrinth; a large maze where the Minotaur was trapped. Every nine years, King Aegeus of Athens was required to send seven young boys and seven young girls to be eaten by the Minotaur. One year, his son, Prince Theseus, volunteered to go to the labyrinth and try to kill the beast. And so he did. With the help of Ariadne, King Minos’ daughter, and the sword and ball of the thread she gave him, he managed to kill the Minotaur and find his way out of the labyrinth.In the center of Crete, you’ll find Ideon Andron; a cave of great mythological importance on the island’s highest mountain, Ida (or Psiloritis). According to the myth, Cronus – the youngest but most ambitious of the Titans – overthrew his father with Gaia’s help, but his fear of having the same fate led him to swallow his own children. His wife and sister Rhea managed to save their last child, Zeus, by hiding him in the Ideon Andron cave and giving Cronus a stone wrapped as a baby to swallow. The cave’s entrance was guarded by the Kouretes, who performed a war dance, striking their swords on their shields so that Cronus would not hear baby Zeus crying. According to a different myth though, the birthplace of Zeus is located in a sacred cave on the Lassithi plateau; Dikteon Andron. This cave is believed to be the place where Amalthea – sometimes depicted as a goat and sometimes as a goat-tending nymph – nurtured the infant Zeus as his foster mother.

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