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Internal Configuration

THE  entrance of the cave  is called "Antechamber" and consists of  three levels. The first and highest, the "Covered Square", is paved with concrete and benches have been placed around it. The second, the "Hidden Chamber", is separated from the first by a huge stalagmite, the oldest in Europe, named  "Peloria Central Column" and stalagmites to its right and left, which look like statues.  In "Kolona" the ropes used to be tied, to go down to the main cave. The third level of the "Hall" extends with a kind of corridor, at the end of which a railing door leads to the pre-eminent interior of the cave. At this level, and at a height of about three meters from the floor, there is a small opening that reveals a chamber measuring 20x10 meters, known as the "Crypt". Archaeological excavations in this area during 1974-75 revealed shells and human bones that are now in the Museum of Paros. Passing the railing door you are in the heart of the cave, which is divided into three "rooms".

The first room  or "Chamber of stone waterfalls" has dimensions 17x27x10 meters and rich stalactite and stalagmite decoration. It got its name from the majestic and wonderful decoration to its right wall, where there are beautiful columns and stalactites like waterfalls.

The second room  or "Cathedral Chamber" is located 25 meters lower than the first. Its dimensions are 33x20x30 meters. This is where the Christmas service was held in 1673, by the Marquis de Duane and his entourage. On the right there are all-white stalagmite bands and above them hanging "chandeliers". Further on is the formation that was aptly named "Black Waterfall" and opposite it a series of stalagmites, the lowest of which is the famous "Holy Table". At one end of this room and a meter lower there is a smaller room with beautiful stalagmite, the "Umbrella". The room is called "Abyss Hall" because there is a hole two meters in diameter and about 7-8 meters deep.

The third room, located on the lower level, is called the "Basilica", because of the visit of King Otto and Queen Amalia and the inscription they carved there. Its dimensions are 27x50x20 meters. It does not have a particularly impressive decoration, but it is imposing.

  • The cave is divided into the "Foyer" and three additional rooms, the "Chamber of stone waterfalls", the "Chamber of the cathedral" and the "Royal Hall".

  • The huge stalagmite at the entrance is forty-five million years old, the oldest in Europe, and is called the "Large Central Column".

  • The "Royal Hall" was so baptized, due to the visit of King Otto and Queen Amalia. It does not have impressive decoration, but it is imposing.

  • The two picturesque churches that the visitor meets at the entrance are Ai Giannis o Spiliotis and Zoodochos Pigi.

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