Sights - Chania Prefecture

The Agia Sofia cave


The impressing Topoliano Farangi (gorge) begins at Topolia, 13 km south of Kissamos. It is 1,5 km long, reaches a depth of 300 m, and has a width of between 5 and 50 m.



A little further on, the road disappears into the mountain through a tunnel, made by the Germans during World War II.

After the tunnel the Agia Sofia cave is situated on the mountainside to the right. A good, but rather steep path leads up to the big cave, which is decorated with stalagmites and stalactites. The cave is 20 m high and has a diameter of 70 m. At the entrance there is moreover a little church dedicated to Agia Sofia.


The cave has to all appearances been inhabited since Neolithic time, as potsherds from that time until the Roman time have been found.


It is said that the brothers Michail and Ioannis Psaromilingos used the cave as a hide-out from the Venetians, when they continued Leon Kallergis' unsuccessful rebellion in 1341.


Leon Kallergis was one of the few members of the Kallergis family, who would not conduct a conciliatory policy towards the Venetians. Therefore he suffered a terrible death, as the duke Andrea Cornaro tracked him down and put him into a sack, which was thrown into the sea.

Also the Psaromilingos brothers suffered a sorry fate, as Ioannis was killed in action, while the wounded Michail ordered one of his men to decapitate him and deliver his head to the Venetians in order to save the others.





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