Cave of the Bear in Chania, Crete
Chania Caves - The Cave of the Bear, also known as the Virgin Mary Arkoudiotissa, is a sacred site in Chania, Crete. Located on the path from Gouverneto to Gatholiko, this cave houses a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. As you approach the entrance, you'll see a grey stalagmite shaped like a bear and a small pond. Archaeologists believe that in ancient times, the cave was a sanctuary for the goddess Artemis, who was said to have transformed into a bear. Inside the cave, you'll find inscriptions and reliefs of Apollo and Artemis. Today, the cave is an old riverbed with a large hall adorned with ancient relics that have been blackened by fire. Beyond the hall is a smaller chamber that can be accessed through a narrow passage. While its width may be too small to explore further, the Cave of the Bear remains a must-see destination for visitors to Crete.
Explore the secrets of Chania!