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Sfentoni Cave

It is one of the largest caves in Greece, Its incomparable and rare beauty, fascinates every visitor and makes it one of the most beautifu cavesl in Crete. In 1956, the first systematic speleological exploration began, by speleologists John and Anna Petrocheilou.According to an excavation survey by the Ministry of Culture in 1987, the cave of Zonianon in Rethymno was systematically used as a seasonal residence during the Early Minoan era, and its use was apparently continued in Roman period.
 
Later, during the period of revolutions, the first part of the cave was also used as a shelter for Chaines, meaning rebels in the Cretan dialect.  Τhe other name of the cave is, "The Sfedon's hole", and is probably associated with Sfakiano Chaini Sfedonis, who according to tradition had found shelter in the cave. The narratives of the locals say that one day, when Sfedonis grill his meat, a young man approached him and asked him to eat. He was then angry with the boy that kick him so powerfully with his robber who eventyally killed him.
 
Inside the Cave of Zonianon there is an absolute, peaceful calm which is interrupted only by the sound of drops of water which, with their fall, sculpt  impressive stalagmites, stalactites, columns and walls over time. The dark environment can not cover the unique peculiarity of this cave and its rare colorful limestone decoration.In the "Chamber of the Lost Child", which is the last hall of the cave, a skeleton of the missing child was found a few decades ago, covered with stalagmites. A child unknown who and when, entered inside the cave and lost. He may have wandered for many hours - or may days - in these labyrinthine apartments without ever finding the exit.  Regarding the first room which  called "The Sanctum of the Fairy", the legend says that the "hurted" fairy  has been hiding for many years because she wanted to escape the shepherd who fell in love with her. The speleological research also showed that there are three species of rhinophyloid family bats (characterized by their peculiar nose) as well as invertebrate cave animals. Only a specialist can spot these particular animals because they are tiny, colorless and blind. They have highly sensitive senses so as, not only sense their environment but also withstand long periods of starvation. The most important of these are the isopods, diploids, diplores and snails.