On Nida plateau, at an altitude of 1,538 m is located “Spiliara tis Voskopoulas” (Shepherdess’ cave) the cave where, according to mythology, Zeus, the father of Gods, was born.

Rea hid in this cave her newborn baby to save him from Cronus who wanted to swallow his kids because he was afraid that one of them would assume leadership. Zeus grew up hidden in the cave and was fed with milk from the goat Amalthia; when he cried, Kourites covered his voice by clashing bronze shields.

Idaion Andron became very famous in Antiquity and had been a place of worship from Minoan years until late Roman years. The cave was first excavated in 1885 by the Italian archaeologist Federico Halbherr and then in 1983 by archaeologists Giannis and Efi Sakellaraki.

Among the archaeological finds, the most important is the bronze shields with various patterns, signets, ivory items and gold jewellery, as well as marvellous pottery, idols, tools and metal items.


Regional Unit of Rethymno
Culture and Sports Department
Iroon Politechniou Square

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