S Crete: the legendary birthplace of Zeus and other Greek Gods
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Crete: the legendary birthplace of Zeus and other Greek Gods

Chania ● Crete ● Heraklion ● Lassithi ● Rethymnon ● 16 June 2017
 
Crete was considered since the antiquity as a legendary place, which was connected to many myths of the Greek mythology. The impressive beauty and character of the island created many legends about it, and the most famous of them is that Crete is the birthplace of many Gods and most importantly of Zeus.

According to the mythology, Ideon Andron, the cave, which is located 20 km from Anogeia Village in the prefecture of Rethymnon, was the place, where Zeus was born, hidden from his father, Cronus. The myth says that a goat, named Amalthea, raised Zeus in this cave. Until the Roman times, this cave was considered to be sacred, and archaeological excavations unearthed votive offerings, like shields, spears and gold figures. When Crete was attacked by a giant lizard, Zeus protected its birthplace and threw a lightning bolt against it, turning the beast into stone, creating an island with the name Dia.


According to many myths, the area was birthplace also of the twins Greek gods Apollo and Artemis, who were born in the nearby islets with the name Paximadia. Apollo and Artemis were considered, together with Zeus, to be the Gods that protected Crete. It is interesting that a few years ago, were excavated in ancient Aptera in Crete two stunning sculptures of the two Gods that show their tradition and dominance in Crete.


Another legend of the Cretan mythology is that of King Minos and its palace. Daedalus has built the labyrinth of the palace, where Minotaur lived. Minotaur was the monster, which was created by the union of a bull and the wife of Minos, Pasiphae. Daedalus and his son, Icarus, kept captive there, but they managed to escape by making wings from feathers and wax. However, Icarus flew so close to the sun that the wax melted, the wings were destroyed, and he fell into the sea.


Finally, Minotaur was killed by the Athenian Theseus. Theseus was one of the young men and women that were sent from Athens every nine or seven years to be eaten by the Minotaur as a compensation that Athens had to pay due to its defeat in a past war against Crete. Theseus managed not to get lost in the labyrinth and kill the Minotaur thanks to the help of Ariadne, the daughter of Minos that fell in love with him and gave him a sword and a ball of thread.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Pasiphae Hotel
8.8 10
Pasiphae Hotel
34 Poseidonos str. & 1 Naxou str., 71307 Heraklion, Greece

Pasiphae Hotel is located in Heraklion, almost opposite of the port of Heraklion and just a few kilometers (2 km) away from the airport.

Hotel in Heraklion, Greece Marirena Hotel
Marirena Hotel
120 Andrea Papandreou str. & 8 Naxou str., Amoudara, 71414 Heraklion, Greece

Marirena Hotel is located in the popular tourist destination of Ammoudara, only a 3-minute walk from the beach. Heraklion city centre is 4 km away from the property. Heraklion Port is 7.9 km away and Heraklion International Airport is 12.6 km away.

Studio & Appartment in Malia, Greece Laplaya Beach
9 10
Laplaya Beach
Street Malia-Stalis, 70007 Malia, Greece

LaPlaya beachfront complex is located in a quiet part of the popular touristic resort Malia. The distance from the Heraklion International Airport Nikos Kazantzakis is 31 km, while the main port in Heraklion is at 35 km.#


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