Antiparos Cave in Antiparos
The Cave of Antiparos in Cyclades, Greece: The most famous sight on the small but picturesque island of Antiparos is its Cave. This interesting natural wonder is full of stalactites and stalagmites which form different shapes. Located on the southeastern part of the island, the cave has a long history. As findings from the Geometric and Classical Era have shown, it was initially used as a refuge and then as a worship place. Macedonian generals also used the cave in the 4th century BC as a refuge after their conspiracy against Alexander the Great.
The interior of the cave was explored in the 15th century A.D. There, in 1673, the French ambassador in Constantinople Marquis de Nouadel performed a Christmas Mass on top of a stalagmite resembling an altar. Since then, the stalagmite was named Holy Table and an inscription was placed beneath it to commemorate the incident.
The oldest stalagmite in the cave is located at the entrance and is estimated to be around 45 million years old. This is also believed to be the oldest stalagmite in Europe. There are totally 411 steps that lead to the heart of the cave, which is around 100 meters deep. The stalagmites and stalactites are a breathtaking spectacle and form unique and stunning shapes in all sizes. At the entrance of the cave, there is the white chapel of Agios Ioannis Spiliotis, built in the 18th century.