Milos Catacombs

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Location: Tripiti

One of the most important archaeological findings of the island is the famous Catacombs of Milos. They were discovered in 1844 and are estimated to be built towards the end of the 1st century AD, used as Christian cemeteries during Roman times.

They are three in total and they are found underground. They are interconnected as they have hallways that decrease in height as you reach the death chamber.
The hallways are typically about 200 meters in length with 5 to 7 carved graves on each side of the hallway.

These catacombs lie southwest of the village of Tripiti. They are situated 150 meters above sea level and you have to walk up a steep hill to get to them. These catacombs were not easy to build, as the Christians had to dig them out of volcanic rock. Christians built the catacombs there since it seemed to be a good location to hide from their Roman persecutors.

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Top Tours and activities

  • Best of Milos by Bus

    Category: Day Trips, Island

    Enjoy a comprehensive overview of the local culture and history on Milos Island. Visit an ancient theater, the catacombs, witness picturesque views of Sarakiniko, and the picturesque village of Plaka.

    4 hours Map
    from € 88.00
    Book now
  • Full Day Sailing Cruise in a Small Group

    Category: Day Trips, Boat Tours, Sailing

    Enjoy a full day cruise that covers the west part of the island, Kleftiko and the cave of Sykia, both inaccessible by land. Cruise, swim and snorkel in secluded bays with a small group of up to 10 passengers.

    8 hours Map
    from € 160.00
    Book now
  • Full Day Family Friendly Cruise

    Category: Day Trips, Sailing

    Enjoy a family-friendly cruise onboard a spacious 55-foot sailing yacht. Explore areas of West Milos inaccessible by foot or car and visit the enormous caves of Sykia and Kleftiko.

    8 hours Map
    from € 200.00
    Book now

More info about the catacombs

Originally, the catacombs were meant to bury the dead. This stemmed from the fact that Christians believe that there is a possibility that like Jesus Christ, you could come back from the dead. A grave is supposed to be a place to preserve your body until you come back to life. They also did not think that Romans would pay proper respect to a dead person of a group that they hated and persecuted.
About 300 graves can be found in these catacombs. Each grave was not meant for one person. On the contrary, many dead people were put in one grave. The number of dead people in these catacombs could be as high as 8000 people. Many people believe that there is another section that has not been discovered yet.
However, the catacombs didn't only function as tombs for the dead but were also used as churches during the time when Romans were persecuting Christians.

The catacombs are full of labyrinths so that the Romans could get lost in them. This was a way to protect the bodies from their enemies. They are connected by three corridors and a dead hallway. The graves are located in vaults and the last count revealed 126 vaults. Archaeologists are of the opinion that thousands of early Christians were buried here. Each vault or grave was lighted by an oil lamp. The oil lamps have now been replaced with more modern electrical lights. The graves of the more important people of that time have Christian symbols and epitaphs on them. Archaeologists' research was deterred by the fact that most graves have been destroyed by exposure to natural elements.

The result is regarded as a prime example of an early Christian monument.
There would have been more information about the inscriptions if humidity had not eroded them. Pirates, locals, conquerors, and travelers did not help by repeatedly stealing stuff from these catacombs. They almost took the tombstones as well.

Today, you cannot visit all of the catacombs but can take a tour around the arcades.



1 Reviews
  • ablutsauger 19 Oct 2015
    I must admit that at first I thought catacombs were some modern art, made as an attraction for tourists.
    Oh, how wrong I was...
    I am not going to narrate about its history, ways of laying bodies and so on. There are detailed descriptions on Greeka and the very own site this attraction has.
    I will just say it's worth visit.
    Have in mind that only groups of seven people may enter for one tour inside (and you go with the guide; the entrance is not "free"), so it can happen that you wait a little, but if you are going during season, it will be a few-minutes waiting.