Thassos Dragon Cave

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Location: Panagia

Thassos Dragon Cave: Panagia is a beautiful and lively village, among the richest and most important villages of Thassos. It is located on a gorge on the side of a mountain and it used to be the old capital of the island.

Only 7 kilometers from the main town and fifteen minutes from Panagia is the known Dragon Cave (Dracotrypa Cave) that literally means dragon hole. The cave is full of impressive stalactites and stalagmites and the visitor will be amazed at the beauty of the underground caves. In fact, the cave was named after a stalactite that had the shape of a dragon. Little is known about the cave as it is yet to be fully explored and studied in depth.



1 Reviews
  • jelenabata 31 Oct 2011
    How to explore Drakotrypa
    I dug around the Internet with the prefix Thassos and stumbled on this. Hm, very interesting, we have not seen this anywhere, and all of the websites marked under this MUST SEE.

    We decided that our curiosity and knowledge and share with you...

    Here are things that intrigue us to embark on this adventure...

    Greece, not only attracts impresivonom incredible beaches and architecture, but also the underground beauty. There are over 6000 known caves in Greece, many of them are open to the public.

    Panagia is a traditional village with a rich history. This is one of the richest and most important village on Thassos. It was built about 300 years ago. During the Byzantine period the place was called "Anastasion". It is not known when it received its present name. Shortly after the 1821 revolution, became the capital of the island. Location of the village, the narrow gorge between the mountains, is what makes it invisible from the open sea. The houses are covered with terraces, mountain stone roofs with wooden interior walls.

    Both the names of villages and the existence of 11 churches suggest strong religious beliefs population. We can see the church of St Athanasius, built in 1818, the church of Saint Constantine and Helen, St Haralambos, built in 1820, St John the Theologian, built in 1825, Saint Panteleimon, Saint George, built in 1835 and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin (Panagia) built in 1845. The history of this temple is directly connected with the history of the village.

    Unfortunately, the exact timing of the church is unknown, but judging by the fact that the village was named after the church, it should be before 1821 (year of the Greek Revolution). The church was, according to tradition, consecrated by Metropolitan Anthimos. In the 18th century, the inhabitants of the ancient city of Thassos were forced, due to pirate attacks, to escape into the central part of the island and settle in Panagia. So the number of inhabitants in the village has increased significantly, and therefore the need for greater church.

    Works started in 1831 under the supervision of craftsmen from Kastoria, who were experts in church architecture. Construction work started with the financial assistance and Sotirios Avgoustisa Konstantinos Avgerinos, whose tombstone near the church, but since there were not enough funds for the completion of the magnificent temple they have requested the help of the Holy Mountain.

    The monastery that helped was Vatopedi, one of the richest. The church was built without a roof. In 1881 a new wooden iconostasis completed by craftsmen from Volos. Thanks to the workers from Kastoria, church has given many features of Byzantine churches in Kastoria. The dome is elevated and octagonal. Octagonal altar niche is a semi-circle. Its length reaches 27.5 meters, width of 18.6, while the height of 18 meters.

    The walls are built of marble from the quarries of Panagia. Noteworthy is the fact that the walls of marble from the ruins of ancient temples of Thassos. The architectural style of the church is a basilica with a dome with three passages and interior with semi-cylindrical vaults. The village has many sources and large plane trees in the center. Sea view is beautiful.

    Drakotrypa cave is located east of Panagia, the mountain rim. Small test excavations carried out in 1972 outside the cave confirmed the use of caves in ranobronzano time, but also in the Byzantine period. Here we find pottery from the Archaic period, ie, the vessels of the time, Mycenae, Corinth, Roman and Byzantine times.

    It is a cave with stalactites and stalagmites, but not sufficiently explored to its full width and depth. It was named after the appearance of stalactites, which form the dragon. In Drakotripa Panagia living in a cave a bat - the chicken coop.

    I'm not sure whether Drakotripa and Drakospilia are the same caves, but it is clear that the Panagia caves of great importance for nature conservation on the island (Drakotripa is known to have endemic species of invertebrates- snails) and they should have the protection of the the local authorities.

    And there goes our adventure:
    We are located in the center of Panagia (the right side of the restaurant "Platani", in front of us the right of the tavern "Elena", left homonymous garden restaurants and behind the school yard).

    After the tour we stopped and painting to oil mills to buy cold-pressed olive oil. Nice girl serve us, but have no idea about the cave and wait for the boss. He said: "Maybe a little late to go there now. It is not lit and there is not passable road." But is it a Serb ....!!! Move toward the center, I came across Elena, the owner of the restaurant and ask further. She says that he remembers that she went there with 7 years, and in spiders and bats. But even if the party asking for a cave for 20 years. He took to keeping a bucket of oil and one said that they would face upon return.

    Backfires. Behind the school yard a bit to the right and downhill (could be by car, but I do not recommend, more on foot).
    On the left we find the source (be drunk fresh mountain water).
    On the right side of the picture a beautiful view of the Golden Bay beach and come home to a beautiful orange white facade with beautiful pots and cultivated flowers.

    Then, watch out for the dogs on the right side of the road (are related, but one can climb up), stick to the left. Go further downhill, following the path, and screw in the bottom right of the street we come to the house (where the road swings to the left) where the pole we see only the label for directions to the cave.

    Turn right along the fence and follow the house as cleared the path. A little to the left, a little right. After sometime there is a D mark that indicates that you are on the right track. After ten minutes, we came to the end of the path and when you think that where there are no more, turn to the right look! A small path up and 10 meters, and look to the left. And here is the entrance to the cave!

    But we have not brought a flashlight! I enter the darkness 2-3 steps its way through the cobwebs and the meter starts to paint.

    We recommend that everyone does not forget a flashlight (no video, because the camera requires a minimum of light), and as we do not go in flip-flops and shorts! Go to there is only 15 minutes. We hope that you (if you have the least bit adventurous) to continue this story. We will definitely be back (with a torch!).