The Dictaean Cave: The Birthplace of Zeus

Crete, Greece | historical, family, walking


The Dictaean Cave was the birthplace of Zeus. Since the time of King Minos the cave has been a meeting place for mortals and immortals, an awe-inspiring environment full of primeval geological formations, myths, and traces of the human presence.

The Athina Educational Network is an independent non-profit civil partnership which has as a main objective the design, implementation and application of certified educational programs.

9 sights

included in this tour

51 stories

for you to discover


A bridge between two worlds

The caves of Crete have been used as sacred sites for centuries, especially during the Minoan period. There are thousands of caves on the island and many of them contain impressive geological formations (stalactites and stalagmites). A cave is a constant environmental feature and could be interpreted as a site where humans can communicate with the “Otherworld”. They allow contact with the gods and the spirits, entities that are not normally accessible. They also serve as an appropriate burial site.


The castration

The Hittites, in Asia Minor, narrated a story similar to the Greek tradition regarding Cronus. Kumarbi was the servant of Anu, the earliest attested deity who ruled the world for nine years. Kumarbi defeated Anu, cast him down from the sky and joyfully swallowed his genitals. The defeated god warned his old servant that the seed he swallowed would give birth to three fearsome deities. One of them, Tešub, the Weather-God, was destined to succeed him. Kumarbi tried to eat Tešub but he was tricked into swallowing a stone. Eventually the newly-born Weather-God defeated Kumarbi.


The gods are dancing

The Kouretes were whimsical and master dancers who invented and performed, for the very first time, the ``Pyrrhic dance,`` a dance in armor. Goddess Athena also performed the same dance when she was born. Greeks employed dancing to experience the divine. In Sparta young boys danced in honor of Apollo, while young girls honored Artemis. The Athenians danced the pyrrhichios during the Panathenaic Games. The Kouretes also invented a drum using a stretched animal skin and gave it as a present to Rhea, Zeus’ mother. She offered the drum to the Satyrs, who employed it when dancing in honour of Dionysus.

The location

The Dictaean Cave: The Birthplace of Zeus by Clio Muse PC & Athina Educational Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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Yiannis Nikolopoulos

Ο Γιάννης ίδρυσε την πρώτη του εταιρεία κατασκευής και εκμετάλλευσης φωτοβολταϊκών πάρκων το 2007 κατά τη διάρκεια του 3ου έτους του στους Ηλεκτρολόγους Μηχανικούς & Τεχνολογίας Υπολογιστών του Πανεπιστημίου της Πάτρας. Από το 2012 είναι συνιδρυτής και τεχνικός διευθυντής στην Clio Muse. Έχει πάθος με την οργάνωση και την πειθαρχία. Αγαπά το πράσινο και παίζει ακκορντεόν!