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Part of the Profitis Ilias CaveProfitis Ilias Cave

The Profitis Ilias Cave is a large underground karsts cave of 2500 square meters with rich decoration of stalactites. It consists of two branches which are linked by a long up-sloping corridor and a very low passage. Each section comprises a large central room surrounded by smaller areas. Those of the east section are subdivided in parts by dry stone walls. The entrance is a hole in the roof of the cave, through which there is a drop of 8 meters (26,2ft) into the first room.

In the 19th century it served as the safest refuge for the chief of a gang of robbers. Before World War II there were plans to convert it into an "entertainment center". Later on, plans to make it a place worth visiting were annulled due to dense construction in the surrounding area and to the destruction of its stalactites and stalagmites by the cave's draining system. During the investigation in the sixties, it was revealed that the cave had served as a habitation site in the late Neolithic period and the beginnings of the Bronze age.

Another archaeological investigation started in 1994 under the direction of Dr. Margarita Koumouzelis. Besides the collection of the rich surface material, the excavation in the area near the entrance, brought layers of fire, stone and bone tools to light as well as ceramic vases and shreds of the late Neolithic period.

This is the only cave in the city of Athens with Neolithic habitation. It can be found at Rizoupolis in the Perissos area.

Opening hours Open non-stop



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