Melissani Cave Facts
- The stunning Melissani Cave ranks as a magnificent site on the island of Kefalonia, Greece, in Europe. The Ionian Sea also lies to the east, along with the Strait of Ithaca.
- The location served as a sacred place of worship to the ancient Greeks. In fact, one can even find the remains of a small temple within the cave.
- Interestingly, people forgot about the existence of Melissani cave for countless centuries but a speleologist rediscovered it for the public in 1951.
- The opening to the cave lies on the western slope of a mountain, so Mediterranean forests surround it creating a beautiful sight.
Melissani Cave Hydrogeology
Melissani Cave forms a beautiful marvel of geology. It has two separate chambers that contain a small lake including a little island in the middle.
The total length of the cave measures roughly 2.2 mi (3.5 km). Further, the cave’s measurements include a 131 ft (40 m) width and a 118 ft (36 m) height.
The beautiful water within the cave remains a crystal clear blue-green in color and represents a special mix of freshwater and seawater.
Additionally, numerous stalagmites and stalactites fill the interior. These serve to add an air of other-world uniqueness to the incredible location.
Melissani Cave Formation and History
A process of rock dissolution by flowing water formed the breathtaking Melissani Cave. In fact, the process continues to this day.
This rather remarkable place forms one of the few large caves that men know of to have been formed via this particular geological process.
The cave served as a place of worship in the ancient past. It was dedicated to Pan, and the nymph Melissani, from which the name derives.
The rather large underground lake also found within the cave was not discovered by modern man until 1951.