to Illustrated Sites of Greece
Cave and Environs
The Stadium at
The Temple of
The Theater at
Corycian cave, high up Mt. Parnassos, is sacred to the Corycian nymphs and to Pan
(according to ancient inscriptions found there). Although the stalagmites are all gone, I
share Pausanias' opinion (10.32.2): it's my fave cave, too, albeit a bit risky to navigate
without a guide - caves like these tend to have unexpected 25 meter drop-offs. Please be
careful! But definitely worth seeing!
from the inside out. The French excavated this karst cave in just over one month's time in
1969 and found a tremendous number and range of objects from all periods of antiquity: a
rare Neolithic male steotopygous figurine, Mycenean shards, bone flutes, iron and bronze
rings, bronze statuettes, 50,000 terra cotta figurines from the classical period and
24,000 astragoloi, or "knucklebones" (used for astragolomancy, or "prophecy
view right outside the cave, which is fairly close to the edge of the cliff and very high
up Mt. Parnassos. Locals took refuge in the cave from the Persians (Herodotus, 8.36) in
the 5th century BC and from the Germans in 1943, and during the Greek War of Independence,
too. King Otto and Queen Amalfia got a royal tour of it - with 100 torchbearers!
Mountain goats a-romping on Mt.
Parnassos right outside the Corycian Cave. On the right, one gives us his perspective of
the Plain of Amphissa far below.