Idaion Andron Cave
Set on the west side of Nida plateau on the mountain of Psiloritis and at an altitude of 1500 meters. Also referred to as the cave of the shepherdess. According to one of the versions of the myth of the genesis of Zeus, this is one of the caves claiming to be the cave of where goddess Rea gave birth to Zeus.
The first excavation took place in 1884 with the other to follow in 1917, 1956 and 1982-86. A place of worship of the young Minoan God of Vegetation that follows the cult of the Cretan born Zeus and continues uninterrupted until the end of antiquity (5th century AD).
Inside the cave a multitude of finds were discovered: figurines objects made out of ivory, gold, silver, seals, a lot of ceramics and the notorious copper shields and drums that today can be found in the Archeological Museum of Heraklion. One of the shields depicts an eagle grabbing a sphinx with his nails while serpents and lions are complementing the shield’s decoration. In the other shield, scenes of a battle are depicted.
This is also the cave, according to the Greek Mythology, which was visited by King Minos to receive the laws and commands from his father Zeus to govern his island wisely, admired by Plato and Aristotle.