The Cave of Olympi
Cave of Olympi is situated on Sykia, a location in the southwest of
Chios, 35 kilometers out of the capital city of Chios, 10 kilometers
from port Mesta (the southern remote place of Chios) and 5
kilometers away of the medieval village of Olympi.
The Cave of Olympi is a precipice, exceptional rich in stalactites. In spite of its small dimensions the cave is one of the most remarkable and beautiful caves of Greece.
Its first exploration took place in 1985 by the Hellenic Speleological Company as an answer to the requests of the local community (Olympi) and it was sponsored by the Hellenic Organization of Tourism (E.O.T.). The works started in 2000 and lasted until 2002, when it was given to the public.
The natural decoration of the cave is exceptional magnificent. It has mostly a yellow-redish color because of the presence of carbonic calcium and the red-colored argilic components. In some places, the cave has white color.
According to the scientists, the creation of the cave took place in two different phases: a) The first is referred to the Upper Jurassic period (Mesozoic period) 150 million years ago, and b) the second is referred to Cainozoic period 65 million years ago. This distinction has been made after the examination (dating) of the carbonic elements of the cave.
The temperature inside the cave is 18 C and the oxygen level is 20% with the permitted limit to be 19,5%.
The development of peculiar-shaped stalactites is impressive. Those stalactites are known as Eccentrites. Those are stalactites which are not developed vertically. THEIR CREATION IS AGAINST THE LAW OF GRAVITY. That abnormal creation is due to the existence of draughts inside the cave, perhaps because of the natural opening of its roof.
The cave has two entrances:
A) A natural entrance on its top, but is very difficult to get in because you need a rope. The sunlight which goes into the cave from the natural entrance creates a unique spectacle when it's dark.
B) An artificial entrance is 110 meters above sea level. After we get down the entrance and the spiral ladder we find ourselves into 30 meters deep.
The cave is declared active, which means that the procedure of stalactite creation is still continued. It needs SPECIAL CARE to conserve the climate in the interior of the cave, which may be disturbed if the environmental harmony changes (temperature, oxygen, carbon dioxide, humidity). For that reason a double door was designed to keep out the draughts of air which may disturb the environmental equilibrium.
TRADITIONAL APPARTMENTS, OLYMPI CHIOS
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