Sunday, April 26, 2015
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Sights Caves Tzanis or Honos Cave by Omalos

Tzanis or Honos CaveOn the right hand side of the road descending from the Omalos plateau to Chania, there is the large canyon-cave called Honos or the Cave of Tzanis, which served as the den of the chieftain Tzanis Markos during the first years of the Turkish invasion.

Nicknamed ‘Fovos’ (fear), he struck terror into the hearts of the invaders. The cave was explored for the first time by speleologists from Chania and France. It is 2.5 kms in length, and the height of the cavern is 241 metres; it forms a huge covered gorge.

Opposite the entrance of the cave of Tzanis, on a small knoll, there is the Tower and chapel of the famous rebel chieftain from Lakki and hero of the Lefka Ori, Hadzimihalis Yiannaris (1851-1916). One of the pioneers in the uprisings of 1855 and 1856 and a major contributor to the great uprising of 1866-1869, he was imprisoned many times by the Turks but always managed to escape. On one occasion, about to attempt the almost impossible escape from the fortress of Firkas in Chania in 1860, he vowed that if successful he would build the small chapel of Agios Panteleimon in Omalos next to the Tower. He kept the vow and, honoured as a general, was buried there according to his own wishes, in his old "lair". Great both in stature and soul, he served as a general leader of the district of Kydonia in Chania from 1866 to 1898.

 

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