TheDavelis' Cave is one of the most discussed and mysterious places in Attica. And how much you haven't heard about this place. Legends, myths, and stories accompany it and one can hardly distinguish where history begins and ends and myth begins. The cave located in Penteli is actually called the Cave of Penteli or Cave of Amomon. However, the various stories told made it more widely known as Davelis' Cave. However, all the approaches and speculations that have made this part of Attica very famous are interesting.
Davelis' Cave is located on Mount Penteli in Attica at an altitude of about 700 meters. It is a cave that had already been discovered by the Ancient Greeks. It was then that they themselves carved the mountain for the production of the famous Pentelic marble. The cave initially had no passage to the outside of the mountain. Since antiquity, the cave of Penteli has gained a special reputation. Specifically, in antiquity, it was a sanctuary of Pan. Later, and specifically during the Byzantine years, the cave was a retreat of monks who in those years had settled almost all over Penteli, the so-called Amomon. It is from these monks that it has taken its second name.
The cave of Penteli had been discovered since antiquity but was eventually fully explored by a couple of Greek speleologists Ioannis and Anna Petrocheilos. For many years it has been accompanied by many stories, legends, and strange references. Of course, the fact that he was associated with the robber Davelis, who is said to have had his refuge there, played a big role. Something that has ultimately been very hotly contested.
Following this, it was said that from there he followed a secret underground route and reached either the Palace of Duchess Plakentias with whom he had a relationship, or even the Acropolis. And of course, all this sparked even more rumors about what was happening to those who got there, especially in the past. After 1990 the cave was associated with mystical ceremonies. Already long ago, the woodcutters and beekeepers of Penteli told strange stories: strange music, appearances of angels and ghosts. A typical example of the strange things that happen in the area is also the uphill point where cars move as if downhill. This point is in the area of Penteli and specifically in the same line as the Cave of Davelis.
The robber Davelis and his story
But who was the robber who gave his name to Davelis' Cave? The reason for Christos Davelis whose real name was Natsios. Davelis was born in Steiri, Viotia around 1830 and went down in history like few for what he did while in a gang. As a teenager, Davelis worked as a dairy vendor and servant at the Penteli Monastery. However, while still young, he entered the ranks of illegality and gangs. Specifically, within a few years, he joined the gang that operated in Attica, Evia, Boeotia, and Fthiotida.
In 1855 his fame peaked as he participated in the kidnapping of the French captain Bertaud. This caused a diplomatic incident and turmoil within the government, which gave Davelis the then-exorbitant sum of 30,000 drachmas. in gold to free Bertaud. The robber Davelis was killed in a clash with a detachment of the Gendarmerie in 1856, near the village of Zemeno in Viotia. What is characteristic is that the leader of the detachment was his brotherly friend and former henchman, Ioannis Megas, who left the gang and joined the Gendarmerie after a confrontation with Davelis about... the eyes of the Italian countess Luisa Bankoli. And of course all this in the context of legends and what has been said.
Davelis' cave is of particular interest in terms of its structure.
The entrance of the cave is quite majestic and awe-inspiring to anyone who gets there. Especially if you are going for the first time and you have heard and read the various legends and stories.
After entering, you will walk in a huge downhill chamber which is 112 meters long and 40 meters wide. In the middle of this chamber, in Davelis' Cave, there was a vertical chasm of 15 meters.
At the lowest point of this central chamber and especially towards its end, there is another chasm with a helical dangerous passage, about 10 meters deep
Finally, somewhere on the left wall of the cave, there is a passage that leads to a small soil cavity with water, the so-called lake of the nymphs.
Visiting the cave is definitely a different experience in Attica that you should do...
How do I get to Davelis' cave?
There are two paths to the Davelis cave. The first, and more leisurely option, is by car. This route will take you close to the cave, from where you’ll begin your descent to the town square, a journey of approximately 50 minutes. The second, more challenging option, is a hike. This journey begins at Penteli Square and ends at the cave. You’ll start by heading towards the ravine. After about half a kilometer, you’ll come across the ravine’s bridge. From there, take the right-hand path. Your ascent begins here, along a 2.5 km dirt road. Follow the path marked in red, and you’ll find yourself at your destination. After roughly 75 minutes, the cave will be right before your eyes. The choice is yours.