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Historical Timeline

1500 - Spanish and Venetian army take control of the island

1797 - Captured by French forces

1949 - After WWII ends and the Italian occupation goes the island becomes part of Greece as it is today

1951 - Cave first explored by noted caving expert Ioannis Petrocheilos who finds on the central hill a lamp from antiquity proving that this was once an inhabited and apparently used as a worshiping place for the god Pan.

1953 - The great Earthquake hit on August 12 and destroyed almost all buildings on the island. This great disaster was the cause of much rebuilding work as the islands have now come back to modern levels.  As the ground over the underground roof of the cave collapses when people return to the island they discover for the first time the delights of Melissani Cave.

1959 - Test shows that the water in the cave comes from sinkholes at Katavothres.

1962 - More excavations in the cave include finds of plates and statues of Pan and the nymph Melissanthi. These are now on show in the museum at Argostoli.

1963 - The cave is opened to the public with a formal entrance way tunnel leading down to the short of the lake inside the cave

1980s - Island becomes more and more popular with the visitors from the rest of Europe and so the cave becomes one of the most important attractions on Kefalonia!