The village of Zoniana is a mountainous village built on the northern foothills of Psiloritis at an altitude of about 640 meters. According to tradition, the name of the village is related to Zeus and the history of Axos.
During the recent history, it has never been inhabited by conquerors and its population was always purely Greek.
Though in the past years, the name of the village changed to New Axos and later to Drosia, the locals still call it Yeni Gave.
In the place of the present settlement, a Cretan Muslim opened a café to serve the travelers and wayfarers. That’s what gave the place the name "Yeni Gave", which meant "new café" in Turkish.
The unique landscape, as well as the exquisite food offered in the local taverns, reward every visitor.
The museum includes 87 wax effigies in natural size, depicting scenes from the history of Crete.
Among the wax models are those of El. Venizelos, Kornaros, Theotokopoulos, Kazantzakis, Nikiforos Fokas, and many other personages, displayed in a specially decorated environment that introduces the visitor to the atmosphere of each era.
The precision, simplicity and clarity of the models give a lifelike sensation and a unique, almost mesmerizing experience to every visitor.
Sfendoni Cave is considered one of the five most beautiful caves in Greece and it is certainly the most important one on Crete, with stalactites and stalagmites in different shades (gray, white, deep red) depending on the rock formations they are composed of.
Some formations glow magically under the spotlights. The scientific explanation is that this impressive glow is coming from the tiny crystals of calcium carbonate, but there are many people who think that there are fairies inside the cave that sprinkle them with glitter powder.
Axos is a mountainous traditional village at an altitude of 510 meters. Ancient Axos was one of the hundred city-states of ancient Crete that experienced its flourishing from the Late Minoan Era and the Geometric Period to the times of the Roman Empire.
This prosperity continued during the Byzantine period, when it became the Seat of the Diocese (Episcopal Seat).
According to tradition, in modern history, Axos was destroyed by the Venetians and its inhabitants moved few kilometers eastwards, where they founded the village of Anogia.
Apart from the marvelous natural scenery and the great history of Axos, visitors will also find here more than 10 springs with fresh water, full-flowing throughout the year, with the most imposing of all, the one that stands in the central square of the village.
Warm water in winter and cool water in summer spouts from the mouths of three marble lion statues. This very fountain and the shade of the large plane tree is a true magnet for any passer-by.
About 50 km away from Rethymnon, at an altitude of almost 800m, there is the village of Anogia. The village took part in all of Crete's struggles for liberation, particularly rising up against the Turks and their occupation of Greece and later against the German occupation in World War Two, when it played a pivotal role in the Battle of Crete.
Anogia is also considered to be the center of contemporary Cretan culture, with Nikos Xylouris dominating the cultural heritage of the place.
Enjoy a cup of coffee in the central square of the village and admire the local traditional shops, the traditional textiles, the renowned embroidery, the famous woven textiles and the use of the loom. Local people are loyal to their cultural heritage and respect their customs and practices, while they still wear their traditional clothing and retain their local idioms.
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