In February 1823, 2,500 women and children from the surrounding villages, along with 150 armed men, in order to avoid the army of Hashan Pasha who had his camp at Neapoli, came to the cave to be saved. He sent his son-in-law Mohamed Ali Hushein Bei with 5,000 soldiers to capture them alive.
The siege lasted for 22 days. The stink of the dead bodies was added to the artillery fire, the hunger and the thirst of the besieged. They could no longer bear it, and they decided their heroic sally.
Hushein forgot his vows. The Pasha gave orders the elderly to be isolated, and they were led to a place where his cavalry trampled everybody to death. The babies were slashed and the younger women and children sold into slavery. The men were executed immediately or later at the fortress of Spinalonga, the priests burned on pyres.
The babies were slaughtered and the mothers were sold as slaves. That was the end of the drama of the cave of Milatos.
In 1937 a small church, dedicated to Saint Thomas, was built in the cave and it has also got a monument with some bones of the victims, which were found there.
Tip: To visit the Milatos Cave outside of peak season the entrainment of a flashlight is recommended, since the electric generator to produce electricity usually is not running during this period.
Pictures from the cave of Milatos