||In the area, which is commonly known
as The Cave of Rapa, and more
generally as The Cave of Milatos,
is located East of Milatos.
Its height is 155m. The cave has
eight small and larger entrances,
covering a space of 40m with three
different levels. The cave of Milatos
is well known because of the drama
that occurred there in February
of 1823. The infamous Hasan Pasas,
having destroyed and devastated
Lasithi at the beginning of 1823,
took action in Mirabello. The citizens
foreseeing their fate went to hide in
the caves. The residents of Vrahasi
went to the Cave of Peristera, and
those from Upper Mirabello went to
the Cave of Milatos. Hasan Pasas
sent the Albanian deputy-general
Husain Vei with 5000 soldiers to attack the cave. The local military guards tried to restrain Husain, and caused him considerable damage, but finally the cave was surrounded. The 150 defenders fought bravely and killed many of the attacking force. This horrendous drama lasted from the third to the fifteenth of February, 1823.The hostages began to experience the tortures of thirst and hunger. The smell of dead bodies was
terrible. The pressure from the attackers was increasing.
Cannons were brought in and they bombarded the entrance to
the cave from the opposite heights. The hostages were suffering
patiently. They expected help from the outside. In fact, 2500
soldiers came to help. The numbers of soldiers of Hasas Pasa and
their cannon power was overwhelming. The Turks called upon the
prisoners to surrender, swearing that they would not harm them,
but the Christians were unable to believe their guarantees.
Finally, their needs forced them to make an exit. Initially the
warriors ventured out. The first thirty who came out were
mercilessly slaughtered by the Turks. This was followed by the
pursuit and massacre of women and children. Those who were
captured were tied up with ropes and chains and driven to
Neapolis. The older people were transferred to a place called
Grampelis. There the Turkish cavalry trampled them to death.
They beheaded them and made a pyramid of the heads as a trophy, and the women and children were sold as slaves. The infants were completely butchered. Eighteen priests were killed or burned alive. This is how the terrible drama of the Caves of Milatos ended.