The Rock of Kallikatsu
The Origin of the Rock’s Name
The name of this rock is related to a very old story that people say to have taken place in the area. According to the legend, a young girl who had just taken the Holy Communion wanted to dive into the crystal waters. Her mother didn’t let her do it because orthodox people do not wash their mouth after they have communed, so as not to spit the Holy Eucharist. However, the girl insisted so her mother got angry and she shouted, “If you go, you can become a stone.” And so, the young woman dove and was turned into a rock.
As for the place name, KALIKATSOU is the name often given by the islanders from the bird sea-cormorant (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii), a black cormorant which nests on this rock.
An Archaeological Site
Researchers believe that the “Petra” – the Rock – of Kallikatsu is in fact an archaeological site where, from the prehistoric to the historical times (1100 BC – 4th century AD), there was an open sanctuary with constant worship, probably devoted to Venus. The carved stairs, the cave, the artificial cavities and niches for the placement of votive offerings, and the water reservoirs are all elements that would be indispensable for the ancient rituals. This theory tends to be supported by the findings in the area by the archaeologist Pavlos Triantafyllidis, which proves that it was inhabited during the Late Bronze Age (1100 BC).
When Christianity came, the elements of the ancient sanctuary were turned into a hermitage for monks until the 14th century AD.
The Geology of the Rock of Kallikatsu
Finally, it is worth noting that, geologically, the rock of Kallikatsu is a volcanic rock made from lava from the period of volcanic activity in the region (four million years ago), and its shape derives from the way the materials of the basal lava were connected.