Welcome to the place where Pythagoras, the great philosopher, mathematician, astrologer, doctor and musician, spent a part of his life. Here there are two caves and two chapels.
The main steps lead to the Cave of Santa Maria (Panagia Sarandaskaliotisa). Pythagoras used this bigger cave for teaching and to provide drinking water but he did not live there because this cave is too high up the mountain and too steep. The cave goes back about 60 meters but you can walk only 15 to 20 meters until you reach the Holy Water.
WARNING: DO NOT WALK BEYOND THE FENCE, IF YOU DO, IT IS UNLIKELY THAT YOU WILL COME BACK ALIVE! The chapel is from 11th century and the angiographies that there are inside date from the 14th century.
Instructions to climb to Pythagoras Cave:
As you go up, before the first chapel (St. John), there is a small path on the right that goes to the cave of Pythagoras.
The path is steep and ends under a fig tree. To continue to Pythagoras’ cave climb one to two metres more and follow the orange sprayed paint marks. Pythagoras used this cave to live because is more flat and there are three rooms inside, (it is possible only enter two).
The story of Pythagoras:
Pythagoras was democratic and believed in one god. His ideas were completely opposite to those of Polycrates, the “Tyrant of Samos”. Polykrates was afraid that he would lose his kingdom to Pythagoras. Pythagoras came to live in the cave because Polycrates hunted and persecuted him and wanted to escape the political system. At that time, many people believed that here was a way for the spirit to escape in space. Pythagoras thought deeply about this notion and said that whatever moved in space made a noise and the amount of noise depended upon the size of the object and the speed at which it moved. He said that after spending time in deep thought the noise he could hear from space was like “music”.
Later he left Samos and went to Italy where he founded a school. His students were all important people in society (writers, philosophers, poets, politicians, astrologers).
A story about the cave of Pythagoras
There is a mountain in Turkey opposite Samos called Latros. In 960AD Saint Paulos Latrino was a hermit lived in caves. Saint Paulos was close to God and perfotmed many miracles.
When he read about Pythagoras living in the cave he wanted to visit the place because he thought that it should be something different. Although he did not know exactly how to get there, he set off in a boat with some students and when they reached the small island of Samiopoula, (which can be seen from the beach in Votcalakia), they asked him: “where are we going teacher”? Saint Paulos answered: “over there” as he pointed to the Kerkis Mountain. The students were worried because the mountain looked high and impenetrable. He then said, “Do not worry, someone will be waiting for us with three horses to take us the rest of the way, ‘can’t you see him?’ Of course they could not see him! (Saint Paulos was able to visualize this because of his power). But, when they got to the coast, a man was waiting. The students were curious and asked the man how he knew they were coming (because they knew they had not told anybody about their journey). He answered ‘I had a dream that I must be here to take an important person’.
So they all set out and journeyed to the cave .saint Paulos described the two caves to his book. He explained that one cave had a water supply but was very steep so they could not stay there, but the other was smaller and more comfortable. They stayed in this one, as did Pythagoras. Saint Paulos and his students lived there for some years. After a few years, the people from Latros sent a messenger over to Samos to ask Paulos to return because they missed his teaching. On the way to cave the messenger was bitten by a snake. His screams were heard by passers by who alerted Saint Paulos. The passers said to Saint Paulos ‘someone is looking for you, but it Is too late because he is dying’.
Saint Paulos rushed out and gave the messenger water from the cave and immediately the messenger stood up. As a result, the people around said that the water in the cave must be Holy Water.(Of course it was the power of the holy man and his faith that made the massager healthy again!)