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Mysteries south of Knossos

Zeus’s face in Mount Júktas

One of the ancient proofs of Epimenides’ famous paradox ‘All Cretans are liars’ was the fact that not only was immortal Zeus born on Crete, but the god was buried here as well; the profile of his bearded face is easily discerned in Mount Júktas as you head south of Knossós.

W. Stanley Moss's drawing of Kreipe Abduction Point

The modern road follows a Minoan highway, and has seen high drama: at the T-junction turn-off for Archánes, Cretan Resistance fighters, led by Major Patrick Leigh Fermor and Captain W. Stanley Moss, kidnapped General Kreipe on 26 April 1944.

His car was abandoned on Pánormos Beach with a note saying that it was the work of English commandoes and that civilian reprisals would be against international law. But the Germans were (rightly) convinced that the General was still on Crete and launched a massive search for him. In 1950, Captain Moss published his account, Ill Met by Moonlight, which was soon made into a film starring Dirk Bogarde as Fermor.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Aquick assumed (based on copyright claims)., AWI, Gregor Klar, Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Schuppi, Via Gallica, W. Stanley Moss