A Place Called Cape Tenaro

Tenaro cape, Greece - panoramio
Tenaro cape, Greece - panoramio (Photo credit: Panoramio upload bot)

Cape Tenaro, also known as Cape Matapan, is the southernmost point of Greece and Europe. It has been an area of some importance for thousands of years. Its unique and colorful history make it a very interesting place to learn about and visit.

Cape Tainaron lighthouse
Cape Tainaron lighthouse (Photo credit: Einstein2)

It has been the location of some mysterious sites and happenings. According to Greek mythology, a cave on the tip of the cape is the home of Hades, the god of the dead. The Spartans built many temples on the cape to honor various gods. One temple that was built in honor of Poseidon, god of the sea, was later converted into a Christian church; this church still operates today.

Church on Mani near Cape Matapan
Church on Mani near Cape Matapan (Photo credit: Chris06)

The cape is known for other things besides its religious significance. Mercenaries used to flock there as they waited to be hired to fight in armed conflicts. It is also the site where the SS Californian was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans in 1915; the Californian was originally sent out as a rescue ship to aid the Titanic. Additionally, a major naval battle, the Battle of Cape Matapan, was fought in 1941 off the coast of the cape. This battle, fought between the English and Italians, was significant because it greatly reduced future Italian naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean. Last but not least, the cape is known for being part of the path of migrating birds flying to Africa.

Cape Matapan 01
Cape Matapan 01 (Photo credit: Camster)

Clearly, the history of the cape is intriguing and distinct. From the time of the gods to present day, it has continued to be an area of religious and cultural significance. Cape Tenaro is a completely unique location, unlike any other place in the world.

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