Governor of Thessaly Kostas Agorastos gave the go ahead to the project “Upgrading of the Theopetra Cave to make it suitable for visitors “to include it in the Thessaly 2014-2020 NSRF with a budget of €2,018,285. The project’s beneficiaries are the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Region of Thessaly. The body responsible for its operation and conservation is the Ephorate of Paleoanthropology and Speleology. With this development, the cave is reopening. As pointed out in the announcement by the Region it is one of the most important archeological sites and the first excavated cave in Thessaly, with continuous findings from the middle of the Paleolithic era up to the end of the Neolithic period.
“In cooperation with Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, the Deputy Regional Governor of Trikala Christos Michalakis, our regional councilors and services, we are proceeding with the works for the reopening of the Theopetra Cave in conditions of maximum security,” Kostas Agorastos said in a statement. “This is a unique ancient monument, which combined with the Theopetra Cave Training and Documentation Centre, funded by the Region and operating close by, offers a complete experience to the visitor. The cave of Theopetra is quite possibly the only one that contains, within a single space, elements of two very significant cultural transitions: the replacement of Neanderthals by modern man, but also the transition from humans as hunter-gatherers to them becoming farmers. The cave’s location next to the town of Kalambaka and just opposite the rocks of Meteora, is another favourable advantage for the upgrading of the area’s cultural map, the strengthening of the tourist flow and the increase of visitors “he concludes.
The project is part of the Integrated Territorial Investment of the cultural-tourism route included in the approved Regional Operational Programme of Thessaly 2014-2020. The route covers important, recognized monuments of Thessaly and extends from the region of Western Thessaly (Trikala-Meteora) to the Eastern part (Magnesia).
The cave had been open to the public since 2010 and was gradually becoming an important attraction in the greater area. Unfortunately, in June 2016, there were rockfalls in front of the cave entrance,resulting in its operation being suspended,as stated in the Region’s announcement.