According to the tradition and narrative of the folklorist D. Giannousis (Acropolis, 11-7-54), many centuries ago, the cave was a gold mine guarded by a dragon. The monster breathed and released flames and poisonous vapors from its mouth to anyone who dared to get any close to the cave’s doorstep …
The first king of the city, Castor, seeking to entertain his guest brother Polydeuces, hoped that he could show him this cave. Thus, he made an announcement and promised a great reward to the one who would slay the dragon. Then, a young husky man showed up and decided to engage in a fierce struggle with the dragon. The young man finally managed to win the battle by using his spear and the monster was mortally wounded, floating dead upon the surface of the lake.
The crowd and the Dioscuri brothers celebrated the event and offered thankfulness to god Panas. Then they entered the cave bearing lighted torches while holding their heads down to avoid bumping on the stalactites. As they were walking further inside, impressed by the beauty of the cave, the atmosphere became suffocating due to lack of oxygen. At one point where the passage narrowed, their torches went out and deep darkness embraced them all. It was then that they heard a trembling mysterious voice saying: “He who will bend down and grab a handful of the mud he steps on will regret it but he who will not take anything will regret it too!“
Some were too scared to take something in their hands, while the bravest ones filled their tops with as much mud as they could carry in their arms. When they all came out of the cave in the sunlight, those with the mud were surprised to see that what they were holding was wet gold dust!
Of particular interest is the fact that the legend was retained in the younger generations since before the cave was opened to the public, local parents used to prevent their children from approaching the entrance of the cave, claiming that it has the shape of a dragon mouth; thus, a story was created and the fear around the idea of a terrible monster was preserved.