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Churces & Monasteries

Arkadi Monastery

The abbey of Arkadi is found at 23km. from Rethimno on the peak of a hill. It is unknown when it was precisely founded, but it is considered that has taken its name by its founder, monk Arkadios or by the homonymous Byzantine emperor, the 5th century A.D.
During the period of Ottoman possession (1669A.D.-1913A.D.) it had a particularly important, educational and cultural role, for the around regions.

The event that brought the Monastery of Arkadi in the surface of the Cretan history surprising the European conscience, with the heroism and the self-sacrifice, is reported to the holocaust on 9 November 1866A.D.
With on head the abbot Gavriil Marinakis, 964 beseiged men, women and children, resists against 15000 Turks, exploding finally the deposit of gunpowder with themselves, in order to not fall captives of the conquers.
The assessment of that heroic event was 864 dead Cretans and 1500 Turks, while it caused serious economic hit for the Ottomans and meant the beginning of the end to the Ottoman possession in the island.
There is also an ossuary with the relic of fallen Cretans, as well as museum with enough recollections of the 1866A.D battle and some priceless ecclesiastical subjects of various seasons.