Arkadi Monastery

 
Monastery of Arkadi in Rethymno, Crete, Greece
26 February 2017 Price range : 0 - 10 USD
The Arkadi Monastery is one of the most famous and beloved Orthodox monasteries in Crete, Greece, being located at only 23 kilometres in the southeast of the Rethymnon to...More
The Arkadi Monastery is one of the most famous and beloved Orthodox monasteries in Crete, Greece, being located at only 23 kilometres in the southeast of the Rethymnon town. The Arkadi Monastery is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.
The monastery occupies an important role in the history of Crete; from here it starts the momentum towards gaining the independence of the island that was under the authority of the Ottoman Empire for more than two centuries. In 1866, the Arkadi monastery was used as a place of refuge by the Cretan rebels.
The Arkadi Monastery was one of the biggest cultural centres during the Renaissance. Located 30 kilometres southwest of Rethymno, the Arkadi monastery is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The monastery is linked to some memorable events that occurred during the times when the island was fighting the Turks attacks. In the reflectors door there still are visible traces of bullets, an old cypress in the courtyard of the monastery still keeps the bullet encrusted and the windmill was turned into a charnel house in which are preserved skulls of those who perished in the bloody slaughter.
The Arkadi Monastery is a unique tourist attraction in Crete. This is the place of a true Greek tragedy and the walls of the monastery remained as a testimony of a tumultuous period in history. In 1866 the inhabitants of Crete were under Turkish rule, but they decided to rebel. During the riots, more than 900 people, mostly women and children, found refuge in the monastery. Turks began a siege of the Arkadi Monastery. After three days, the invaders managed to break the Greek defence and to penetrate the gates of the worship place. This is the moment when one of the most tragic events in the history of Crete happened. The people sheltered in the monastery refused to be taken captive and they burned the gunpowder barrels, blowing up the building. Thus perished nearly 1,000 Cretans as well as numerous Turks and the Arkadi Monastery, dating from the twelfth century was severely damaged. In 1870, only four years after the tragedy, the monastery was restored and today is considered to be a symbol of the struggle for freedom of the inhabitants of Crete.
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Maria Colceriu
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