A visit to one of Crete’s most iconic religious & historical spots is the Arkadi Monastery. About 20 km from the city of Rethymno, Arkadi Monastery represents a substantial part of the island’s history and fight for freedom from the Turkish rule.
It’s Katholikon (main church) dates back to the sixteenth century and its remarkable history made the monastery a landmark of Crete.
The monastery had a leading role during the years of the Cretan resistance to the Ottoman rule. In 1866, during the Cretan Revolt, 943 Greek, especially women and small kids, found refuge from the Turkish in the monastery. The battle against the Ottomans lasted for several days, and when realizing they were unable to save themselves, they blew up barrels of gunpowder, choosing to sacrifice themselves rather than surrender. The monastery is now a national sanctuary and monument in honor to the Cretan Resistance.