Rethymno

Rethymno Crete

The third-largest city of Crete, built on the site of ancient Rithymna, retains to this day its Renaissance character and is an important pole of attraction for visitors from around the world.

Rethymno today

Rethymno today is, without exaggeration, one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, with a distinct “colour”, and historical and architectural wealth, which makes it one of the best-preserved Venetian cities. In the “Old City” the Renaissance architectural elements of the Venetian years coexist with the Muslim architecture and the rich history of the city goes hand in hand with its modern tourist development. In the summer, Rethymno hosts visitors from all over the world who choose it as their base for exploring the prefecture or the whole island, while in the winter the students of the faculties of the local university provide a lot of life to the city. Rethymno continues its long cultural tradition, with events such as the Renaissance Festival that takes place here every summer and revives the city’s glorious past. Also, the Rethymno Carnival, an institution of almost 100 years, in recent years has experienced impressive growth and has become famous throughout the country. As a result, the city has become a popular destination for visitors during carnival.

Walk in the city of Rethymnon

The most important sights of Rethymno are concentrated in the “Old Town”. It is worth exploring it by getting lost in the narrow alleys and discovering picturesque corners, architectural treasures, old mansions and other signs of the conquerors who passed through here.

The castle of Fortezza in Rethymno, Crete

Leaving behind the Great Gate (Porta Guora), one of the few surviving parts of the city’s fortifications, visitors can walk towards St. Francis, the Neratze Mosque (Conservatory) and the Historical & Folklore Museum located on the outskirts of the brand new Mikra Square. From this square, you can see the Turkish school with its particular architecture. Then, a stop by the Venetian Fountain Rimondi or simply “Fountains” as the locals call it, from where you can wander the alleys of the Old Town to discover the Lady of the Angels and continue towards the fortress. This is a great viewpoint from where you can experience the city and coast from above. Next, you can descend to the Venetian port and return to the commercial street with the impressive Loggia, and other renovated buildings as well as the Mosque Kara Musa Pasha. The perfect ending of your walk around Rethymno cannot be other than the coastal road, where numerous cafes and restaurants overlooking the sea and the sandy coast are waiting for you to relax and unwind.

Best Wineries in Chania – Crete

Best Wineries in Chania – Crete

The most important wine-producing areas of the prefecture of Chania are located in the northwestern part. The “Wine Road” traverses the areas of Kissamos, Kolymbari, Mousouroi and Voukolies, passing through beautiful landscapes and historic sites. Wine-lovers have the opportunity to get to know the modern products of wineries in the Chania area at the Cretan Wine Festival held each year, usually in spring. Karavitakis vineyards The winery of Karavitaki Vineyards is located in Pontikiana in the area of ​​Kolymvari in…

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The Clock Tower (Pirgos Rologiou) – Rethymno

The Clock Tower (Pirgos Rologiou) – Rethymno

The famous Clock Tower of Rethymno is one of the most famous monuments of Rethymno but there is a catch. It no longer exists! The only sign that proves its existence is a part of its door that can be seen built into a store on Arkadiou Street.

Rimondi Fountain – Rethymno

Rimondi Fountain – Rethymno

The Rimondi Fountain is one of the most well-known attractions in the city of Rethymno, including the Guora Gate, the Clock Tower (that unfortunately no longer exists) and the Kara Musa Phasha mosque. The cities of Crete have always had a water supply problem, which the Venetians faced by building aqueducts and fountains.

The Nerantze Mosque – Rethimno

The Nerantze Mosque – Rethimno

The Nerantze Mosque is one of the most impressive and best-preserved monuments of the old town of Rethymno which, like many other buildings, underwent significant changes, as did the city itself.

Guora Gate – Rethymno (Megali Porta)

Guora Gate – Rethymno (Megali Porta)

The Guora Gate is all that is left from the Venetian fortification of Rethymno. This magnificent gate, which was named after the Venetian rector (= governor) Giacomo Guoro, has an opening that spans 2,60 m wide. It used to be the main entrance to the walled city and it led to the central square, where the most important public buildings of Rethymno were located. (the Loggia, the Rimondi Fountain, the Clock tower).

Monuments & Sights in Rethymno

Monuments & Sights in Rethymno

The Kara Moussa Pasha Mosque The Kara Moussa Pasha Mosque was named after the Turkish commander of the naval campaigns that were conducted against the city of Rethymno. It is situated where the Venetian monastery of Agia Varvara used to be.

Basilica at Panormos

Basilica at Panormos

The archaeological site of the Basilica of Agia Sophia dates back to the early 6th century AD and is located south of the coastal settlement of Panormos and east of Rethymno.  According to researchers, it was probably the Diocese’s seat of Eleftherna during the Early Byzantine years.  It was most likely dedicated to Agia Sophia, hence the name and is one of the largest to be found in Crete.

Fortezza – Fortress in Rethymno

Fortezza – Fortress in Rethymno

The Fortezza is an imposing fortress, which overlooks the city of Rethymno from the rocky hill of Paleokastro. It is possible that in antiquity before the medieval Fortezza was built, the acropolis of Ancient Rithymna and the temple of Artemis Rokkea existed in the area.

Timios Stavros Church – Rethymno

Timios Stavros Church – Rethymno

At an altitude of 2.456 metres, the chapel of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross in Greek) immortalises the ancient practice of worship in peak sanctuaries.

Saint Francis & The Lady of the Angels

Saint Francis & The Lady of the Angels

Saint Francis The single-aisled basilica of St. Francis belonged to the order of the Franciscans during Venetian rule and stands out both for its special architecture and its sculptural decoration. The Turkish conquerors turned it into a poorhouse and in 1796 established a girls’ school right next to it. To its east, the ruins of the two chapels can still be seen.

The Mitata of Nida – Rethymno

The Mitata of Nida – Rethymno

The name of these ancient, dry-stone constructions derives from the Latin word “metatum“, which means soldiers’ lodging. The word passed on to the Byzantines, meaning a temporary lodging, and it still has, more or less, the same meaning in Crete; mitata are used by shepherds as lodgings and storage rooms for cheese. They seem to have come about as a result of some ancient construction tradition and can be seen in various locations around the island but especially in the…

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Top Museums in Rethymno

Top Museums in Rethymno

There are many museums one can visit in the Rethymnon prefecture that cover a wide range of interests and areas, from archaeological museums to folk art and ecclesiastical collections, to contemporary art exhibitions.

Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon

Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon

The Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is located in the centre of the Old Town of Rethymno and at a close distance to other historical and cultural areas for visitors to explore. The earliest collection of artefacts and exhibits of artistic and historical importance were gathered in 1888, on the initiative of the Greek Educational Association of Rethymno. Until 1990 the museum was accommodated in the Loggia, the most important meeting place at the time. In 1991 it was moved into…

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History of Rethymno City

History of Rethymno City

The first evidence of habitation for the city of Rethymno comes from the Late Minoan years (1550-1250 BC). However, the ancient city of Rithymna reached its heyday much later, between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.