Arkadi Monastery

Arkadi, Greece

Arkadi Monatery is perhaps the best known monastery on Crete due to the Holocaust of 1866. However, its location and impressive architecture make it all the more special.

The current catholicon (church) dates back to the 16th century and is marked by the influence of the Renaissance. This influence is visible in the architecture, which mixes both Roman and baroque elements. As early as the 16th century, the monastery was a place for science and art and had a school and a rich library. Situated on a plateau, the monastery is well fortified, being surrounded by a thick and high wall.

The monastery played an active role in the Cretan resistance of Ottoman rule during the Cretan revolt of 1866. 943 Greeks, mostly women and children, sought refuge in the monastery. After three days of battle and under orders from the hegumen (abbot) of the monastery, the Cretans blew up barrels of gunpowder, choosing to sacrifice themselves rather than surrender.

The monastery became a national sanctuary in honor of the Cretan resistance. 8 November is a day of commemorative parties in Arkadi and Rethymno. The explosion did not end the Cretan insurrection, but it attracted the attention of the rest of the world.

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Details

Founded: 16th century
Category: Religious sites in Greece

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bec Edwards (2 years ago)
A place with an amazing history and a beautiful energy. Something for everyone interested in history, religion and art.
Paulette Henricks (2 years ago)
Unique experience! We took the guided tour and got so much information out of it. The monastery is very impressive, and so is the surrounding area and the scenery.
Nick Nikolakis (2 years ago)
a historic place to visit! a must see if you are interested in local history
Vibha Rao (2 years ago)
A historically famous ornate and beautifully serene monastery which is a major shrine of worship for the Eastern Orthodox Church and also famous for the tragic massacre that occurred during the Turkish invasion. Magnificent icons and narthex, has a beautiful courtyard and a magnificent west gate
Thomas Hennequin-Parey (3 years ago)
Beautiful quiet place. You’ll see pieces of history & cats walking in this place. If you have extra time to spend i recomand to go visit this place
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