Arkadi Monastery
Arkadi Monastery
Arkadi Monastery History Photos, Part 1
       A short day trip from Rethymnon is Arkadi Monstary. A site of one of the most tragic, and as some say heroic, chapters in the struggle against the Turks on Crete

    Some of the strongest resistance to the Turkish occupation took place on Crete as well as some of the most horrific retributions by the Turks. The Greek freedom fighters would register their displeasure with the Turks (normally some Turks would be discovered dead) and the Turks would show their displeasure by killing everyone in a town or village. In 1866 around 1,000 Cretens took refuge in the Monastery fearing Turkish retribution. The people, which did include several freedom fighters, held out for two days before the 12,0000 Turks laying siege were able to rupture the walls. However, instead of surrendering the abbot (a local hero) and the people inside decided to ignite the gun powder in the powder keg/. 829 of the Cretens died. It is said anywhere from 100 to 1000 (I am sure there is a story where its a million) Turks died in the attack.

    The monastery is said to be a site of pilgrims, visiting to give thanks to the resistance on Crete. I only say tourists when I was there. The Monastery is located on a high plateau with a nice view of the sea below. It was originally built by the Venetians in the Renaissance style. Much of the western half was destroyed and is being rebuilt. However, it is most likely once looked like the eastern side. It is currently being rebuilt.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Any comments, please E-mail me, .

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Cloisters/Reflection chambers

Looking out of a cloister

Looking out at walkway above

Original Cloisters

Western Courtyard

View: Part Two  
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All photos by John L. Polos
Copyright 6/30/03