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Arkadi Monastery Review

As you approach Arkadi through the rolling lands at the base of Mt. Ida (one of the contenders in the dispute over the alleged Cretan birthplace of Zeus), you'll follow a gorge inland before emerging onto the flat pastureland that is part of the monastery's holdings. Arkadi is a place of pilgrimage for Cretans and one of the most stunning pieces of Renaissance architecture on the island. The ornate facade, decorated with Corinthian columns and an elegant belfry above, was built in the 16th century of a local, honey-color stone. In 1866 the monastery came under siege during a major rebellion against the Turks, and Abbot Gabriel and several hundred rebels, together with their wives and children, refused to surrender. When the Turkish forces broke through the gate, the defenders set the gunpowder store afire, killing themselves together with hundreds of Turks. The monastery was again a center of resistance when Nazis occupied Crete during World War II.

    Contact Information

  • Address: South of old Heraklion–Hania Rd., Crete 74060
  • Phone: 28310/83116
  • Cost: €2
  • Hours: May–Sept., daily 8–8; Oct.–Apr., daily 9–6
  • Location: Arkadi Monastery
Updated: 05-17-2011

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