Arkadi monastery is located 23 km southeast of Rethymno and dates back to Byzantine times and is believed to be named after Arkadios, a monk who founded the holy order. It has been recognized as a European Freedom Memorial by UNESCO as it played a very important part in the war against the Ottomans during the Cretan Revolt of 1866 – 1869.
The Holocaust of Arkadi on the 8th of November 1866 tells a tale of courage and bravery of the Greek people. Nine hundred Cretan rebels, most of which women and children, took shelter in the monastery sieged by 15,000 Turkish soldiers. After days of fighting, the Turkish troops broke into the monastery.
Knowing the battle was lost, the rebels preferred death than falling into the hands of the Turks, so they set fire to a gunpowder storage room, killing all of them, as well as hundreds of Turkish soldiers. The holocaust news caused strong reactions in western Europe and won the support for the Cretan freedom movement.
Arkadi is located 23 km southeast of Rethymno.
Entrance Fee: Full 2.50 Euro, under 12 go Free
Opening Times: April-May 09:00 to 19:00, June-August 09:00 to 20:00, September-October 09:00 to 19:00