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Wednesday, 22 March 2023

What to see in Rethymno

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Visit the Venetian Port and walk along the harbor wall to the Venetian lighthouse.

The port was originally built in the 14th century by the Venetians for trade and commerce. The iconic Lighthouse was added, also by the Venetians, in the 16th century. The port is surrounded by Venetian buildings and local fisherman are still using this harbor today to bring in their daily catch, which adds to the charm and the authenticity of the area. It is possible to climb up the lighthouse and get stunning views all over the old town and the sea.

The Fortezza was built in 1580 by the Venetians and was captured 1646 by the Ottomans. In the early 20th century many houses were built inside and people lived in the fortress. In World War II the houses were destroyed and left only a few historical buildings. Nowadays you can visit the fortress and enjoy a great view over all Rethymno and the beautiful sea. (Open daily)

There is also a small museum at the entrance, the Armory of the Fortress. It is open daily from 08.00 to 19.00.

The Venetian Loggia was built in the 16th century and was originally used as a meeting place for noble people of the town to discuss economic and political issues. Nowadays it is used as the archaeological museum's shop for souvenirs and gifts. Open Monday to Friday 08.00-15.00.

Just a 100 meters west form the Loggia away is the Rimondi Fountain. It was built in 1626 and is named after the Venetian governor of the period, A. Rimondi. It supplied the people of Rethymno with cool water from the mountain Vrysinas and still brings water through the three lion-head spouts today.

In the south direction along Ethnikis Antistaseos, that ends at Porta Guora (the Great Gate),  are two city landmarks.

The first one would be the Neratze Mosque. Initially it was a Venetian church, but when the Turks conquered the town 1657, their leader, Gazi Hussein Pasha turned it into a mosque. Its 27 meter tall minaret is the highest in town. Today the mosque houses the Municipal Odeon and music lessons as well as musical concerts are held there.

The second landmark is the 16th century Church of St Francis, which houses the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno. The museum is briefly going back 130.000 years to the first indications of human habitation and takes a 30-60 minute journey from 11.000 BC to the 17th century AD, with relevant findings as detailed pottery, bronze and gold work.

Another interesting museum is the Historical and Folklore Museum, which displays a collection of historical artifacts like weaponry. It shares also the cultural and social history of Rethymno, as well as late 19th/early 20th century history, including the time of the Second World War.

Next door is a bakery, where the baker is leaving his door open and shows how he makes the traditional “fyllo” pastry leaves.

Numerous shops all over Rethymno city have a great selection of local Crete and Greece products. It is ideal for buying famous Cretan and Greek items like olive oil, wine, herbs and spices.

Laiki is the local open air street market in Rethymno. It is every day at another place:

 Monday: Kaminia

Tuesday: Alikarnassos

Wednesday: Mastabas (Panayitsa)

Thursday: Patelles

Friday: Therissos

Saturday (main market): Patelles

The market offers fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, but also clothes, shoes, perfumes and much more. It is open from early in the morning to 2 or 3 p.m.

Carnival: very late February/early March the biggest carnival on Crete will take place in Rethymno. On a holiday known as “Apokries” (Greek Halloween) you can see colorful outfits, bright themes and hordes of people in the streets. The climax of the celebration is the carnival parade and is great fun for kids and adults.

Crete has outside from Rethymno also plenty of breathtaking nature and interesting history and culture to offer. Click here to create wonderful memories and moments through the many tours and trips all over the island.

Read 207 times Last modified on Monday, 29 May 2023

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About AT City

Rethymno, or Rethimno, is a city on the north coast of the Greek island of Crete. In the old town, the Venetian Harbor is filled with fishing boats and lined with tavernas. Rethymno Lighthouse was built in the 1830s. West, the hilltop Fortezza is a star-shaped, 16th-century citadel.

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