Armeni

The Armeni is a village in the prefecture of Rethymno, at the foothills of Vrisinas, located 11 km south of the city of Rethymno.

The area was named Armeni after the first inhabitants of the region, Armenian soldiers who came along with Nikiforos Fokas to release Crete from the Saracens in 961 AD. Today, there is no resident of Armenian origin, since, later, the inhabitants of Sfakia, Rodakino and other regions had settled here.

During the Venetian rule (1212-1669), the Armeni consisted of two villages, the Kato (Lower) and Pano (Upper), and during the Turkish occupation (1669-1898), the Pano Armeni was inhabited only by Turks and when they retreated, the settlement was deserted and has not been inhabited since. During the Ottoman rule, the Turks were defeated in the battles that were fought here.

The settlement, built at an altitude of 380 meters and with population of about 400 residents, because of the short distance from the city of Rethymno, at present, is an important agricultural and commercial center, while attractions of the area include the Late-Minoan Necropolis of Armeni at site Prinokefala.

Other attractions in the village of religious nature are numerous churches, such as the Transfiguration of Christ of 1887, the Virgin Mary, a Byzantine church on the road leading to Koumous, the Agios Georgios, the Agia Kyriaki, the Agios Nektarios and other.

In the past, the main occupation of the residents was the harvest of acorns, which were used in tanning. After the 1980s, the Armeni village developed successful artisan production units of iron cutting and forming, trade units of building materials, of fodder and of agricultural tools. In the village there are many restaurants, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and more.

Apart from the Armeni of Rethymno, there are two more villages with the same name, in Apokoronas of Chania and in Siteia of Lasithi.