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Avdanites

The Avdanites is a village in the northern part of the prefecture, 36 km southeast of Rethymno. The semi-mountainous settlement built at an altitude of 290 meters counts approximately 40 permanent residents and has been declared a traditional rural settlement since 1995.

The village of Avdanites is built near the offshoot of Geropotamos and its name comes from the village Avdos (or Avdanos) in the prefecture of Heraclion, where the demonym Avdanitis originates from.

The village is mentioned in 1577 by Barozzi, while, later, it was mentioned by Kastrofilakas and Basilicata as well. In 1890, the village of Avdanites, a seat of the municipality at that time, was inhabited mostly by Turks. In 1943, German occupational forces captured and executed almost all the men of the village, as it has happened in other neighboring villages, Agios Mamas, Kalivos and Avdellas.

The first thing to be seen when arriving to Avdanites is the central square of the village with a centuries-old huge plane tree and a fountain that cools the villagers and the visitors throughout the year. The fountain has two taps that were constructed in the beginning of the 20th century and were renovated by the municipality.

The main church of the village, the church of Zoodohou Pigis, operates sporadically.

The Avdanites, like other villages of Rethymno, have suffered the consequences of mass migration towards urban centers, but had a significant history in the past. On the banks of the river, ruins of the monastery of Agia Eirini are preserved, where the monks during the Ottoman rule killed the Turks of the village. The tradition says that one was built in the dry-stone wall of the orchard. Their acts were soon discovered and their execution was exemplary.

Moreover, there is a church of Agia Anna in the village of Avdanites with ruins of a Byzantine church and a cemetery.

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