Gallou settlement

The settlement of Gallou is a semi-mountain village in the prefecture of Rethymno with lush vegetation throughout the year located approximately 6 km southwest of the city of Rethymno.

It is not quite known where the Gallou settlement took its name from, but there are several unconfirmed versions. One of them says that the village was named after Major Valestra, the French Philhellene, who in 1822 participated in a battle that took place nearby between the Cretan revolutionaries and the besieged in the Fortezza fortress Turks and was killed. Valestra was buried in the village.

Another version speaks about the old church of Panagia of Galou or Galatou, which was called so because, according to a tradition, for its construction milk was used instead of water.

Finally, there is a version that the name of the settlement came from a Venetian great landlord called Gallos, who lived in the area. Indeed, the village was referred to as «GALLOY» by Fr. Barozzi in 1577, by Kastrofylakas in 1583, by Basilikata in 1630 and by M. Coronelli in 1696.

In 1821 the villagers had been fighting the Turks for three days in this region and won, while in 1872 the Gallou settlement was granted by the Turks to the interpreter Andreas Miliotis as a gift for the provided services.

In the settlement of Gallou, which has been declared traditional since 1995, there are supermarkets, sports facilities, the National Stadium of Rethymno, municipal tennis courts, taverns with traditional Cretan cuisine, cafeterias and newly built residences for students, since 200 meters away there is the University of Crete.

Other important attractions of the village are the  monastery of Agios Pavlos built in 1566, the church of Panagia Gallou with its icon of Christ upon the Throne, the church of Agios Georgios built in the 18th century, the church of Agios Loukas, of Agios Antonios and of Agios Charalampos.

For nature lovers, the Galliano gorge is a perfect hiking route along the verdant banks of the ravine, while the oak forest of Kastello, part of which lies in the Gallou settlement, is of an extreme beauty.