Kalonychtis is a village in the prefecture of Rethymno, approximately 17 km southwest of the city of Rethymno.

Built on the hill Nikiforos at an altitude of 280 meters, the Kalonychtis belongs to the many villages with Venetian architecture.

Its name as Kalonychtis comes from Nikiforos Fokas, the general and Byzantine emperor, who is considered the founder of the village and there is even a street built in his honor. A local tradition mentions that, when he campaigned in Crete in 961 AD, in order to free it from the Arabs Saracens, he camped overnight in that area. At dawn, someone asked him: “How did you spend your night?” and he answered: “Good night!” (“Kali nichta!”) Another version says that the village had already existed and it was called Leventochori.

The first inhabitants of Kalonychtis were Cretans, settlers from other villages, mainly from Sfakia. Its current residents do not exceed 200 persons and are engaged in animal husbandry, while the main products of the region are olive oil, carobs and livestock products.

The village has many traditional Venetian buildings with a mill standing out among them, preserved in good condition until today. The church in the center of the village is dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary and celebrates on September 8th. During the Ottoman period, the Turks were about to destroy it. They hit the altar, sparks sprung out and a large bee appeared in the belfry. The Turks were frightened and fled, without doing harm to the church. The sign of a stroke remains till today. Apart from the church of Virgin Mary, there is an old church of the Archangel Michael at the site Monastiriako Metohi, the church of Agios Antonios and the church of Agios Nikolaos, both being built upon older temples, as well as some modern churches, such as of Agios Nektarios and Agios Andreas.

The Kalonychtis or Kalonyktis, is a village with traditions and sacrifices during the national liberation struggles, since many residents excelled and gave their lives for independence in the Cretan Revolution from 1866 to 1897 and, later, in the Balkan wars and during the German occupation.

Since 2014 the race Nikiforeios Road has been conducted in honor of Nikiforos Fokas, which ends in the village.

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