Maroulas

Maroulas is a historical village of the prefecture of Rethymno located approximately 9 km southeast of the city of Rethymno, built on the top of a hill near Dilofos and Giannoudi.

The traditional settlement of Maroulas presents structuring density with small alleys, without large squares, representing a typical example of Venetian architecture.

According to tradition, Maroulas was named after the shepherdess Marouli, who, while grazing her sheep in the area, found a spring of fresh water. The source of Marouli, as they say, exists in the village until today.

The region probably has been inhabited since the Minoan period. Two cemeteries were discovered dating to the Final-Palatial period, one at the site of Mezaria, with carved tombs, and the other at location Prinares. The finds, including urns, bronze jars and weapons, jewelry and more, currently are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno.

Most buildings of Maroulas are dating back to the Venetian period and decorated with blazons on their outer doors. These buildings were used as a second holiday homes of the nobility or as storage of agricultural products. After the conquest of Crete by the Turks, elements of oriental architecture were added to the Venetian landscape, such as fireplaces and wells, and, eventually, harmonically joined the elements of Cretan tradition.

The two Venetian towers that have survived until today (in the center of the village and at the east side) belong to the main attractions of the village, which the Turks, after the conquest of Crete, used as garrison headquarters and in 1922 hosted refugees from Minor Asia. Other noteworthy buildings are the mill and the Venetian mansion that belonged to Bishop Timotheos Veneris, called “despotic” by the locals.

The church of Prophet Elijah on the top of the hill, a single-chambered temple of the Ascension, a two-nave cave church of Agios Nikolaos and Antonios, which is the oldest church of the village built in the 14th century, and the main church dedicated to Transfiguration of the Savior complete the religious scenery of Maroulas village, which has been a listed monument since 1980.

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