Myloi

Myloi in the prefecture of Rethymno is a village located in close proximity to the village of Roussospiti, 7 km south of the city of Rethymno.

The settlement of Myloi, which in the past was built inside the Mylon gorge, consists of two villages, the Ano and the Kato Myloi, but in 1963, after the geological report saying that there is a danger due to a landslide, it was decided that the settlements would move to another location. As of the 1972, these two districts have been abandoned and their residents settled in the new village of Myloi, west of the previous location and outside the gorge, at an altitude of 270 meters in the area of Frahtó.

South of the old settlements inside the gorge, in an area rich in spring waters, watermills were constructed and operated since the energy production began to make use of the power of flowing water. Apart from the many mills, the waters of the valley supplied fruit and vegetable gardens. The water comes from the springs located at various points of the canyon, with the biggest sources those of Agios Antonios (St Anthony) and the Five Virgins.

The settlements of Myloi are mentioned in a document dating to 1643 and originally were created at that site, because the policy for wheat production, practiced by the Venetians, had a major role during the periods of isolation of the island by enemy fleets. Production and grinding services were particularly important during the past centuries, since they continuously supplied the city of Rethymno and the surrounding areas with flour.

Later, during the Turkish occupation, most Turks lived in Kato Myloi in mill-houses scattered along the river and north of the settlement until the area of Agios Markos (St. Mark), as the market of Rethymno was closer, the soil was more productive and there was a lot water to provide the mills with energy.

During the German occupation, 10 watermills had begun operating again in Myloi, as the rest of the mills that operated on fuel were closed due to the lack of diesel in the area.

The former settlements of Myloi inside the gorge are now major touristic hotspots of the village, since the remnants of the watermills can be seen in the area along with small chapels and a house turned into a tavern-cafeteria to serve the visitors.

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