Old Town

Built on a site that once was an ancient Rithymna, the Old Town inside the Rethymno city is considered a gem itself and one of the Rethymno prefecture’s cultural attractions. Spread from the hill of Palaiokastro to the Venetian port with its lighthouse and between the Fortezza Fortress and Dimakopoulou and Gerakaris streets, the Old Town oozes multiculturality through the Renaissance architectural of the Venetian years coexisting with Muslim buildings.

The Venetians, in order to protect the city from pirate raids, fortified this piece of land with walls with three entrances, the Ammou Gate at the Agnostou Stratioti Square, the Megali Porta (the Great Gate), the only remnant of the original fortifications and the Marmaroporta. Inside this triangular area the Rethymno developed from the mid-16th to the early 20th century.

After the destruction of the city in 1571, Rethymno was rebuilt from scratch, with many buildings and temples existing in the current Old Town since that time, leaving a great architectural heritage, one of the fewest alike in the world.

The “jewels” of Rethymno pop-out through the picturesque streets and the corners that remain unchanged with the passage of time, among the bustling bars and cafes. Jewels, such as Agios Fragkiskos and the impressive Kyria ton Aggelon (The Lady of the Angels), the Turkish School and the Loggia, the oldest city building that survived the destruction of the 1571. The imposing casings, the arched lintels, the Kara Mousa Pasha Mosque, the Megali Panagia and the fountains reveal the rich history of the Old Town and take the visitors back in time.

The Titou Petychaki Square along with the Rimonti Fountain (“vrysakia” for the locals), the Neratze mosque that hosts the Conservatory nowadays, the Public Library of Rethymno and the Historical and Folklore Museum of Rethymno that lies near Mikrasiaton square complete the image of the current version of the Old Town, combined with its magical historical past.

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