Pikris

Pikris in the prefecture of Rethymno is a village near Skouloufia located 18 km approximately southeast of the city of Rethymno.

Built at an altitude of 160 meters deep in the Arkadi gorge, Pikris is one of the most beautiful villages of Rethymno with lush vegetation because of the proximity to the river Arios or Arkadiotis that gave life to the village, supplying the fields with water and moving numerous water-mills.

About the origin of the name of Pikris (=bitter) a local tradition says it came from a story of a father who had nine sons and they started dying one after another. One Saturday the first one died, the next the other, until all his children had passed away. Those, who were going to offer their condolences, were saying “let’s go the bitter one”. So the village was called by the name of Pikris or Píkri.

The village that is referred to as Picri since the 16th century has got a lot of Venetian architecture elements with majestic mansions and impressive doorways between the narrow alleys. The Klodio villa with an impressive doorway and inscribed pediment dating to 1610 was one of the most important sights, but it collapsed in 2013 after it had been neglected.

The main church of the village is dedicated to Agia Paraskevi and the feast of the Saint is held annually on July 26. Other churches of the village Pikris are the church of Agia Kyriaki and the church of Agia Foteini. The cemeterial church is also Venetian and remains of frescoes are preserved.

The hero of the Holocaust of the Arkadi monastery Adam Papadakis and the famous lyrist Vasilis Kalaitzakis or Pilinos are hailing from the Pikris village.

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