Prines

Prines is a village in the prefecture of Rethymno located near the village of Vederoi and 8 km approximately west of Rethymno.

Built at an altitude of 200 meters in the middle of a verdant landscape with walnut trees, plane trees, oaks and olive trees, the village of Prinses has approximately 900 inhabitants and maintains elements from its Venetian and Ottoman past with courtyards, arched houses, stone stairs and domes.

Before the 10th century, the settlement of Klotziana was inhabited in this area, but it was abandoned, probably because of the Saracens. Those who had survived built two new neighborhoods, the Kaneva and the Alexandri, with several pottery workshops. After the liberation of Crete by Nikiforos Fokas in 961, due to the fact that many inhabitants were sold into slavery, Byzantium sent noble families to enhance the population of Crete. Among them was Prince Michail, who settled in Rethymno and, passing through this region, was enchanted by the beautiful landscape of towering trees and the nice climate and built his palace here. Later, his officials followed him and settled nearby, building outposts and watchtowers to have the control over the bay of Gerani against the pirates, creating the Venetian palace-governor. The epidemic of the time that hit the settlements Kaneva and Alexandri forced those who survived to settle in a new location, the one that the Venetians called Princeps (princeps=prince in Latin). The locals eventually made it sound like Prines.

Apart from the Venetian buildings, the visitor can also admire the Church of Agios Nikolaos, the patron Saint of the village, next to the old stone school. The church was built in 10th-11th century and displays an old icon of the Saint, which did many miracles during the Turkish occupation. That is why the icon became the target of the Turks, who plundered the temple and tried to desecrate the image with their swords without any result though. Indeed, the local tradition says that the bullet, shot by a Turk, ricocheted from the icon and blinded him. In the village of Prines there are also a two-nave church of Agios Antonios and the Annunciation of the Virgin built in 1800 in the center of the village, the church of Agios Panteleimonas, with a great feast held in honor of the Saint every year, and Agia Paraskevi, a picturesque chapel. On the war memorial of the village, 20 fighters are mentioned, who fell for their country.

Since 1982 the active Cultural Association of Prines organizes major events in the village. Prines has facilities for agricultural tourism as well as villas-to-rent, taverns and one cafe-bar. The village also features a 5×5 football pitch, a safe cycling route of varying degree of difficulty over 10 km long and the hiking trails leading to the village of Vederoi and the gorge Vederon.

Since 2014 the race Nikiforeios Road is conducted in honor of Nikiforos Fokas and passes through the village.

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