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Old Town's History

The Old Town, which is the historical centre of Rethymnon.

The Old Town, which is the historical centre of Rethymnon, is one of the best preserved Mediterranean towns dating from the Renaissance period and built in the 15th and 16th centuries. Rethymnon has an abundance of important Renaissance monuments such as the Fortezza fortress, the Venetian port, the Rimondi fountain, the building where the conservatory is located, the Venetian Guora Grande, the great entrance to the town, the monastery of Arkadi, the Venetian Villa Claudio, the monastery of Agia Eirini and the Maroula Tower among others. There are also several Venetian houses and palazzi displaying a coat of arms on their entrances. The Ottoman Period has left the town with important monuments like the minarets of the Neratze mosque, the Valide Soultana mosque and the Veli Pasha mosque currently housing the Natural Paleontogical History museum. The Ibrahim Han mosque in Fortezza has an impressive dome serving as a concert area. There is also the mosque of Kara Mousa Pasha. Public baths can be located on Radamanthos and Nikiforos Fokas streets. Also the first town school and primary school known today as the “Turkish School”.

The short Egyptian occupation during the 1830's has left the town with the Egyptan lighthouse in the Venetian port.

The late 19th century Russian peace force reinforced the Christian elements in the town and was responsible for the construction of the tall neoclassical cathedral bell tower together with the Catholic Church situated in Salamina street.

The town boasts coats of arms and architectural styles from all historical periods.

Rethymnon presents a unique compact collection of historical monuments dating from many centuries and of interest to everyone.


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