Rethymnon is the third largest city on the island after Heraklion and Chania, with an intense Medieval-Renaissance atmosphere in its old historic district located beneath the walls of its sleepless protector, the Venetian citadel of Fortezza. With Minoan roots, the city has been known by the same name throughout history. However, Rethymno is better known as a city of letters. It was the birthplace of the Cretan Renaissance, to which many Rethymnian intellectuals contributed in the 16th century under Venetian rule.

The Porta Guora, the Rimondi fountain, the Church of Santa Maria, which currently serves as a conservatory, the Basilica of Saint Francis and the Loggia are just a few of the most important Venetian monuments found in the old city. The Renaissance Festival is the top cultural event of the city, which, along with its winter Carnival, are integrally linked to the Venetian background of the city.

The coastal zone of Rethymno, with its particularly beautiful beach and spotless sea, its Venetian harbour, its picturesque streets and open-hearted residents, offer their generous hospitality against the backdrop of the endless blue of the Cretan sea.

The city and its outskirts feature numerous Churches and visiting them is a unique opportunity to become acquainted with its culture and people.

The Holy Church of the Four Martyrs in the city centre can serve as the starting point for the religious itinerary of Rethymno, which includes the Holy Metropolitan Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, the Church of Agia Varvara, the patron saint of the Rethymno, the Church of Kyria ton Aggelon (Lady of Angels), the Church of Agios Theodoros Trichinas in the Venetian citadel of Fortezza, the Holy Monastery of the Metamorphosis of the Saviour in Koumbes and the Holy Monastery of Agios Pavlos in Gallos.


Agios Theodoros Trichinas (St. Theodore the Hair-Shirt Wearer) (Rethymno)

A single-spaced domed chapel situated between the ramparts of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Pavlos within the Venetian citadel of Fortezza. It was inaugurated in 1899 by the Russian commander of the occupation forces of Rethymno, but the building was possibly the result of repairs to an older, pre-existing Venetian church.


Kyria ton Aggelon (Lady of the Angels) (Rethymno)

The church of the ‘Lady of the Angels’ is also known as ‘Mikri Panagia’ (‘Little Virgin Mary’), in contrast to the ‘Megali Panagia’ (‘Large Virgin Mary’), i.e. the metropolitan church. It was built in the late years of the era of Venetian rule and was dedicated to Mary Magdalene.


Agia Varvara (St. Barbara) (Rethymno)

The church of Agia Varvara is built in the architectural style of free cross with dome. It was erected in 1885 at the site of an older church dating back to 1663, which was also dedicated to Saint Barbara, the patron saint of Rethymno. During the Ottoman era, the church was converted into a bathhouse […]


Eisodia Theotokou (Presentation of the Virgin Mary) (Rethymno)

The metropolitan church of Rethymno is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. The church was erected over three periods. During the era of Venetian rule, there was a small church at this site; in 1844, it was demolished and a larger one was erected at its location. Its present-day form is a three-aisled […]


Tesseris Martyres (Four Martyrs) (Rethymno)

This church is dedicated to the local New Martyrs Aggelis, Manouil, Georgios and Nikolaos, who were martyred in 1824 and recognised by local society as protectors of the city. Two other churches pre-existed at the site of the present-day church, but were demolished. The present-day church was constructed in 1975 in the three-aisled arch-covered style, […]


Agios Pavlos (St. Paul) Monastery

The Monastery is located south-west of Rethymno in the Gallos area. It was founded in 1566 and served as a glebe of Arkadi Monastery. Most of the Monastery structures date back to the 15th and 16th century. Its catholicon, a single-space arch-covered church, is dedicated to Saint Paul. During the revolution of 1866, the monastery […]


Metamorfoseos Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Redeemer) Convent

The Convent of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is situated on Koumbes hill, just outside the centre of Rethymno. This is a women’s convent founded in 1935, originally as a church, by Vassalos, an elder of Mount Athos. Since 1970, buildings began being erected around the church, which was gradually converted into a Convent. The […]