Arkadi monastery

Prinos Resort.

Arkadi monastery is situated at the northwest foot of Psiloritis mountain, at an altitude of 500m. Legends say that Herakleios, Byzantine emperor, founded the monastery and that it was built by emperor Arcadius in the 5th century, after whom it was named.

According to scientific research, though, it seems that the monastery was founded by a monk called Arkadios and named after him as well. The two-naved church is dedicated to Saint Constantine and the Transfiguration of Christ and was built in 1587, as suggested by an inscription. Built during the Venetian occupation, the monastery reflects the influence of the Renaissance. The ground plan of the monastery is rectangular-shaped. The major church (katholikon) stands in the middle of the courtyard and is surrounded by the monk cells and the rest of the rooms.

Arkadi monastery has become a historical symbol of liberty and resistance because of its holocaust during the Cretan Revolt in 1866-1869. While the monastery was under siege by the Ottomans, the besieged rebels chose death to avoid surrender. Kostis Yamboudakis, a rebel from Adele village, set the powder room on fire and the monastery exploded.


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