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Title: Rethymno  
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Subject: Crete, Heraklion, Fortezza of Rethymno, Greek National Road 90, Theriso revolt
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View of Rethymno
View of Rethymno
Rethymno is located in Greece
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Crete
Regional unit: Rethymno
Mayor: Giorgos Marinakis (PASOK)
Population statistics (as of 2001)[1]
 - Population: 54,900
 - Area: 397.5 km2 (153 sq mi)
 - Density: 138 /km2 (358 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 35,687
 - Area: 126.5 km2 (49 sq mi)
 - Density: 282 /km2 (731 /sq mi)
 - Population: 28,987
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 0–15 m ­(0–49 ft)
Postal code: 741 00
Telephone: 28310
Auto: ΡΕ

Rethymno (Greek: Ρέθυμνο, , also Rethimno, Rethymnon, Réthymnon, and Rhíthymnos) is a city of approximately 40,000 people in Greece, the capital of Rethymno regional unit on the island of Crete. It was built in antiquity (ancient Rhithymna and Arsinoe), but was never a competitive Minoan centre. It was, however, strong enough to mint its own coins and maintain urban growth. One of these coins is today depicted as the crest of the town with two dolphins in a circle.


Inside the Fortezza of Rethymno.

This region as a whole is rich with ancient history, most notably through the Minoan civilisation centred at Kydonia east of Rethymno.[2] Rethymno itself began a period of growth when the Venetian conquerors of the island decided to put an intermediate commercial station between Heraklion and Chania, acquiring its own bishop and nobility in the process. Today's old town (palia poli) is almost entirely built by the Venetians. It is one of the best preserved old towns in Crete.

The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, stone staircases, Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains, the small Venetian harbour and narrow streets. The Venetian Loggia houses the information office of the Ministry of Culture. A Wine Festival is held there annually at the beginning of July. Another festival, in memory of the destruction of the Arkadi Monastery, is held on 7–8 November.

The city's Venetian-era citadel, the Fortezza, is one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. Other monuments include the Neratze mosque (the Municipal Odeon arts centre), the Great Gate (Μεγάλη Πόρτα, Porta Guora), the Piazza Rimondi (Rimondi square) and the Venetian Loggia.

The town was also captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1646 and was ruled by them for almost three centuries. The town (Resmo in Turkish) was the centre of a sanjak during Ottoman rule.

During the Battle of Crete (20–30 May 1941), the Battle of Rethymno was fought between German paratroopers and Australian and Greek forces. Although initially unsuccessful, the Germans won the battle after receiving reinforcements from Maleme in the Northwestern part of the island

Today the city's main income is from tourism, many new facilities having been built in the past 20 years. Agriculture is also notable, especially for olive oil and other Mediterranean products. It is also the base of the Philosophical School and the University Library of the University of Crete and the School of Social and Political Sciences having 8.000 students on its university campus per annum at "Galos", where the Academic Institute of Mediterranean Studies is situated.


View of the old harbour.
The new port
Street and the belltower of Megalos Antonios church in the fond
Beach of Rethymno.

The municipality Rethymno was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 4 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[3]

Population of Rethymno [4]
Settlements 1940 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Rethymno 8.648 11.057 14.999 14.969 17.136 23.355 28.987
Agia Irini 96 88 63 47 34 63 49
Agios Markos - - - - 18 65 -
Anogeia 50 25 25 21 13 15 89
Gallos 315 274 252 180 146 205 430
GIannoudi 92 82 78 30 22 23 96
Kastellakia - 45 27 36 105 - -
Koumpes - 106 - - - - -
Metochi Albani 67 79 31 - - - -
Megalo Metochi (Risvan) - 33 25 - 6 28 29
Mikro Metochi - - - - 29 91 188
Misiria 294 212 - - - - -
Ksiro Chorio 214 219 132 90 - 114 131
Perivolia 853 805 - - - - -
Planates 343 488 - - - - -
Tria Monastiria - - - - 18 105 107
Total 10.972 13.513 15.632 15.373 18.190 24.064 31.687


Rethymno is home to the following museums:


Pandelis Prevelakis wrote Το χρονικό μιας πολιτείας (1937), The Chronicle of my Town, a nostalgic depiction of Rethymno from the period of the Cretan State (1898) to the expulsion of the Cretan Turks (1924).

Notable people

International relations

Rethymno is twinned with:


See also


  1. ^ De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003. 
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan, , The Modern Antiquarian, Jan. 23, 2008Cydonia
  3. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  4. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority, Digital Library (ELSAT), Census (Greek and English)

External links

  • Prefecture of Rethymno - Official website
  • Rethymno The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
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