This region is rich with ancient history, most notably the Minoan civilisation. 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 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 city's Venetian-era citadel, the Fortezza, is one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. The town was captured and ruled by the Ottoman Turks in 1646 for almost three centuries. During WW2, the Battle of Rethymno was fought between Germans and Australian & Greek forces. Although initially unsuccessful, the Germans won the battle eventually.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography