About 360 m above sea level, on the foothill of Vrissinas Mountain and just 12 km southeast of Rethymno, there is a beautiful settlement; Chromonastiri. The village has preserved numerous buildings with Venetian architectonic features, which led to its designation as a “Preservable and Traditional Settlement of Medium Cultural Value”.
If you look at the way it has been built but also at the fortresses surrounding the area, you will realize that Chromonastiri should have the role of a “fortress”. Well, it did, especially during the Turkish Domination. The most popular building-monument is Villa Clodio, located east of the village, which was used as a holiday home by the Venetian family Clodio. During the Turkish Domination, the palace used to be the house of Turkish Aga, hence known as “konaki” (house in Turkish language). Today it has been restored and hosts the Army Museum. Just outside Chromonastiri, Panagia Kera is located, a church of rare architectonic features. It has cross-like shape, a dome and two additional arches on the north and south walls. Even though it was built around 1.000 years ago, the wall paintings are preserved until today, with the one of Parthenos Maria’s being the most important of all. Around the settlement one can also see the byzantine temple of Agios Eftihios in Perdikis’ Metohi. It is a beautiful temple with wall paintings dated back to the 11th century, perhaps the oldest in Crete. The main characteristic of all those paintings is that all idols have huge eyes, especially Jesus, which complicates their dating process. The temple has joined a program of protection and promotion of middle byzantine monuments. Also, it is worth visiting the folklore collection in the center of village, at Prinaris’ Mil.
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