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(+30) 28340-92494


(+30) 28340-92494


(+30) 697-4213333
(+30) 697-8766515



Michalis & Irini Piteri

Crete, Greece Local Weather


Margarites flourishing for centuries...
    At the time when Byzantine period ended and the Venetian occupation of Crete began, there was already a flourishing settlement here. The village of Margarites had always been blessed with fertile land, a mild climate and rich cultural heritage. In 1332 the Venetians burnt it down, because its inhabitants refused to pay the excessive taxes. Later they took part in the revolution incited by the Kallergis brothers, of the “powerful” aristocratic family resident in the Mylopotamos area since the Byzantine era. When peace was restored, the Cretan Renaissance began. Byzantine traditions, the Renaissance from the West and the Cretan spirit and the mentality merged and gave birth to great cultural achievements and prosperity. During the Renaisance tha village of Margarites was added with villas, coats of arms, mansions, churches, beautiful gardens and monastery dependencies. The travellers Pockeque (1779) and Savary (1778) mention the village of Margarites pointing out its natural beauty, the abandoned aristocratic residencies, the excellent olive oil, as well as its ceramics, which “resemble the Minoan urns”. During the 1829-1830 period the village served as the seat of the Revolutionary Council. Furthermore Gabriel Marinakis was born end rised here; Marinakis later became the Prior of the Arkadi Monastery and was one of the leading figures in the blowing up of the monastery in the name of freedom in 1866. From 1880 onwards the village has once again been flourishing.

Late Minoan tomb of Margarites...
    The late Minoan Tomb, dating from 1350 B.C., is one of the most important monuments in Margarites village, as well as the whole prefecture of Rethymnon. The tomb is situated on the northwestern side of Margarites, east of the crossroad to Orthes village. An impressive long coridor at the entrance of the tomb, built with massive carved stones, leads to a circular chamber with a dome. The rest of the findings indicate that the deceased had an important social and religious status in the local society.

The architecture
    Farmer’s accomplishments, Memories of the nobility, Urban influence...
The neighborhoods of this village are closely knit and protected by high walls. If you are in a mood for tracing history you will discover its secrets. More specifically: the history of the people can be “read” from the late Byzantine period up until today. You will find stone-built farmer’s houses consisting of one of the room with the fireplace as sole decoration. The house gave shelter to both family and livestock during difficult times. Venetian are fortified with chiseled exterior walls; the gentry’s mansions are equipped with loopholes and hidden coats of arms. Interior yards furnished with kilns, winepresses, troughs and oil-presses are hidden behind walls. Furthermore there is the “ontas”, the large drawing room, which was copied from urban architecture of the Renaissance in the town of Rethymno, and the “doma”, the chamber, which has been the most hospitable and cozy part of the building since Minoan times. Perhaps you will pass a vine bower on a hot summer day and will be invited to have a coffee in its shade. Further attention should been paid to the locks, the hinges, the doors and their lintels, displaying carved performances, through which the local craftsmen have laft us their perception of the beautiful and the extraordinary of that period. Finally, why not take a look – with sympathy – at the modern buildings, which rebuffed tradition (1960-1970). They are also examples of a period and testify that this place is alive and still developing.

Traditional art
    Stone, wood, iron, soil...
have been first materials that the village craftsmen worked with producing amazing artifacts. Pottery has been – and continues to be – the predominant craft in the village, making Margarites on of the most important centres for ceramics in Greece. Traditional and modern techniques coexist in perfect harmony in the 16 pottery workshops where the potters also display their creations. You can watch veteran potters working on the foot – operated wheels and fire their vassels in wood – fuel kilns, as well as young potters using electric potter wheels and kilns. At the village square of Margarites you may visit the Museumof Ceramics, hosting a display of local ceramic artifacts. Further, along the main road south of the village you can find several old pottery workshops known as “tsikalaria”. This is where Pitharouliana, an old potter’s settlement is located.

The churches
    Places of history, places of faith...
The village of Margarites is architecturally and spiritually connected with its churches, located both inside and outside the village. Visit the oldest church, Saint John the Evangelist, with its humble icon screen of stone. The church yard hosts the remains of some of those killed in the Arkadi blast. You should not miss the beautiful icon screen of the Virgin Mary, of the Renaissance church of Michael Archangel with its tombs and the church of Saint John the Baptist in the centre of the village, where you can light a candle. Also, the Saint Nikolaos bell tower, a duplicate of the Arkadi monastery’s, is worth visiting, as is the church of Saint Dimitrios of the Dandoli and the Virgin Mary (Panagia) of Keropoula. You can also visit the Monastery of Christ the Redeemer (Sotiras Christos) – Saint Gideon on the eastern side of the village. This monastery is run as adependency of the Karakallou Monastery in Mount Athos and has been there since the 16th century. The holiness of the place will liberate your soul.

Nature, trails
    Leave your vehicle either at the nortern or the southern entrance of the village and walk. You can explore the little village streets, visit the churches, go up to yhe monastery, or you may choose to enjoy your coffee, soft drink, or tsikoudia (raki) at one of the village tavernas. You can look at the sea from afar, enjoy the view, buy ceramics, and if you wish you can also have lunch or dinner here. If you like hiking you may visit Laggos, the gorge by the village.Walk past the village square, then follow path E4 that leads to the village of Lagga, and ends in the ancient Bridge of Eleftherna. During the hike, you will see many rare flower species, and you will discover the beauty of the countryside. You will be able to admire the Cretan cypres trees that gow in the area. Those who prefer not to walk may enjoy a view of the gorge sitting on the benches on the southern end of the village. There you can watch the unique sunset of Margarites. Should you wish to stay overnight, you can rent a room or a flat in the village.

Culture, performances
    The cultural Associatio of Margarites organizes both permanent and seasonal activities in the village all year round.If you visit Crete at the end of the August don’ t miss DOMA’ s (Creative Group of Margarites) theatrical satirical show, known as Boudalia. Boudalia is the result of cooperative work of the young people of Margarites and other areas in the Municipality of Geropotamos. You will be suprised at the quality of the show and you will enjoy yourselves.During the summer, Maria Tzompanaki’ s Cultural Centre “Margarites” offers several interesting cultural events such as concerts, lectures, exhibition, puppet shows, shadow theatre “Karagiozis” performances etc. In Tzanakiana, next to Margarites village, there is a traditional Guest House, “The Kourites Home”, offering hospitality and implementing various cultural and enviromental education programs for adults and children.

We thank the cultural club of Margarites for this material.

 The History of the Arkadi Monastery


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