One of the most important sights in the whole of Crete is the Holy Monastery of Arkadi, located about 25km southeast of Rethymno city centre, at Amnatos village, in Arkadi.
It is said to have been built in the 12th century by Byzantine Emperor Arkadios (hence the name). According to another theory it is named after a monk named Arkadios who created the monastery. It is important due to the fact that it played a vital role in the 1821 Revolution as the monks were among the first to be involved.
The most important part is the Katholic of the original church- one aisle is dedicated to the Transfiguration of our Saviour, while the other one to St. Konstantinos and Eleni- part of which is saved at the northwest part of the precinct. Built in 1587 during the Venetian rule, the church was of Renaissance style.
8th November 1866 is a very important date, as the monastery was completely destroyed by the Turks -each year the Holocaust of the Holy Monastery of Arkadi is celebrated. The church was rebuilt according to its original design. Arkadi has been characterised as a European Monument of Freedom by UNESCO.