Maroulas is a traditional village located about 10km southeast of Rethymno city centre. It dates back to the 13th century A.D, and it has been characterised as a listed settlement. It is a beautiful village with evident Venetian and Ottoman architectural elements that impress visitors, as they take you back in time to the Middle Ages, Renaissance and the Turkish occupation.
The Venetians introduced the village to towers, mansions, olive presses, barracks and observatories while the Ottomans added the eastern style in the architectural additions. All this combined with traditional Cretan elements create one of the most beautiful villages in the prefecture.
A walk in the narrow streets of the village will convince you that this is one of the most picturesque and lovely villages you have ever seen. The characteristic arches, impressive towers, cisterns, arched doors -known as "portares" that according to legend there were 12 of them, one for each of the mansions that belonged to the 12 noble families of the village- are all part of history.
The great tower is a point of reference in Maroulas. Created by the Venetians, it is 45 feet tall and one can see all the way to Fortezza Fortress from it. Built in the 15th-16th century, it comprised three levels, and it was used as an observatory and most probably as a Venetian noble's residence. During the Turkish occupation it was a base for sacking, while much later it was the residence for Asia minor refugees until it was completely abandoned after WWII.
One of the most important sights in Maroulas are the domed tombs –the objects found inside can be seen at the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno– at the Post-Minoan cemetery found in the area, 700m from the village.