Rethymnon tour: between East and West
Rethymnon tour is a fascinating self-guided audio walking tour in Rethymnon city in Crete. Discover credible and original stories written by top local professionals. Take your tour now and enjoy it instantly on your smartphone device.
Rethymnon: between East and West is a tour through space and time. It begins with the purchase of Crete by the Venetians in 1210 and culminates in the struggle for union with Greece in the late 19th century. As you walk from the Venetian harbour to the heart of the city you are constantly reminded of the town’s tumultuous past. Fortifications preserve the memory of the bloody conflicts between the Venetians and the Ottomans for control of Crete and the Mediterranean. Mosques and churches glorify the generals, admirals, bishops, artists, and pirates that once fought and triumphed (or perished) here.
Every building has a story to tell. The Kara Musa Pasha Mosque was initially a Venetian monastery dedicated to Saint Barbara but upon the city’s conquest, the Ottomans replaced the roof with a dome and added a minaret. Today the complex houses the Byzantine Antiquities Department. The Valide Sultana Mosque was named after the mother of the Sultan Ibrahim I who undertook the conquest of Rethymno but was too mentally unstable to rule, so his mother took charge of the government. The Rimondi Fountain was a gift to the city by a Venetian administrator, who wished to gain some favour in the afterlife and ensure the survival of his memory among the local populace. The Fortezza seems impressive with its thick walls and its seven bastions but in reality it was never effective; financial difficulties led to a fatal simplification of the initial design and opened the way for the city’s capture by the Ottomans after a brief 23-day siege.
There is even a distant connection with Miguel Cervantes, the celebrated author of Don Quixote. The Spanish writer fought in the Battle of Lepanto (1571) and in his writings he mentions Uluç Pasha, a Roman Catholic from Italy who was captured by the Turks, converted to Islam and rose to become an Ottoman admiral and ruler of Algiers. Along the way he managed to capture and plunder Rethymno a few months before his participation in the battle of Lepanto, opposite Cervantes.
The author has studied classical archeology in Munich, Athens and Berlin. He works as a travel guide in Greece since 2003.
|Starting point||Venetian Harbour, Rethimno, Crete|
|Finishing point||Arkadiou, Rethimno|
|Areas||Venetian Harbor, Fortezza, Archaeological Museum, Old city of Rethymno|
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.