The Arkadi Monastery is situated 23 kilometers southeast of the city of Rethymnon 40 minutes by car. Considered the most famous and historic monastery of Crete, a symbol of Cretan Liberty. Located at an altitude of 500 meters, in a green fertile plain.
Exactly when the monastery was founded it is not known, but there are two possible scenarios. Whether founded by the Byzantine emperor Arcadius in the 5th century, from which it took its name, or founded by a monk Arcadius, who gave his name to the monastery.
The monastery consists of a fortress-like complex and within frouriakoou precincts of the main temple are the chapel, the museum of the monastery, the monks\' cells, the powder magazine, the ossuary, and other places.
The monastery has two gates. On the west side of the fortified enclosure is called the Door of Rethymno and Hania, which is the main entrance of the monastery. While the eastern side is the so-called Kastrinoi door. Also in the southeast corner of the yard, there is another small door, called Portal.
Diklytos The main church of the monastery is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ and the Saints Constantine & Helen, while the chapel of the monastery is dedicated to Saint Arcadius.
The monastery participated in the liberation struggles of the Cretans and became world famous with its participation in one of the most historic battles between Greeks and Turks, the holocaust of Arkadi in 1866, which in the sacrifice of hundreds of Cretan fighters and women and children, paving the way for Cretan liberation from the Turkish yoke, and led to the unification of Crete with Greece. The Arkadi Monastery is classified by UNESCO as a European Freedom Monument.
The Monastery of Arkadi was, throughout the period of operation in the past, an Education Centre, and known center for copying Greek manuscripts, as well as the production of gold embroidery.
The monastery has limited hours for the attendance of the public: April-May 09: 00-19: 00 June-August 09: 00-20: 00, September-October 09: 00-19: 00 November 09: 00-17: 00 December-March 09: 00-16: 00. The monastery is open daily from Monday to Sunday from April to October open daily and the museum of the monastery.