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View of Rethymno
View of Rethymno
Rethymno is located in Greece
Coordinates: 35°22′N 24°28′E / 35.367°N 24.467°E / 35.367; 24.467Coordinates: 35°22′N 24°28′E / 35.367°N 24.467°E / 35.367; 24.467
Country Greece
Administrative region Crete
Regional unit Rethymno
 • Mayor Giorgos Marinakis (PASOK)
 • Municipality 397.5 km2 (153.5 sq mi)
 • Municipal unit 126.5 km2 (48.8 sq mi)
Highest elevation 15 m (49 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2001)[1]
 • Municipality 54,900
 • Municipality density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
 • Municipal unit 35,687
 • Municipal unit density 280/km2 (730/sq mi)
 • Population 28987
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 741 00
Area code(s) 28310
Vehicle registration ΡΕ

Rethymno (Ancient Greek: Ρέθυμνο, [ˈreθimno], also Rethimno, Rethymnon, Réthymnon, and Rhíthymnos) is a city of approximately 40,000 people in Greece, the capital of Rethymno regional unit on the island of Crete. It was originally built during the Minoan civilization (ancient Rhithymna and Arsinoe), but was never a competitive Minoan centre. It was, however, strong enough to mint its own coins and maintain urban growth. One of these coins is today depicted as the crest of the town: two dolphins in a circle.


This region as a whole is rich with ancient history, most notably through the Minoan civilisation centred at Kydonia east of Rethymno.[2] Rethymno itself began a period of growth when the Venetian conquerors of the island decided to put an intermediate commercial station between Heraklion and Chania, acquiring its own bishop and nobility in the process. Today's old town (palia poli) is almost entirely built by the Republic of Venice. It is one of the best-preserved old towns in Crete.

The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, stone staircases, Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains, the small Venetian harbour and narrow streets. The Venetian Loggia houses the information office of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. A Wine Festival is held there annually at the beginning of July. Another festival, in memory of the destruction of the Arkadi Monastery, is held on 7–8 November.

The city's Venetian-era citadel, the Fortezza of Rethymno, is one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. Other monuments include the Neratze mosque (the Municipal Odeon arts centre), the Great Gate (Μεγάλη Πόρτα or "Porta Guora"), the Piazza Rimondi and the Loggia.

The town was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1646 during the Cretan War (1645–69) and they ruled it for almost three centuries. The town, called Resmo in Turkish, was the centre of a sanjak during Ottoman rule.

During the Battle of Crete (20–30 May 1941), the Battle of Rethymno was fought between German paratroopers and the Second Australian Imperial Force and Hellenic Army. Although initially unsuccessful, the Germans won the battle after receiving reinforcements from Maleme in the Northwestern part of the island

Today the city's main income is from tourism, many new facilities having been built in the past 20 years. Agriculture is also notable, especially for olive oil and other Mediterranean products.


View of the old harbour.
The new port
Street and the belltower of Megalos Antonios church in the fond
Beach of Rethymno.

The municipality Rethymno was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 4 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[3]

Population of Rethymno [4]
Settlements 1940 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Rethymno 8.648 11.057 14.999 14.969 17.136 23.355 28.987
Agia Irini 96 88 63 47 34 63 49
Agios Markos - - - - 18 65 -
Anogeia 50 25 25 21 13 15 89
Gallos 315 274 252 180 146 205 430
GIannoudi 92 82 78 30 22 23 96
Kastellakia - 45 27 36 105 - -
Koumpes - 106 - - - - -
Metochi Albani 67 79 31 - - - -
Megalo Metochi (Risvan) - 33 25 - 6 28 29
Mikro Metochi - - - - 29 91 188
Misiria 294 212 - - - - -
Ksiro Chorio 214 219 132 90 - 114 131
Perivolia 853 805 - - - - -
Planates 343 488 - - - - -
Tria Monastiria - - - - 18 105 107
Total 10.972 13.513 15.632 15.373 18.190 24.064 31.687


Rethymno is home to the following museums:


Pandelis Prevelakis wrote Το χρονικό μιας πολιτείας (1937), The Chronicle of my Town, a nostalgic depiction of Rethymno from the period of the Cretan State (1898) to the expulsion of the Cretan Turks (1924).


Rethymno hosted the international athletics meeting known as Vardinogianneia. The athletics meeting stopped in 2012 due to Greek financial crisis.[5] Rethymno has many sport clubs with presence in Panhellenic championships of various sports. Below is shown the list of main sport clubs of Rethymno.

Sport clubs based in Rethymno
Club Founded Sports Achievements
Neos Asteras Rethymno F.C. 1945 Football Earlier presence in Gamma Ethniki
NO Rethymnou 1963 Water Polo Presence in A1 Ethniki women
EA Rethymniakou 1983 Football, Track and Field Earlier presence in Beta Ethniki
Rethymno B.C. 1986 Basketball Presence in A1 Ethniki
OPE Rethymnou 1992 Volleyball Presence in A1 Ethniki women


In the Rethymno Campus of the University of Crete there are located the School of Philosophy, the School of Education, the School of Social, Economics and Political Sciences, and the University Library of the University of Crete. More, there are about 8.000 students per annum studying at "Galos" where the Campus (and also the Academic Institute of Mediterranean Studies) rests.

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Rethymno is twinned with:


See also[edit]



External links[edit]