the fortified village of Maroulas
Maroulas, Crete (Μαρουλάς) - Just 7 km east of Rethymnon, the picturesque village of Maroulas has preserved its traditional architecture, though Byzantine, Turkish and Venetian influences are apparent.
On a hill at 300 m height, overlooking the largest olive grove in the Mediterranean, this 800 year old village is built around an old olive press and fortified towers.
Maroulas is a typical example of a fortified village, built for its bird’s eye view of the surrounding area, and functioning as a gathering place for farm products and livestock.
The view over the olive grove up until the city of Rethymnon is truly amazing.
The discovery of arched burial chambers leads to the yet unconfirmed conclusion that the area is of Minoan origin.
During the Turkish siege, Maroulas was used as a country seat of the Turkish officers due to its strategic position and wealthy soil.
It is said that the village was originally named Amygdalea and was at one point completely destroyed by a flood or an earthquake. The first person to inhabit the village again was a woman called Maroulio, which is a byname for Maria.
In the 1980’s, the village suffered great migration; the young people left for the cities leaving only the elderly behind. Nowadays Maroulas is coming back to life with its approximately 185 inhabitants and the restoration of many of the old buildings by Greeks but also foreigners who moved to the village permanently.
The village attracts many painters and photographers with its numerous themes; narrow alleys, old doors, door knobs, stone mosaics.
How to get there:
Either by car or by public bus from Rethymnon.