The Holy Monastery of Arkadi is located just 15 km from Villas Lefkothea, at an altitude of 500 meters from the sea. During the Turkish occupation (also known as Tourkokratia), the Cretans did many efforts to be released, however those efforts had no positive result. That made Cretans more stubborn!
In 1866 the revolutionary committee of the Cretans resided in the monastery and they coordinated the Great Cretan Revolution, having ‘union or death’ as their main slogan and seeking freedom and union with Greece. About 600 women and about 300 warriors had run there. On 8th to 9th November 1866 siege of the monastery began by 15000 Turks, using heavy equipment.
When the walls began to “crack” and the Turks invaded the yard en masse, a heroic Cretan rebel’s hand set fire to the powder keg. Legend has it that it was Kostis Giamboudakis. Arkadi was burnt, burying hundreds of Cretans and Turks.
Arkadi is considered to be a representative example of sacrifice and freedom.