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Rethymnon Crete photo gallery by Joy Hindmarch
Rethymnon city centre on Crete has an almost aristocratic air with arched doorways, crumbling balconies and the faded facades that hark back to days of the Venetians. It is at its most picturesque around old Venetian harbour where romantic taverna tables line the quayside while the Venetian lighthouse stands sentinel at the end of the long harbour wall. In almost every street the cafes and restaurants intermingle with craft and antique shops. The beach area is to the east where a there are a string of hotels, souvenir shops and cafes. The palm-fringed sands are flat and spacious and the water generally calm. The jewel in the crown is the Fortezza a massive Venetian fort begun in 1573 on the ruins of a Byzantine fortress. On its completion, the whole city population could be contained within its massive walls and there was a barracks, hospital, even a cathedral. Other notable sights are the Arimondi fountain built in 1623and the slender Nerantzes Djani minaret attached to a former Venetian church built in 1227.