During the Venetian times the Mosque “Neratzes” used to be a church named ‘Santa Maria’, dedicated to the Mary of Augustans. The little chapel on its west side was dedicated to the body of Christ. In 1657, the Turks turned the temple into a mosque named ‘Gazi Housein” or “Neratze”, which also served as an Ottoman seminary. In 1890, the mechanic G. Daskalakis added a large minaret with two stone-made balconies to the building. Today the Mosque “Neratzes” is used as a conservatoire.
Saint Francesco Church
The church of Saint Francesco is one of the most important monuments of Rethymno. It was the main temple of the Monastery of the Francesca Order. The architecture of the building and its ornaments are very interesting. Next to the east side of the temple two deserted chapels are preserved. Its main doorway is impressive, with capitals of composite order. During recent excavations around the church valuable archeological findings have been discovered, including two tombs of Venetian nobles.
The Rimondi fountain was built in 1626 by the city’s Rector A. Rimondi. It covered part of the city’s water needs and it is located in the Platanou square, which was then the centre of the Venetian city. It has three water basins, three lion shaped water exits, and three columns crowned by Corinthian capitals bearing a Latin inscription. Today the fountain still springs water through the three lion heads.
The Loggia of Rethymno
Loggia has been built during the 16th century and was designed by the famous architect Michel Snamicheli. Loggia was an eminent building of the city centre and has been a meeting point for the nobles to discuss political and economical issues. The building is very well preserved; it is square and has arches on its three sides (besides its west side). The consoles of its eaves are spectacular. During the Turkish occupation the loggia became a mosque and a minaret was constructed, which was later demolished in 1930. The past 40 decades the building of Loggia hosted the archeological museum of the city, which has now moved to a building next to Fortezza. Today loggia hosts a market of archeological art copies.