The Institute for Mediterranean Studies (IMS) based in Rethymno, Crete, was founded in 1985 and belongs to the research units of the Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (FORTH). The IMS is the only FORTH centre which deals with the human and social sciences. The purpose of IMS is to support and invigorate research in the field of the human and social sciences, as well as to promote the application of advanced technologies in the field. The IMS possesses a fully equipped Laboratory of Geophysical-Satellite Remote Sensing (GIS) & Archaeo-environment, specialized in archaeological research. The Library of the Institute is focused on Turkish Studies and Art History. In the Library archival material, as well as collections of Greek and foreign newspapers in digital form and microfilms are kept. The objective of the IMS's research programs is to study the geographical space, the history and culture of Greece and the other Mediterranean countries in various historical periods, from prehistory to modern times. In order to achieve these objectives, the research projects of the Institute are organized along the following axes: Turkish Studies History Studies Art History History of the Theatre - Ethnomusicology The Laboratory of Geophysical-Satellite Remote Sensing & Archaeo-environment Its activities concern the field of geophysical research, the satellite remote sensing, the Geo-information technologies and the archaeo-environment, with emphasis on the Mediterranean region. The Laboratory is a member of international organisations such as EPOCH, EARSel. and AGILE and participates in a number of joint research and technology programs in Greece and abroad (e-Content, INTERREG, ARCHIMED, ETPA, PEWNED, EPEAEK, INSTAP, LIFE, Region of Crete). The research programs of the Institute are carried out by its permanent researchers and collaborating faculty members. In the frame of these research programs are prepared PhD Thesis and other diplomas which are submitted to the higher educational institutions with which IMS collaborates and, particularly, to the University of Crete, the Technical University of Crete and the Technological Educational Institute of Crete. The IMS supports education at post-graduate and post-doctoral level with a considerable number of annual scholarships, thus contributing to attract a steady flow of young researchers and to promote research in the field of humanities at the periphery. The IMS maintains close academic links with various international research foundations (Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Spain, England, Belgium, Tunesia, Egypt, China, USA, a.o.). The IMS is administered by a director and a five member academic council (A.C.). It is housed in wholly-owned premises comprising of two listed buildings in the old town of Rethymno. The core of one edifice dates back to the Venetian period (13th - 17th century). Links: www.ims.forth.gr/
The Folklore Museum of Sitia (Siteia, GR: Σητεία) displays items from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It includes some unique embroidery, examples of traditional weaving, wood carvings, local dress and household items, all displayed in an authentic Sitian house setting. Address : 28, Kapetan Sifi Str., 72300 Sitia
An excellent specimen of a specialized building, one of the first structures erected during the period of the Cretan State. It was designed by the architect Salivero, one of Prince George's officials. The plans were completed in 1901 and the construction was accomplished thanks to donations of rich Archanians living in the U.S.A. The building is Pi-shaped in plan, has two storeys and a basement, it is built of stone and its roof is partially wooden and covered with tiles. It is a monumental but well balanced structure with many harmonic and elegant Neoclassical features. Since its construction, the building has been used as a school. During the German occupation it housed General Muller's division. Source: The Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Kyra Eleoússa (GR: Κυρά Ελεούσα) Monastery is located close to the village Voroú or Voritsi. Due to its historical value the monastery and the outside area which covers 1000m has acquired protected status. Kyra Eleoussa is built according to feudal architectural style, and despite some interventions over the years it maintains many original architectural features. It is first referred in a document dating from 1606. At first it belonged to the monastery of Agia Ekaterini of Sinai but later it became part of Agarathos monastery.
The monastery of Agaráthou (GR: Μονή Αγκαράθου), dedicated to the Virgin, stands at an altitude of 538m, on "Soros Panteli", a rocky hill between the villages of Sgourokefali and Sabas, 23 km from Heraklion. During the period of Venetian rule it was a centre of learning, producing many famous churchmen including the Patriarchs Cyril Lucaris, Meletius Pegas and Sylvester the Cretan. The church was rebuilt in 1894 and flourished once more after the end of the Turkish occupation. Young, educated monks with university degrees have recently settled in the monastery, restoring it to its former glory.
During Venetian occupation the mosque Neratzes, which today is used as a conservatory, was the Augustinian church of the Holy Virgin. In 1657 the Turks transformed it into the mosque 'Gazi Housein' or 'Neratze', and in 1890 they added a large minaret with two galleries, which was built from the famous stones from the village of Alfa. The chapel of the Holy Virgin, situated at its west side and dedicated to the Body of Christ, was also transformed into a seminary. Outstanding elements of this building are the doorframe and the three domes.
A. Rimondi, the Rector of the city, built the famous Rimondi Fountain, which is situated at present day Platanos Square, formerly the centre of Venetian city life, in 1626. The water runs from three spouts in the shape of a lion's head into three sinks. Three small, fluted columns, ornamented with Corinthian capitals are "standing" on the sinks. Above the capitals an entablature can be observed, the middle part of which displays four projections in the shape of the leaves of the acanthus exactly above the columns. Furthermore in this section the words LIBERALITATIS and FONTES are inscribed.
The Mosque took its name from the Turkish commander of the marine operations to conquer Rethymno, in 1646. During the Venetian Period, the Mosque became a monastery dedicated to St. Barbara. West from the central building, there is the deserted minaret of the mosque. The fountain of the Mosque is attached to the roofed entrance of the Mosque's garden, where believers washed before entering the Mosque and provided the area with fresh spring water.
The Archaeological Museum of Archanes opened in 1993. It occupies an area of 570 square meters and it is located at the Tzami quarter in the center of the settlement. There, for the first time in Crete, the archaeological finds from a single site are exhibited. While the exterior spaces of the building were adapted to a tasteful ensemble, in resemblance with the impressive modesty of the environment and the traditional ochre and rosy colour tonations of Archanes. The interior was thus arranged as to accommodate the most modern mode of exhibition, especially attractive for the visitor.
At the side of the gorge of Selinari, at the 42 km. of the national road Iraklion - Agios Nikolaos is the small old chapel and the newly founded monastery of Agios Georgios Selinaris. In the monastery there is also a home for the aged founded in 1963. The small chapel was probably founded early in the 16th century AD, and ever since it is a place of worshiping. The people passing through the chapel stop to light a candle to the saint. The chapel is considered miraculous, there are various legends concerning miracles related either with healing of sick people or with divine punishment of people that did not pay the respect due to the saint.