Monastery of Agios Georgios Arsanios
The Monastery of Arsani is located north of the Monk of Arkadi, 12 km east of Rethymnon, on a flat plateau of a total area of about 10 acres. Her story does not claim the well-known history and glory of Arkadian grandeur, but she also has her own distinct course and her own humble grandeur. All testimonies converge on the view that it was founded in the second half of the 16th century. The first known written testimonies for its history begin in 1600. At that time the inauguration of its first katholikon was commemorated, commemorating Saint George's great martyr. The earliest founder date, 1645, is preserved at the entrance to the dining room and indicates the expansion of the building work.
The Turkish raid to the east, almost immediately after the fall of Rethymno (1646), disrupted peaceful life and broke off its growth. The poet of the Cretan War Marinos Tzanes Mpianalis, referring to the rapid advance of the Turks, mentions it among the villages of the wider region that were overwhelmed and destroyed in their wake. The monastery's property was then destroyed almost to its full extent and its buildings suffered many damage. It seems, however, that all the damage was soon restored. In 1654, eight years after the Turkish invasion and fifteen years before the final conquest of Crete, he accepted the first patriarchal seal and became cruciform. She has suffered many difficulties, mainly because of Turkish arbitrariness, but never ceased to meet her multiple obligations and, above all, to assist education in the county and to pursue her charitable work consistently.
The Turkish arbitrariness led the Moni in the beginning of the 19th century to a heavy and indefinite debt and a noticeable reduction in the number of monks. This situation continued after the 1821 revolution. The British traveler, R. Pashley, who visited her in 1834, confirmed her plightful financial situation, but it did not prevent her from running a primary school in her home. During the last Cretan revolution (1897-1898), Arshani lived his own holocaust. Abbot of the Monastery of Gavriil Klados, in a confrontation with the Turks, found a heroic death near Adele. It was her last offer shortly before the release of Crete.
Today's magnificent temple, in the shape of a free cross with a dome, was rebuilt in 1888 on the foundations of the first smaller katholikon. The iconostasis, the throne and the parrathon are works of the woodcarver Bassiliou Blastou. The pulpit is embedded in the icon screen, just above the Beautiful Gate, and communicates with a portable ladder from the site of the Holy Beam. The oldest portable icon incorporated into the icon screen is St. George with two renovations in 1804 and 1872. The rest of the iconostasis are works by Monachus Artemios and his escort from the Mounts of Mount Athos in 1922. The frescoes are modern . They were made during the period 1987-1990 by the rethymnionist painter Georgios Xristidis.
The monastery was dissolved in 1900 and turned into a Agricultural Station, but in 1903 it re-established itself and continued its multiple offering. It offered, almost entirely, the expense for the construction of the Gymnasium of Rethymno and about half of the expenditure for the construction of the Armenian High School in Rethymnon. Its contribution was also relevant during the Battle of Crete and the period of the National Resistance. He even brought to the Patmos of the Holocaust (1941-1944) the monk of Damianos Kalergis, whom the Germans performed on June 3, 1941 in Pagalochori.
In 1970-1975 it was the last general renovation, with many interventions in the characteristics of its physiognomy. The Ecclesiastical Museum, which has been operating since 1971 in the Moni, includes exhibits from other monasteries, especially the province of Mylopotamos, handwritten codes, old books, gospels, vestments, sacred vessels, portable icons, etc. In the Moni there is also a Conference Center. The housed space is the only Venetian part of the Monastery and was recently restored.