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Voyage to Crete: Eleutherna
by Eti Bonn-Muller
July 24, 2009

Today I’m staying at a hotel on the beach just outside Rethymno, near the ancient city of Eleutherna. I’ll get a full tour of the site from the archaeologists tomorrow. In the meantime, they’ve been kind enough to show me the environs. The unmarked, rocky roads that hug the surrounding hills–the northern foothills of Mt. Ida–kick up clouds of dust as the team’s creaky pickup truck shifts gears to avoid uphill catastrophe at each sharp curve. But what awaits us at the other end is well worth the nail-biting journey.


Image 1 of 7

The landscape is dotted with innumerable rock-cut Roman tombs (left) like this one, as far as the eye can see. In recent years, local shepherds have converted an adjacent tomb here into a small chapel.

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3 comments for "Voyage to Crete: Eleutherna"

  • Reply posted by Cristina (August 3, 2009, 9:08 am):

    I wish to be there!


  • Reply posted by J. Keith Baker (February 17, 2010, 6:25 am):

    Regarding Photo 1 – the British Commonwealth War Cemetery at Souda Bay. There is another military cemetery, as beautifully maintained as the Commonwealth’s, near Chania at Kavkazia Hill, also known as Point 107. It is the last resting ground for hundreds of German paratroopers killed taking the Island in 1941. Considering the brutality of the following Nazi occupation and the hundreds of civilians murdered, I was always surprised that the Cretans, as quickly as the German government was back on its feet after World War II, never demanded that the remains of these invaders be removed…. NOW!! However, having spent time among the Cretans, I have a theory. That cemetery is a war trophy. It’s a convenient location for the Cretans to show any visitor what happened to the last group of foreigners who tried to take their island from them.


  • Reply posted by W. Freudenberg (September 27, 2010, 2:15 pm):

    The site at ancient Eleutherna is supposedly open to the public (see current guide books) but on visiting in August 2010, I found it locked and fenced in. Why? From the recent tree planting on the road down, and the new (unoccupied) building, I assume there are plans for something there. A visitor centre? How can I found out? The University of Crete Archeology Department does not have this type of information.