The tower of Bey at

Agios Ioannis

The tower of Bey in Agios Ioannis
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At the village Agios Ioannis (Saint John) in Mylopotamos province, located 40km southeast of Rethymnon there is a Venetian house, called “Arhontiko” (mansion) that belonged to a Venetian nobleman, who was Islamized during the first years of the Ottoman rule. The property has probably been used as a tower, although it was not built for this purpose.

We know that the Venetian was Islamized from a Turkish inscription on the blazon of the arched door that mentions “Owner is Mustafa Agha, janissary of 42 Battalion. August 29, 1792”. This inscription is identical to other Venetian inscriptions, such as that of the villa De Mezzo in Etia in Sitia province, revealing the origin of the Venetian owner.

The last Turkish resident of the mansion was the Bey of Mylopotamos province, who during the Easter of 1884, came to the local church with all his family and declared that from then on, he is Christian, called Ioannis (John), and his wife, called Athena.

According to another scenario, Husein Bey came to Crete from Constantinople in the seventeenth century and he was a senior officer of the janissaries, with Greek origin and a cryptochristian. Hussein Bey bought a girl as a slave, who eventually married him. One of his descendants was the Bey of Mylopotamos, named Hassan Mustafa Haji Oglou. Today the house still exists and is inhabited by the descendants of Bey.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Fortress / Tower
  • Peak Period: Ottoman Era (1669 - 1898)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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